Posts Tagged ‘LegalIssues’


3 Ways Divorce Affects Your Credit

Tuesday, December 6th, 2016

3 Ways Divorce Affects Your Credit

By Steven B. Chroman, Attorney at Law

Divorce can be one of the most traumatic life events a person can experience. Legal fees, asset division, child support and alimony can ruin otherwise healthy finances.

  1. Your Ex Stops Paying for Joint Accounts

Many spouses jointly share credit accounts, like a mortgage or credit cards. In some cases, those accounts could still remain in both your names even after a divorce. If your ex begins making late payments or stops paying altogether, you are still responsible to pay those bills in full. Your lenders and creditors want to be paid no matter who foots the bill and no matter what your divorce contract states. If you’re on amicable, cooperative terms with your ex, you might be able to work out mutually beneficial payment arrangements. A spiteful ex, however, might avoid making payments or begin racking up debt to cause you trouble.

  1. Freeze the account pending resolution;
  2. Remove your ex from the account so that the account is in your name only;
  3. Close the account and re-open it in your name only.

In some cases, these actions or changes to account activity could initially ding your credit score, but once you’ve re-established an on-time payment history, you’ll be able to build up your credit score again. (more…)

An Ad Doesn’t Go to Court with You

Tuesday, December 6th, 2016

An Ad Doesn’t Go to Court with You

By Steven B. Chroman, Attorney at Law

Finding the right attorney is a daunting task, right up there with the prospect of divorce itself. There are ‘one stop shop’ attorneys who practice many areas of law. There are attorneys who have built a reputation for toughness, being the best ‘arguer’ in town. There are others that believe you don’t need attorneys at all. On this, I assure you, very few couples fall into this last category.

Believe it or not, your attorney is a reflection of the type of divorce you are about to embark on. Not all divorces need to be amicable, however, beginning the process with an attorney who says that they are the toughest around says something very clear, and only you can decide if that message is the right fit for a family already going through a difficult time.

In addition, while attorneys are able to practice in more than one area of law, I have found that those who focus on one particular area simply know their field the best. Attorneys who primarily practice family law/divorce, know the judges, the other divorce attorneys and have the most up to date and relevant case knowledge.

Googling “best or toughest divorce attorney” may only help you find the attorneys with the best paid placement, not necessarily the best skills. There is no substitute for word of mouth when it comes to hiring an attorney. Ironically, some recent divorcees may refer you to their former spouse’s attorney because they were more effective.

At your initial consultation, bring a list of questions. These are basic and easy to find online, so I am going to suggest questions you should ask yourself after your first consultation. (more…)

Smart About Money Article: Financial Infidelity: Commit to Full Disclosure

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014

Financial Infidelity: Commit to Full Disclosure

By: Smart About Money

Say ‘I Do’ to Financial Fidelity

Financial infidelity may start with a “harmless” small purchase that you don’t tell your spouse or partner about. But it quickly can snowball into a larger problem that can lead to devastating financial consequences for you and your family.

Have you ever:

  • Hidden a major purchase
  • Kept a secret checking account/credit card
  • Lied about money earned
  • Lied about outstanding debts
  • Hidden a bill or receipt
  • Hidden cash
  • “Forgotten” to tell your spouse about extracurricular spending (sporting bets/day-trading/online shopping)

 

A NEFE survey found that one in three Americans who have combined their finances admitted to financial infidelity in their relationships. Many others admitted to lying to their spouses about money, and another one-third of these adults said they’d been deceived.

Of the couples whom experienced financial infidelity:

  • 67 percent said the deception led to an argument
  • 42 percent said it caused a loss of trust in the relationship
  • 11 percent said it led to separation
  • 16 percent said the money cheating led to a divorce

 

(more…)

Law Office of Steven B. Chroman P.C. Santa Clarita Divorce Article: Am I Ready for Divorce?

Monday, September 22nd, 2014

Am I Ready for Divorce?

