Divorce and Insurance: What You Need to Know

Getting a divorce can be a very emotional experience, but you have to stay focused on so many details. From collecting documentation to filing motions, it’s a challenge to keep on top of everything. Have you thought about the changes in insurance coverage that can result from a divorce?  Divorce and insurance issues play an important role in the overall process. You want sufficient coverage that satisfies any legal requirements. As you begin checking different policies, keep these insurance types in mind.

Divorce and Insurance:  Five Types of Insurance To Change

1. Health Insurance
Taking care of health insurance is very important, so we cover the topic in depth with our post detailing how divorce can affect your health insurance. There are four other types of insurance that need to be addressed during the divorce process. By dealing with them now, you can head off problems that might arise before your final divorce settlement.

2. Disability Insurance
This type of insurance pays a portion of your income when you’re injured or sick and unable to work. A supporting spouse often chooses this type of coverage to make sure financial obligations can be met if they become incapacitated.  If you don’t think you need disability insurance, consider Social Security Administration statistics.

3. Life Insurance
In divorce cases, the supporting spouse can be required to carry life insurance. The intent is to cover child support or alimony in the event of the supporting spouse’s death. Often, this can be taken care of with term insurance coverage.  If you already have a life policy, it’s wise to adjust it so that it reflects the changes in your marital status. Some states do not allow changes in a life insurance policy until after the divorce settlement has been reached.  Please check with a divorce attorney to know the laws in your state.

4. Homeowners Insurance
Contact your homeowners insurance company to discuss updating your policy. If one spouse moves out, your agent will want to know. Renters insurance is highly advisable if you move into an apartment. This type of insurance covers personal property and provides liability coverage in case of damages or injuries to another party.

5. Car Insurance
Once car ownership is settled, you each need separate policies, but be prepared to shop around. Often, a couple loses discounts that come with owning multiple vehicles or homeowners insurance with auto insurance, so you may have to pay a little more than expected. If you have teenage drivers in the family, determine who will carry them on the new car insurance policies.

Our Experience at Your Service

Your insurance companies are your best resources for detailed information regarding policy changes. Keep your insurance agents up to date, and always consult with your divorce attorney too. If you’d like more information about divorce and insurance policies, feel free to contact us here at Cheshire Family Law.

When you need a trusted Florida divorce lawyer in West Palm Beach, call our offices at 561-655-8844, or contact us online. We’re always at your service with more than 25 years of experience. Let us resolve your legal issues with effective, compassionate solutions.

Determining if You Have to Sell Your House During a Divorce

sell your house during a divorce

Since divorce elicits a range of emotions, it is a devastating experience, especially when asset distribution becomes necessary.  In an effort to achieve equitable distribution, many times you must sell your house during a divorce.

However, it may be possible for the husband or wife to hold onto the house. Here are common divorce property division questions that will help determine whether or not the home must be sold when two spouses split.

Considerations for Couples Whether to Sell Your House During a Divorce

When a couple divorces, there are certain decisions that must be made regarding the family home. There are a few considerations that will affect the situation.

  • Housing Options. Before selling or keeping the home, it is important for both spouses to compare the cost of house ownership and similar rental costs. It is wise to consider how moving will affect children’s school situations as well.
  • Actual Profits. It is essential for a couple to speak with a real estate expert and uncover the true worth of the marital home; as well as to learn the amount of money that will be left over after the mortgage and other bills are paid. There may be less profit than expected.
  • Affordability. Divorce is a time when finances will need to be evaluated. One party may not be able to make home payments alone or qualify for a refinance. Expensive taxes, utility bills, and maintenance costs are key factors as well. If neither party can afford the home, it must be sold.
  • Benefits of Breaking Clean. Although a family home contains countless memories, there are certain benefits that come from making a clean break. For instance, both parties can begin fresh with new houses that fit individual needs. Any profits can be used to accomplish future financial goals. Also, there will never be thoughts of exes sharing the old home with new loves.

Dealing With a Mortgage

When a marital home holds an expensive mortgage, it is important to discuss whether a spouse will remain or move on. If one partner can afford the home, it is possible to arrange a buyout. This person must refinance the loan in his or her name.  Whatever you do, do not leave both names on the home regardless of any written agreement.

Divorce Sale of House

If neither party can afford the house, then you must sell your house during a divorce.  Since a quick house sale is best, it is essential to list as fast as possible. No matter how long the home remains on the market, it is vital to keep making the loan payments so that good credit is maintained.

