Elton Jenkins Law, P.L.L.C.

Norman Law Blog

The best child custody arrangement may not mean co-parenting

People and their lives can change significantly over time. There are many milestones that Oklahoma residents and those elsewhere reach in their lives, including getting married and having children. Of course, many married parents also choose to divorce, and as a result, they need to determine what child custody arrangements will work best for their kids.

Wanting to co-parent is an admirable desire, but it is important to remember that it may not be one that suits the reality of the situation. In some cases, parents cannot get along well enough to co-parent or one parent may present issues that could make the arrangement infeasible. For instance, if one parent is incarcerated, co-parenting is not a viable option because that parent does not have the ability to care for the children as needed.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy accounts for exempt property

When struggling financially, many Oklahoma residents may feel as if they will be trapped forever. Even though assistance options, like bankruptcy, are available, many people choose to forgo such help because they believe only more negative repercussions will occur. However, Chapter 7 bankruptcy can assist many qualifying individuals get back on track.

Though Chapter 7 bankruptcy does involve liquidating assets, it does not mean that the process will result in an applicant losing all of his or her assets in order to pay off debts. In fact, there are stipulations for exempt property that help prevent that exact scenario. For instance, a person may be able to keep a vehicle, clothing, furniture, some home equity, unspent Social Security payments, tools for a trade and assets in retirement accounts.

Troubling personality traits may contribute to divorce

No one is perfect. Though many Oklahoma residents know that everyone has flaws, it is common for people to overlook those flaws when they are in love. However, over time, troubling personality traits can cause major issues within a marriage, and as a result, individuals may find themselves considering divorce.

Though a number of personality traits can seem annoying, some can cause more problems in a relationship than others. For example, people with selfish personalities often only think of themselves. As a result, the other person in the relationship may start to feel useless and that person's needs likely are not being met. While most people can be selfish from time to time, this behavior can be detrimental to a relationship if it is continuous.

Despite ACA, bankruptcy due to medical bills still prevalent

Facing financial issues is often a worry of most people. Unfortunately, even individuals who seem financially secure or believe that their debt is not out of control could suddenly face substantial money issues if medical problems arise. In fact, medical debt remains the number one cause of bankruptcy filings in the United States.

Recent reports indicate that despite the passage of the Affordable Care Act, medical expenses continue to plague individuals in Oklahoma and across the country. The ACA provides resources for more people to obtain insurance coverage and access to care, but a study reviewing bankruptcy filings found that the proportions of bankruptcies resulting from medical-related expenses did not improve. The Consumer Bankruptcy Project had previously found that 65.5 percent of personal bankruptcies from 2001 to 2007 stemmed from medical expenses, and their more recent study, which looked at the years from 2013 to 2016, showed that the percentage was 67.5 percent.

Millennials may still struggle when facing divorce

Many people often think that individuals in the millennial generation face an easier time with many aspects of life than previous generations. Certainly, technological advances have made some activities more convenient, but there are still life events that can be difficult for any Oklahoma resident of any generation to address. In particular, divorce can turn anyone's life upside down.

Though statistics indicate that fewer individuals in the millennial generation are getting divorced, it does not mean that everyone of this generation is staying happily married. In fact, younger individuals may have a number of issues to navigate that divorcees of older generations did not. In particular, having to adjust the numerous aspects of social media that once showed a happy couple can be especially painful after divorce.

Bankruptcy may help those who spent more than they have

In a perfect world, no one would have to stress over the state of their finances. Unfortunately, the world is far from perfect, and many people in Oklahoma and around the world struggle with money problems daily. Some may live paycheck to paycheck and hope to get by, and others may rely on credit cards to help bridge their financial gaps. Whatever the case may be, serious financial issues could present a need for bankruptcy.

There are many cases in which people cannot help their financial situations because of emergencies or unexpected events that have occurred. Still, when it comes to credit card use, it pays to be wise regarding how often the cards are used and how much balance remains. Carrying balances can often result in interest and other fees that can make difficult situations worse.

Why the start of a new year is a popular time for divorce

The last few months of the year can be a busy time for most families. Starting with back to school time and continuing through Thanksgiving and right up to the new year. You may be planning family get-togethers, attending work holiday parties or busy getting kids to athletic practices or activities. But once January rolls around, it seems like life slows down a little bit and you have time to look forward to the year ahead. This can typically be a prime time to do something you may have been thinking about for a long time, file for divorce

Brevity may help when breaking the news of divorce

Ending a marriage means far more than simply deciding not to be in a relationship any longer. Many people may be involved in the situation beyond just the soon-to-be former couple, especially if that couple has children. Plus, divorce can be trying even under the best of circumstances, and finding the best way to navigate one's own feelings and the feelings of others can be difficult.

Oklahoma residents who are considering divorce or who are starting the legal process have a long road ahead of them. They may want to start with telling their loved ones about the marriage coming to an end, if they feel this step is needed. Typically, a short-and-sweet approach to this news is best. Being upfront and honest may prevent any confusion about the situation.

Rebuilding credit is possible after bankruptcy

Credit is a part of financial life that most Oklahoma residents know they need to maintain. However, many people have a difficult time maintaining good credit, and when their finances fall into disarray, they may worry that taking certain steps will only make their credit scores worse. While debt relief methods like bankruptcy may cause a credit score to decline, individuals can work to increase their scores later.

When thinking about credit and financial difficulties, it may be important to remember that individuals who are struggling may already have less-than-stellar credit scores. If they have been unable to keep up with their outstanding balances, their scores have likely suffered. As a result, people in this type of predicament may only see their scores decline modestly if they file for bankruptcy.

Appearance an important aspect of child custody hearings

Going through a divorce may put many people in the position of having to go to court for the first time. In particular, parents may have to go through formal court hearings in order to resolve child custody matters. It can often be intimidating to go through such proceedings, and it is important for Oklahoma parents to present themselves properly to the court.

As part of that presentation, parents need to pay attention to how they dress. Their appearance could impact how a judge views them, and first impressions are often vital. Parents can often benefit from appearing put together and responsible when they come to court. This may mean having to venture out of one's normal comfort zone when it comes to appearance, such as removing an unusual piercing, covering tattoos and utilizing a natural-looking hair color.

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