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Don't Make A Move
Without Knowing Your Options

Newark Family And Estate Law Blog

For many people, divorce happens slowly, a process that takes time. The relationship slowly erodes until the couple realizes it is just not working anymore.

For others, though, a specific life event derails their marriage and leads to divorce. This may be simply because of the stress that event puts on the marriage. The divorce may not happen immediately, but people can look back and pinpoint the one event that started them down this path.

Below are five such events:

  1. Losing a job. This puts a lot of financial strain on the family, especially if only one person worked.
  2. Getting sick. Chronic illnesses can be very difficult to battle through, especially when one spouse essentially becomes the other’s caretaker.
  3. Living in different locations. This issue is often cited by professional mountaineers, for instance, since they have to spend months on expeditions. It may feel exciting and exotic at first, but it can wear on the marriage when the couple just doesn’t get time together.
  4. Having children. You never want to tell your children that they are the reason for your divorce, but the reality is that childbirth can change your relationship and your family dynamics considerably.
  5. Watching the kids move out. In contrast to the above, some couples feel like they have a closer bond as a family with kids in the house. When they become empty-nesters, they feel like they just do not have that much in common anymore.

These are just five examples. They by no means represent all of the reasons that a marriage may end, but they do help you see that divorce can happen to anyone. If you’re contemplating a divorce, make sure that you know your legal rights.

Estate planning essentially involves determining how to pass your estate on to your children when you die. However, who says you have to wait until then to give them the assets you have set aside for them? Should you consider doing this while you are still alive?

Obviously, this does not work for everything. You probably cannot give loved ones the family home if you’re still living in it. Further, your life insurance policy does not pay out to them until you pass away.

However, for smaller items, you can start the distribution process at any time. It can even help to eliminate disputes after the fact. Remember, estate disputes can seriously damage your children’s relationships with one another. Anything you can do to prevent that is helpful.

For instance, perhaps you have an antique wooden boat. You have two children. One of them expects to sell the boat, which is very valuable, and split the money with their sibling. The other child has memories of riding in that boat with you as a kid, and they expect it to stay in the family.

Leaving it to both of them in the will can cause a long dispute that leaves one person feeling angry and betrayed. Selling the boat and giving them the money or simply passing the boat on to the child who wants it before you die gives you a chance to talk to them and explain your decision. They won’t fight over it or both claim it later.

As you do your estate planning, make sure you consider all of your options and how they will impact your family in the future.