If a couple cannot afford the payments, there are alternatives. For instance, many couples exercise a short sale divorce option. A short sale is an agreement with a lending institution that agrees to the sale of the property for less than the mortgage amount. In this circumstance, neither spouse leaves with any profit. A short sale is much better for a person’s credit than foreclosure or bankruptcy.

If you are going through a divorce and have come to equitable distribution of assets, it is not always necessary to sell your home. However, in certain cases, it may be best for both parties. To discuss all the options, it is wise to consult with a divorce attorney at Cheshire Family Law. Attorney Cheshire will help you consider all the possibilities so that you make the right decision for your future.  Call Eric C. Cheshire today at 561-655-8844 to schedule a no-obligation consultation.

Filing for an Out of State Divorce – FAQs

The road to divorce is sometimes a long process; if changes in your life force you to move to a new state before your divorce is finalized, the process can take even longer. You may run into a few problems if you or your spouse file for an out of state divorce.

out of state divorce

There are several common questions you might need to consider before you move forward with your out of state divorce.

Do I Need to Establish Residency Before Getting an out of state divorce?

In most of the United States, filing for an out of state divorce is not possible; most states require you to establish residency before you can seek a divorce. The only states that do not require residency are Washington, South Dakota and Alaska. Each state has its own rules for residency, but living in the state for at least six months is a common standard. Some states, such as Idaho, only require six weeks to establish residency.

What If My Spouse Moves to Another State?

Your spouse can begin filing for divorce in a different state after he or she has established residency there. However, depending on the laws of that state, the courts may not have legal authority over other matters related to your divorce, including child custody. To make the process easier on yourself, it’s best to start the divorce proceedings before your spouse moves.

What are the Differences between a Residence and a Domicile?

Some states have laws requiring a spouse to have a true domicile in that state. This generally refers to a fixed address that the individual intends to live in for some time. A residence, on the other hand, is not always your primary home. For example, an individual may own a single-family home in Indiana as a domicile while owning two condos in other states; each condo would be considered a residence. An individual can have multiple residences, but only one residence can be considered a domicile.

What Happens if We Both File for Divorce in Two Different States?

If both you and your spouse have established residency in two different states, the state where the first filing occurred becomes the only state that can rule on that divorce. Some steps in the divorce process may require you to appear in court in person, so it’s wise to file first in your state.

How Does Residency Affect Child Custody and Child Support?

If you and your spouse have children, the home state of the children will determine which court has jurisdiction. The judge will consider a number of factors related to the current location of both spouses when deciding custody and visitation rights. For example, children who are enrolled in school in their home state will likely continue to live in that state.

What Can I Do if I Don’t Know Where My Spouse Is?

If you are uncertain of your spouse’s location, you can still get a divorce. If you can prove to the court that you attempted to locate your spouse, the divorce case can still proceed.

If any of these situations apply to you, contact Attorney Cheshire for a consultation. Just fill out the form on the website or call him at (561) 655-8844.

Top 3 Tips If You’re Planning a Divorce

planning a divorcePlanning a divorce is never an easy decision. Even though you probably have received lots of advice from friends who have “been there, done that”, here’s some advice from a divorce attorney. Eric C. Cheshire, Esquire has been in business since 1988 and has litigated his share of divorces (both men and women). This list is put together for you to help you prepare for a major life transition.

1. Prepare Yourself Emotionally

Preparing for a divorce before telling your spouse that you want one may feel like deceit, but your partner and children will be better off the more carefully you think through your plan. Asking for divorce advice from others can help, but be very careful of who you confide in so that your spouse doesn’t find out, and don’t let anyone tell you what to do or how to feel.

2. Prepare Your Children

Even the most amicable divorces leave lasting impact on children. Consider researching local child therapists to help your children cope. Therapy may also help you be a better parent. No matter how frustrated you become with your ex, they will forever be a part of your children’s life, so you must never let your anger show in front of them. You should approach every conflict by putting the children’s interests first. If you fear for their safety, document any incidences of abuse, keep your children somewhere safe and alert your local child protective services.

Regardless of who takes the kids, both parents’ need clothes and toys so the children feel at home no matter where they are staying.

3. Prepare Your Finances

Planning a divorces can be costly, so do your research and figure out how much money you need to handle the logistics such as legal fees and possibly moving to a new place. Don’t count on alimony and child support to pay for all of your expenses. On the other hand, don’t listen to your spouse if they threaten to take everything. Don’t hesitate to take them to court if you feel that you’re being treated unfairly. Control your debt, secure some credit and stay on top of your bills; all these things will help if you ever have to go before a judge.