By Steven B. Chroman, Attorney at Law

Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, a pioneer in the hospice movement, first described the stages of recovering from a major trauma such as death or divorce:

  • Denial: “This is not happening to me. It’s all a misunderstanding. It’s just a midlife crisis. We can work it out.”
  • Anger and resentment: “How can he [she] do this to me? What did I ever do to deserve this? This is not fair!”
  • Bargaining: “If you’ll stay, I’ll change” or “If I agree to do it [money, childrearing, sex, whatever] your way, can we get back together?”
  • Depression: “This is really happening, I can’t do anything about it, and I don’t think I can bear it.”
  • Acceptance: “Okay, this is how it is, and I’d rather accept it and move on than wallow in the past.”

Understanding these stages can be very helpful when it comes to talking about divorce and decision making. It’s important to know that when you are in the early stages of this recovery process, it can be challenging to think clearly or to make decisions at all, much less to make them well. All of a sudden, non-emotional questions arise- for instance; are my bank accounts under both of our names- how about the title to our home and cars? Have I looked over our will, health and life insurance policies? Do I have accessible cash? Do I have a place to stay if I need to leave? If the answer to any of these questions is “no,” don’t panic. Remember, you are still in the decision making and recovery phase.

However, when the time comes, these are issues you will need to be aware of. Like anything else in life, divorce is a process, it takes time and knowledge. When the time comes, you can be sure you will be more confident with what you took the time to know. Make sure to have a family law attorney knowledgeable to advise you and work with you to avoid the late panic that sometimes occurs.

For more information or a free consultation please call the Law Offices of Steven B. Chroman, P.C. at 661-255-1800 or visit our website at www.chromanlaw.comAuthor of the #1 Best Selling Divorce Workbook, visit www.chromanlaw.com.

 

Everyone should get a PreNup or a PostNup – YES THAT MEANS YOU TOO! By: Law Office of Steven B. Chroman P.C. Santa Clarita Divorce

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

A prenuptial agreement not only covers current assets, but also gives people control over their future wealth, including the possibility of owning a successful business or acquiring property. (Anything relating to the well-being of children, child support payments or child custody is not included in a prenuptial agreement.)

You should consider getting a prenup if: you own a business or real estate; you are expecting a future inheritance; you earn more or your net worth is more than that of your partner; you have children from previous relationships; you have elderly parents that rely on your financial support; you or your partner has debt; or you want to leave your assets to others aside from your partner.

But that’s not all. These days, couples are also signing prenups in order to fairly divide their debt.  Student loans, third party debt, medical bills and large credit card debts are becoming the new grounds for prenuptial agreements. But this doesn’t only apply to young newlyweds entering marriage. Older couples have debt too, and that includes mortgages, unpaid medical bills, home equity lines of credit or even 401K loans.

While newlyweds may be on cloud nine with wedding planning and honeymoon prospects, the idea of a prenup can seem like the ultimate romance killer. But just because divorce isn’t foreseeable doesn’t mean a couple shouldn’t be aware of their individual and combined assets, cash flow and net worth.

The discussion about assets and whether to enter a prenuptial agreement is one of the healthiest conversations a couple can have. It may even help prevent divorce by helping to sort out any foreseeable economic hurdles.

If you do forego signing a prenup and find yourself in divorce court, prepare for a long legal battle. Divorce is the real romance killer!

Still not convinced? Consider adding a “sunset provision” to the agreement.  Such a clause can be drafted into the prenup, stating that the agreement will no longer be valid after a certain number of years, or after a first child has been born. For some couples, such a provision may quell any anxiety that a trip to divorce court is a foregone conclusion.

If you’re worried that you missed your opportunity, take heart — It’s never too late to sign a postnup. Such an agreement can be made from the day after you are married until about 40 years after you tied the knot.

For more information on Pre and Post Nuptials and all aspects of Family Law and Mediation, call the Law Office of Steven B. Chroman, P.C. for your free consultation at 661-255-1800.