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Santa Rosa California Legal Blog

Bankruptcy: How financial strain could affect a person's health

It is no secret that going through extended periods of debt can be a stressful and daunting process. However, individuals in California who are dealing with high levels of debt might not be aware of the impact similar issues could have on their health. Those who wish to reduce the chances that monetary struggles will affect their well-being could benefit from seeking guidance on the available options for debt relief, such as bankruptcy.

Studies indicate that prolonged issues with debt can affect a person's health in various ways. Individuals who struggle under the weight of financial obligations may be at risk of developing mental health concerns such as depression and anxiety. Studies also indicate that issues with debt can lead to bouts with anger and feelings of failure and that the type of debt a person carries could also influence the potential health risks involved.

Gaining awareness of marital debts prior to divorce

When facing the end of a marriage, many individuals in California may focus a significant portion of their attention toward gaining awareness of marital assets and finances. While understanding the value of the marital estate can be helpful, it might not always be the only aspect to address. Since marital debts could also have a substantial influence on the outcome of a divorce, gaining an understanding of outstanding financial obligations prior to negotiations could prove vital.

Over the course of a marriage, it might not be uncommon for couples to apply for joint credit card accounts or automobile loans. During a divorce, any remaining balances on these accounts will be subject to the process of property division. The same may be true for medical and mortgage debts and these can be a major concern for those facing the end of a marriage.

Becoming financially aware prior to divorce proceedings

There may be a multitude of couples in California and elsewhere who might entrust many or most of the financial planning decisions to one party. While this might not seem to be an issue at the time, should the couple decide to divorce, a similar decision could leave the other party with less of an understanding of marital finances. Since the outcome of the process will impact the lives of everyone involved, finding ways to become financially aware might prove imperative to preparing for negotiations.

In the pursuit of gaining awareness of marital finances, experts suggest there are certain documents a person might consider obtaining. For instance, tax returns may hold an abundance of information that could help a person gain a much better understanding of current financial standings. Unfortunately, experts indicate that many individuals sign their names on tax returns without taking steps to fully understand the information within.

DUI charges: Some prescription medications may cause impairment

Being accused of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol can be a scary and stressful experience. However, when it comes to allegations of impaired driving, the presence of alcohol might not always be a contributing factor. There are a variety of medications that can affect one's ability to drive and operating a vehicle while under the effects of a prescription medication could also leave a person in California facing DUI charges.

During a recent interview, a California Highway Patrol officer spoke about an incident in which he was called out to investigate a single-vehicle collision. According to the officer, the accident occurred after the driver of the car stopped to pick up a prescription. He claims the woman immediately ingested the medication and after experiencing its effects, lost control of her vehicle and crashed into a nearby ditch.

Don't want to keep your house? Here are some options

A divorce can make you take a cold, hard look at your finances. For many people, the reality is that keeping their home in Santa Rosa is out of the question. If you do keep it, you'll be paying more on a mortgage and have to take care of utilities. In the past, these bills might have been shared, so "going it alone" might not be feasible.

If that's the case, there are a few things you and your spouse can do to make the most out of the property. If you're not eager to sell it outright, for example, then you might want to consider renting the home as a rental property.

Financial concerns of pursuing ownership of the home in divorce

Over the course of a marriage, many couples in California and across the nation may choose to pursue their goals of owning a home. Upon making the decision to divorce, couples may face the difficult decision of how to handle the family home. Prior to deciding on a path, a person may find it beneficial to ask certain questions about the potential financial ramifications of pursuing ownership of the home, as these could influence his or her decisions substantially.

According to experts, one of the first questions to consider when making a decision on how to handle the family home pertains to how much value is in the home. Taking measures to obtain the true value of the home could prove vital to making an informed choice on how best to proceed. Another aspect to consider pertains to the potential cost of seeking ownership of the home, as the other party will likely be entitled to half of the home's equity if it is deemed community property.

Reducing conflict when co-parenting after a divorce

Upon deciding to end a marriage, individuals in California and elsewhere may be eager to finalize the process and open a new chapter in life. However, this might not always be an option in every scenario, especially for parents. When kids are involved, parents may benefit from seeking out ways to reduce the level of conflict involved with life after divorce and focus on forming a co-parenting plan that meets the needs of the children.

When it comes to co-parenting, the presence of any level of conflict could be harmful to kids. Parents who wish to safeguard their children against unnecessary harm could benefit from placing the needs of their kids ahead of their own. Prior to talking about major decisions regarding the well-being of the children, parents may also benefit from taking a moment to carefully consider how to approach the conversation, as entering the conversation in a calm and collected manner could head more effective results.

Bankruptcy: Financial issues may only grow with time

Dealing with the trials of financial strain can be intimidating and the impact debt can have on a person's life may only continue to grow as time passes. While individuals in California who struggle under the weight of debt may find it helpful to explore the possible benefits provided through outlets of relief such as bankruptcy, some may be hesitant to initiate the process. Although choosing a path for relief can be stressful, waiting to seek relief could cause monetary concerns to develop into deeper issues.

One of the most common issues of dealing with debt pertains to the interest rates associated with various forms of credit. The longer a person carries a balance on a loan or credit account, the higher the amount he or she will pay in interest. With accounts that carry high rates, such as credit cards, those who are only able to make the minimum payment each month may only continue to see their balances rise.

Social media can expose you: Use it wisely

When you're going through a divorce, it's a necessity to stay off social media. You don't want to give your spouse the upper hand in court. Going on social media gives the public information about you. That might include photos from a drunken night out or pictures of your brand-new car.

It's best to stay off social media, because any hint of hiding assets or spending beyond the means you've claimed to have can hurt your divorce case. Instead, you should lock your accounts, deactivate them temporarily, if possible, and make sure they're set to private. You don't want anyone looking at your social media accounts until your divorce is resolved.

Better understanding what to expect during a divorce

Many couples in California and elsewhere may enter marriage with the intention of remaining together throughout life. As such, they may find it difficult to know what to expect should they eventually decide to part ways. Divorce can be an emotional and complex process and understanding the steps involved with dissolving a marriage could prove essential to making informed decisions about the future.

Once a person decides that divorce is the best path, the next step to take is the file the proper paperwork. Once the process is initiated, certain steps may become necessary, such as the implementation of temporary orders. These orders can cover a range of potential concerns, such as temporary parenting plans and visitation schedules, or even temporary arrangements to provide financial support for the kids or a spouse.

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