Before announcing your divorce to your spouse:

  • Make personal copies of all important financial documents with your name on them such as bank statements and tax returns.
  • Make a budget for living on your own. If your income isn’t enough, look for a new job or consider going back to school.
  • Avoid making impulsive decisions, such as moving to a new city. You’ll want to maintain some sense of normalcy while you go through the tough transition.

Here is a full checklist for getting a divorce.

Hopefully, these divorce tips can help you during this difficult time, but you should also seek advice from a West Palm Beach Divorce Attorney. Cheshire Family Law values the well-being of both parties and especially your children. Call us for unbiased guidance through the process of preparing for a divorce.

How to Discuss Divorce with Your Spouse and Children

The divorce process is never an easy one, and it’s even harder to discuss divorce with your spouse when you don’t know where he or she stands on the issue. Rarely do marriages end because two people have mutually decided to divorce.

In most cases, one person comes to the decision first and usually spends months thinking about it and dealing with the emotions.

Discuss Divorce With Your Spouse

If you’ve decided to end your marriage and want to know how to discuss divorce with your spouse, we’ve put together these tips to discuss divorce with your spouse.  The best advice we can give is to approach the subject calmly and without blame.

Tips to Discuss Divorce With Your Spouse

1. Spend a lot of time thinking before taking action.
A lot can happen before you bring up the topic of divorce to your spouse. Maybe a change in the relationship heals old wounds, or perhaps you just need some time to work it all out before taking action. Whatever you do, spend some time with yourself and answer your own inner questions before continuing with your decision. If you need additional help in figuring out what questions to ask yourself, check out our blog post Preparing for Divorce – 7 Questions to Ask Yourself.

2. Choose the right time and manner.
Don’t discuss divorce with your spouse during a stressful time. Wait for the right time when your spouse isn’t tired, stressed or distracted with other things. You’ll want your spouse’s full attention and awareness to have a conversation about your decision.

3. Use a nonconfrontational approach.
Use a comforting tone when talking about a divorce with your spouse. Using an angry or condescending tone will only make your spouse shut down or argue back. Don’t blame your spouse for the problem or lose control of your anger when discussing the marriage. You’ll get more from your spouse if you act in a nonthreatening way.

4. Place the problem on both of you.
Recognize that you both have a problem and need counseling. Act like you’re a team that has to work through the situation together. Refrain from telling your spouse to get counseling and help. Instead, ask your spouse what you both can do to help make the marriage better. If there’s no solution, you can approach the divorce together.

5. Wait and see what happens.
Once you’ve brought up the subject, wait and see how things are going. Does your spouse treat the situation as a wake-up call or act as though nothing ever happened? If your spouse needs that extra nudge, bring up the subject in counseling, Sometimes, the topic of divorce can also lead to resolution, especially if one spouse needed the “wake up call.”

If and when you both have decided to pursue a divorce, then it’s time to discuss the matter with your family. Until there is a complete agreement between the both of you, do not discuss your plans with anyone else.

How to Discuss Divorce With Your Children

Knowing how to discuss divorce with your children can help them cope with the situation. Use the same techniques as you would with your spouse. Bring up the topic during a stress-free time, and feel free to discuss the situation in full. Let your children know that it’s not their fault, and emphasize the fact that you and your spouse still love them very much. Children don’t often deal with divorce very easily, so make their happiness your top priority to ease the burden on your family.

We sincerely hope these tips will help you reach either a resolution or an amicable divorce.   If both parties approach the subject in a non-confrontational way and without anger, there is hope to minimize stress and alienation for all involved.

There are also lots of other topics on our blog regarding preparing for a divorce.   Feel free to look through these articles which have been written with the idea of preserving the health of the family during a divorce.

If you are looking for a divorce lawyer in the West Palm Beach area, please contact Eric C. Cheshire at (561) 655-8844 or ask a question on our website.

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8 Signs of Divorce That Couples Say They Missed

Most married couples don’t just wake up one day and decide to get a divorce.

signs of divorce

A marriage ends gradually over time, sending out warning signs of divorce that most couples often miss.

It’s not until the marriage is over that they look back and can see where everything went wrong. Before your marriage ends up in a divorce, pay attention to these warning signs of divorce along the way.

