Friday, June 19, 2009

When Divorce Hits Home (Part 2)

Divorce takes such a toll on families everywhere. Sometimes the filing spouse may think that the relationship will end when the divorce is final. However, that's not the case, especially if there are children involved. The final date of the divorce is just the beginning of more and more headaches, if the two parties will not communicate.

While we've explored a little about the relational aspects of divorce, let's take a look at the financial challenges of divorce.

In Tennessee, the house may be in only one name of the couple, but Tennessee law dictates that BOTH parties have claim to the property. However, when both names are on the mortgage and the deed, a quit claim deed does not suffice enough to remove the quit-claiming party from ANY mortgage responsibility. Automobiles are the same way. Even though one name may be on the deed, it's considered joint property in Tennessee.

While I am not a financial expert, I am recommending some things that divorcing couples should be aware of:

1 - When quit-claiming the house and other real property, include a deadline date (in the divorce papers) for the receiving party to have the property refinanced into his/her name solely. This is the same situation for vehicles.

2 - When dividing other property like dishes, furniture, etc., be amicable. Nothing is worth fighting over.

3 - Check details on credit card obligations and pay off everything you possibly can before the divorce is final. Carrying debt is a huge burden that only gets bigger and worse.

4 - Mediate as much as possible and do not allow an attorney to tell you that you have to go to court. Things end much better if the parties will mediate.

5 - Get everything in writing. If one spouse is taking on all of the marital debt, have in writing that the other spouse is not responsible for it. This will save time and hassles down the road when applying for personal and mortgage loans.

6 - Talk with a CPA and an attorney who can advise you of the laws in Tennessee. Several friends have told me that they are just going to do whatever their spouses wanted, but when they received the papers, they changed their minds. Do your homework before making any decisions.

Before making any rash decisions, take a good long look at yourself. Explore yourself inside and find out what problems you have brought into the marriage. It's easy to focus on the other party's flaws, but both of you have brought issues to the table.

Divorce is never a pleasant subject to discuss, but because it's so prevalent in our society, it cannot be ignored. My heart's desire is for every couple to reconcile. Nothing is worth divorcing over when forgiveness can be given.

Why not think about it ......

While divorce is unpleasant, sometimes it results in the sale of real property. Please give me a call if I can help you to get your current home sold and to help you find a new place to live.

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