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Tulsa Family Law Blog

What to know before buying a new home during a divorce

Splitting up is difficult for most people. The thought of remaining in your shared home may be too painful to bear. Or maybe you are simply ready for a completely fresh start. Before you contact a realtor about buying a new home, here is what you need to consider.

Filing a child support modification request

Divorced parents in Oklahoma who are owed child support payments should be aware of potential limitations on when and why they can request modifications. For example, if the non-custodial parent has a significant increase in income, this may be a reason to request a modification. However, some states place limits on how often a parent can request a modification. In some states, a parent can only request a modification every 24 months.

The courts will also examine the reason for the modification. Generally speaking, the courts want to see that either the non-custodial parent's income has increased or the child's financial needs have increased. They will be much more willing to grant a modification request if a child has unexpected medical expenses or educational expenses.

Avoiding real estate mistakes when divorcing

Oklahoma couples who are in the process of getting divorced should remember not to make mistakes when it comes to keeping or selling their homes. Many couples put off selling their houses and end up facing legal headaches as a result.

Some couples choose not to sell their home because one of the spouses is attached to it, or it would upset the children. In these cases, many couples choose to have one spouse stay in the home. While this is a viable option for couples who would rather not sell, there are some drawbacks. For example, if the spouse who moved out stays on the deed, he or she could be held financially responsible if the other person can no longer afford the mortgage payment. There may also be issues if one spouse decides to sell the home, and the other person disagrees. For these reasons, some couples choose to sell their house as soon as the divorce is finalized, ensuring each spouse gets his or her fair share.

Reducing divorce risk with pre-marriage financial planning

It's no secret that financial issues can lead to the end of a marriage for Oklahoma couples. One survey found that nearly 60 percent of respondents say financial problems "somewhat" contributed to the end of their marriage, and 20 percent cited money-related matters as a "big" reason for their divorce. This is why an online dating coach urges couples not to walk down the aisle without discussing spending, saving and other financial issues.

Couples looking to avoid the type of financial-related stress that could contribute to a divorce may benefit from a pre-wedding meeting with a certified financial planner or financial therapist. While some people see prenuptial agreements as a "divorce contract," such documents could be effectively used to clarify decisions about how assets obtained before and during a marriage will be handled.

The value of being a good parent after divorce

The typical marriage has about a 50/50 chance of ending in divorce. When a marriage ends, it can have an impact on both children and parents alike. Therefore, it is important that Oklahoma parents are able to get past any issues that they have with their former partners and focus on the needs of their children. Generally speaking, children will model the behaviors that are passed down from their parents.

This can have a profound impact on how they function in relationships when they become adults. If a parent is able to compromise and solve problems with a former spouse, the children will learn how to handle their own problems effectively. In many cases, kids can adjust faster to a divorce if their parents are able to work together after a marriage ends. Someone who has been divorced can be an effective parent even if they don't get along with their ex.

Handling Your Retirement During Divorce

You’ve worked hard for your career. You rely on your paycheck to pay your bills. A portion of your paycheck also contributes to your retirement fund. When the time comes, you will rely on your retirement plans to pay your bills.  Now that you and your spouse have decided to get a divorce, you worry about your financial stability and financial future.

As you divorce, you will need to divide your property and assets. It will be important for you to understand how your retirements fit in.

Exploring the many reasons couples may opt for a prenup

Some couples preparing to tie the knot in Oklahoma are still under the assumption that a prenuptial agreement is only something for celebrities and wealthy individuals. In reality, prenups are simply an agreement between two parties stating how assets will be divided if a divorce occurs. Without such an agreement, property and asset division post-divorce is governed by the state. Some states require a 50/50 split, while others go by equitable distribution - division based on what each individual earned or acquired during the marriage.

Other than wealth protection, there are some equally valid reasons why couples may seek the assistance of a divorce law firm to put together a prenup before exchanging "I dos." With student loans, for example, a prenup can allow for some type of compensation if the other spouse helped the loan holder pay off their debt. With cherished pets, a prenup can specify who would own Fido or Fluffy in the event of a divorce.

Cohabitation may increase odds of divorce

Cohabitation, which is common across Oklahoma and the United States, is generally considered to be a positive living arrangement by couples who are not ready to marry. However, a study produced in the Journal of Family and Marriage suggests that cohabitation may lead to higher divorce rates. The study looked at data gathered from women up to the age of 44 and analyzed divorce rates from 1970 to 2015 for first-time marriages.

Using statistics taken from the National Surveys of Family Growth, the study concluded that marriages after cohabitation had average or above-average rates of survival within the first year, but for each subsequent year of marriage after cohabitation, divorce was more likely to occur. Researchers reasoned that this was due to an increase in difficulty when navigating day-to-day problems faced by most marriages once a legal commitment had been made.

Economic prosperity could boost risk of divorce

According to a survey conducted by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, attorneys are likely to have fewer clients seeking a divorce when the economy isn't doing so well. However, when the economy strengthens, some couples in Oklahoma may be more likely to have marital troubles lead to divorce. This also appears to be true with marriages where there is a noticeable discrepancy with earnings or credit health. About 35 percent of 2,000 adults surveyed by a leading bank holding company cited money matters as the main problem with their spouse.

Not surprisingly, couples who align equally financially are less likely to end a marriage. On the other hand, the Federal Reserve Board notes that couples significantly mismatched with each other's credit scores are more likely to seek the assistance of a divorce law firm within the first five years of marriage. Wealthy couples aren't immune to divorce risks either; some well-off spouses have high monthly expenses and little or no retirement savings, which sometimes contributes to marital tension.

How good of a place is Tulsa for families?

What challenges and opportunities arise for parents when it comes to raising a family is affected by a wide range of things. This includes where their family lives. Communities vary in how family-friendly they are.

How family-friendly is Tulsa? Not as much as one might hope, a recent report suggests.

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