8 Warning Signs of Divorce

1. There’s a disconnect.

Marriages that are on a divorce path usually start with the couple no longer spending any time together. Perhaps one partner enjoys watching TV after work while the other spends time browsing the Web. When both partners beginning vacationing separately, that’s a major sign of divorce which should not be ignored.  When it feels like a relief to spend time away from each other, the marriage is in trouble.

2. You don’t work as a team.

When both spouses work together as a team, such as running the household and supporting each other’s ambitions, the marriage goes more smoothly. If you’ve deviated from the same path and are no longer working together, it could indicate trouble in the marriage.  It’s even worse if one partner is sabotaging the other.

3. The communication has vanished.

Successful marriages start with good communication. You need personal, meaningful exchange and to talk openly about anything on your mind. One of the major signs of divorce is when the communication suffers and you only talk about bills, the weather and when it’s time to take out the garbage.  Try to find a way to discuss hobbies and similar interests.

4. There’s no compromise at all.

Not getting what you want and not having only your wants fulfilled are not reasons for divorce. Both spouses should try to fulfill each other’s needs in a give-and-take relationship. Taking the time to listen to your partner’s needs and having your own needs fulfilled can help your marriage last.

5. You place your priorities elsewhere.

You should place your spouse before anything else. Many troubled couples place their kids, careers and friends before their partners. It’s an easy mistake to fix.  After a while, spouses become roommates who raise children together and live separate lives. You can easily lose the things that are most important by putting everyone and everything else first. Instead, make “us” time.  Get a babysitter or plan excursions together. Of all the signs of divorce, this is the easiest to fix.  Simply creating awareness of your priorities will help you find a resolution.

6. You fight about little things.

Having an argument about small things can indicate a problem in the marriage. Blaming your spouse for not remembering to buy milk from the store is not something worth arguing about. If you fight about trivial things, talking with a counselor can help determine the actual root of the problem and save your marriage.  Sometimes it’s the small steps that make a big difference.

7. There’s a lack of interest.

When one spouse develops a lack of interest in the other’s life, it can make the marriage fall apart. Perhaps the spouse forgets special occasions like wedding anniversaries and birthdays, or maybe one spouse acts too busy to spend time with the other. When partners begin to drift apart, their marriage won’t last very long.

8. You dump your complaints on your spouse.

When people first get married, they often call each other at work throughout the day and express their love and fondness. After some time, they only make calls to complain about the dishwasher breaking down, the high power bills and so on. Most people don’t realize how much they complained during the marriage until after it’s over. It’s important to discuss household issues, but try to create balance in your conversation.

Don’t ask, “Should I get a divorce?” Instead, ask yourself what you can do to help your marriage last.  This list represents simple acts that can turn around a marriage in trouble.  The goal is to recognize the signs of divorce before it’s too late. However, if you keep your eyes open and look for the warning signs, you can squash the problems and save your marriage in the end.

If you are the end of your marriage and truly are seeking a divorce, we recommend these tips for preparing for divorce.  Additionally, these helpful tips for coping with the divorce process.  Divorce is quite an emotional process.  It’s also wise to hire a trusted divorce attorney who will walk you through the process and represent your interest as you close this chapter in your life.

Attorney Eric C. Cheshire is a West Palm Beach Divorce Attorney helping individuals navigate the divorce process.  Call Attorney Cheshire today at 561-655-8844 for a consultation to see how he can assist you with your case. Or fill out the Family Law Question on the right side of the page. He will reply to you personally.

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Preparing for a Divorce? 7 Questions to Ask Yourself

Getting a divorce should come as a collaborative decision in which both partners have prepared themselves emotionally.

preparing for a divorce

Preparing for a divorce takes time, giving each person a while to assess their situation and determine whether or not to continue the process.

Before hiring a divorce lawyer, ask yourself a few important questions to determine if getting a divorce is something you really want to do.

1. Why do I really want a divorce?

If you think you might be preparing for a divorce, you should realize that a divorce is not a simple breakup.  A divorce is something more serious and finite. It cannot make your partner realize how much he or she has lost after the divorce. It doesn’t make someone change for the better, and it most likely will not change your partner’s heart or mind. Divorce only ends the marriage. If your reason for getting divorced is something more than ending the marriage, then you should rethink your decision.

2. Do I still have feelings for my partner?

Sometimes, it is best to work on your relationship before opting for a divorce. Many people who want a divorce still have deep feelings for their partner, but constant arguing has created a lack of intimacy. Try and work on your relationship before ending the marriage to prevent a feeling of loss after the divorce.

