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Nashua Legal Issues Blog

Holidays, bankruptcies and debts

The winter holidays are an important time for many families. Some place a big emphasis on being together during these days. Others want to buy extravagant gifts for their friends and loved ones. One thing that some people do is make their holiday purchases on credit. This can lead to considerable debt and financial challenges throughout the year.

If you have already charged some gifts this season or know that you are going to have to, think carefully about your repayment plan. People who do decide that they are going to file for bankruptcy will need to start planning for next year's holiday season.

Tips to help you co-parent with success

Co-parenting can be both stressful and challenging, especially if you and your ex aren't seeing eye to eye on how you should raise your children.

While disagreements are likely to happen, there are steps you can take to co-parent with a higher level of success:

  • Don't make it all about you: The key to co-parenting success is putting your children's wants and needs above your own. If you can get your ex to do the same, you're in a position to achieve your goals.
  • Keep a flexible schedule: You have a parenting and visitation agreement to guide your schedule, but life can get in the way. And when it does, it's your flexibility that will help keep things on track.
  • Stay out of the way: When your children are with your ex, keep your distance. Don't call them constantly, send text messages or arrive early to pick them up. When you respect your ex's time, they'll hopefully do the same.
  • Communicate efficiently with your ex: Do your best to find a method of communication that works for both of you. For some, face-to-face communication is best. For others, email or text messaging makes life easier.
  • Choose your battles wisely: If you want to argue with your ex, you won't have to search far to find something that aggravates you. It's okay to stand your ground, but choose your battles wisely. There are times when it's best to keep quiet and walk away.

Guiding you through difficult child custody matters

A parent likes to assert that they know best for their child. While this is commonly the case, this may not easily be conveyed or attained when divorcing parents have differing views during a custody battle. Parents in New Hampshire and elsewhere may find this process to be especially challenging when their goals are drastically different. Whether one parent is being spiteful or actions are taken for the safety and wellbeing of the child, it is important that one understands what rights they have and what steps they should take.

At the Law Office of Paul Petrillo, our attorneys understand that joint custody is commonplace in society today. Nonetheless, child custody is still a unique situation that can vary greatly, depending on the distinct circumstances surrounding the family law matter. While each parent may still interact with the child and have a relationship, our law firm notes that some situations call for one parent to seek primary placement of a child.

Credit card debt negotiation: You have options

No matter how much credit card debt you have, your issuer expects that you'll eventually pay it off. However, there may come a point when you realize that you don't have the financial means for doing so.

There is no guarantee of success, but you can attempt to negotiate credit card debt with your issuer. Here are some of the options to consider:

  • Modification: Your issuer can modify your account in many ways, such as by removing late fees, lowering your interest rate or reducing your monthly minimum payment.
  • Lump sum settlement: With this option, you offer your issuer a lump sum of money in exchange for writing off the rest of your debt. For this to work, it's essential to make a reasonable offer.
  • Hardship plan: This comes into play if you can prove to your issuer that a financial hardship is making it difficult to stay current. For example, unemployment or a serious illness may qualify you for a hardship plan.
  • Debt consolidation: For example, if you have more than one credit card with a balance, you can use a balance transfer credit card to consolidate all your debt. This may be something your current issuer can assist you with.

There is more than one type of loan modification

Maybe you're behind on your mortgage payments. Or maybe you've missed your last few car payments. If you're facing trouble with any type of loan, it's critical to be open and honest with your lender.

With so many types of loan modifications to consider, there's a good chance you'll find something that suits your situation and allows you to get back on track. Here are some options to discuss with your lender:

  • Forbearance: This happens if your lender agrees to reduce or suspend payments for the time being, such as until a financial hardship, like unemployment or a serious illness, comes to an end.
  • Loan extension: This allows you to tack on missed payments to the end of your loan and/or lower your payment through the implementation of a longer term.
  • Reduced interest rate: If a high interest rate is making it difficult to pay your loan, your lender may reduce it temporarily or permanently.
  • Repayment plan: Rather than foreclose on your home or repossess your vehicle (or other collateral), you work with your lender on a repayment plan that allows you to catch up.

Why text messages and emails are the way to talk to your ex

The strong, even overwhelming emotions that you experience in a divorce can push you to say things that you would otherwise never verbalize, and the same is probably true for your spouse. Frustration over the situation and a desire to feel validated and heard can lead people to say things to their ex that they later come to regret.

While it may be true that you no longer have to worry about preserving your relationship with your ex, you may still need to spend quite a bit of time with them in the future. Especially if you share children, you need to prepare for the possibility of an ongoing relationship long after you divorce. You don't want something you say in the heat of the moment to impact your ability to co-parent.

Working out a holiday schedule in a custody plan

When parents in New Hampshire and elsewhere part ways, they are only ending their romantic relationship. They will likely have to maintain a workable parental relationship for the children, which may not be an easy task. Once a custody arrangement is set in place, this may seem like a routine. However, when issues arise, especially when it comes to who gets the children during the holidays, it may be challenging to work through these issues.

In order to avoid the battle of who gets the children during which holiday each year, it is best to negotiate this when developing the initial custody plan. This means making a list of al the holidays that matter to each parent, then indicating when, if at all, each parent will have the children on each holiday.

How to create a post-divorce budget you can follow

As you go through divorce, you realize that your financial situation is taking many twists and turns. For example, you'll no longer have two salaries to rely on, so it's critical to adjust your spending.

Here are five tips you can follow to create a post-divorce budget:

  • List your future income and expenses: Forget about how much your family was earning and spending in the past. Post-divorce, it's all about your income and expenses.
  • Track your spending: It's a must to understand exactly where your money is going, as this allows you to cut back in the appropriate ways.
  • Put pen to paper: A budget in your head isn't a budget at all. Use pen and paper or a spreadsheet on your computer to create a budget and track your income and expenses. This is the best way to organize your budget, which helps prevent mistakes.
  • Review it once a month: Don't assume that the first budget you create post-divorce is the one you'll follow forever. Review it regularly -- at least once a month -- to determine if changes are necessary.
  • Don't forget to save: Don't focus so much time on your income and expenses that you overlook the importance of saving. Get into the habit of paying yourself first.

When will child support end?

No matter which side of the child support order you're on -- getting payments from your ex or making those payments -- you probably want to know how long the support will last. When is it going to end? When can you count on moving forward?

There are a few different reasons that child support can stop. They are as follows:

  • The child turns 18 and becomes a legal adult.
  • The child finishes high school and goes to college.
  • The child passes away.
  • The child gets married.

Should you consider a short sale?

A short sale is when you sell your home for less than what you owe on your mortgage. While it may sound like the answer to your problems — and it may be — your lender must agree to the process before you can move forward. If they do, all proceeds from the sale go toward paying off the balance, with the rest dismissed.

A short sale is one of the top alternatives to foreclosure and it typically makes sense if:

  • You are not able to modify or refinance your mortgage
  • You are dealing with a financial hardship that's expected to last into the future
  • You owe more money than what your home is worth
  • You are unable to afford to continue living in the home

Start Your Case Today

Whether you have a family law issue, an estate planning question or are considering bankruptcy, I can help you find a sustainable solution that provides relief and hope. Schedule your consultation at my Nashua, New Hampshire office today by calling 603-635-4149 or by sending us an email.

We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.

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