3. Am I serious about a divorce or just reacting emotionally?

Heated arguments can make some people jump to the wrong conclusions. Don’t make your decision about a divorce out of anger and frustration. Making an emotionally charged decision doesn’t always work out for the best. Give yourself a few days to cool down and see if your feelings are still the same.

4. Have I done everything I can to save my marriage?

Though talking to your partner can help, it often takes a mediator to help work out your problems. Read marriage books, go see a marriage counselor and take some time to focus on the relationship. Talk to each other about what it was like when the marriage worked, when and why it went wrong and what you’re both willing to do to save it.

5. Can I handle the consequences of a divorce?

If you are ready for your finances and lifestyle to change, then you are ready for a divorce. If you cannot accept your children’s sadness and your family’s grief, then you are not ready for a divorce. You are ready for a divorce when you can approach it with no anger, resentment, frustration or hurt feelings.  Here are a few tips for Life After Divorce.

6. Have I researched, planned and prepared myself for a divorce?

Preparing for a divorce means dealing with a lot of paperwork. You will have to gather all of your account numbers, addresses, phone numbers, assets, debts, credit cards and so on. Do as much research before the divorce to prevent a longer, more drawn-out legal process.  Here are the top 8 legal documents to change after a divorce.

7. Am I ready to take control of my life?

Approach a divorce with the same maturity, understanding and respect that you would with anything in your life. The attitude you choose to have during the divorce will determine the type of divorce you have and the way you will approach your own life afterward.  The best choice is to approach the divorce process objectively.  We’ve prepared a Top 10 Checklist – Preparing for a Divorce.

Ask yourself these hard questions and answer them honestly.  Sometimes, people think they should be preparing for a divorce, but instead, they should wait and see if resolutions can be reached.  Resolve your difficulties beforehand, and make decisions that will positively affect you and your spouse.  Divorce is not the only option.

When you’re ready to consult with a divorce attorney in Florida, contact Eric C. Cheshire and let him guide you through the process.  You can also find a lot of information on our website to prepare you for a divorce.

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Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Divorce Attorney

If you’ve thought about hiring a divorce attorney, there’s a few questions you should ask before choosing the first one you meet.

hiring a divorce attorney

Though a divorce seems overwhelming, an experienced divorce attorney can reduce your stress and make sure you receive a fair settlement.

Here are a few questions to ask a divorce attorney before hiring.  These questions are designed to determine if the lawyer is the right one for you.

Questions About Background and Experience

During the first meeting, ask questions regarding the attorney’s background and experience.

  • How long have you practiced family law?
  • How many divorce cases have gone to trial?
  • How many divorce cases have been mediated?
  • Do you practice other areas of law?
  • How many clients have you helped file for divorces each year?
  • What steps do you go through to understand changes in divorce laws?

Questions About Case Management

You should always ask how the lawyer will handle your case behind the scenes. Asking these questions can help prevent misunderstandings going forward.

  • Do you have the time to devote to my divorce case?
  • What’s the best way to divide the debts and property?
  • How can I make sure I retain custody of my children?
  • How long do you think the divorce will take?
  • Will you handle my divorce on your own or with another attorney?
  • How will you communicate with me?  Phone call?  Email?

Questions About Legal Fees

You may have questions about how much a lawyer costs. Though most divorce lawyers bill by the hour, you should inquire about all fees and rates.

  • How much do you charge per hour?
  • How much would you estimate my divorce will cost?
  • Do you charge a flat fee? If so, what’s included?
  • What additional expenses do I have to cover other than your time?
  • Do you require a retainer fee? When do you expect payment?
  • What forms of payment do you accept?
  • Will I sign a contract that outlines the fee arrangement?

Questions About the Lawyer’s Style

Every divorce lawyer has a unique way of handling a divorce. By learning the lawyer’s style, you get a feel for what it would be like working with him or her.

  • What do you feel about mediation?
  • How would you talk to my spouse’s lawyer?
  • Would you handle the divorce with tenacity or subtlety?
  • Does your style help you win a majority of your cases?
  • How often do you settle your cases without a judge deciding the major issues?

After you ask these questions, you’ll know which lawyer should represent you based on the answers. Choosing a lawyer doesn’t have to increase your burden during a divorce. Just choose an attorney who fits your style, charges a fair legal fee and has the best experience to handle the case.

If you are looking for a West Palm Beach Divorce Attorney, please contact Eric C. Cheshire, Esquire either by filling out the form for an initial consultation or call him at (561) 655-8844.