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How can I prepare for a home study?

Couples in Florida look to adoption to complete their families and to provide a child with a safe and loving home. Adoption is a complex process, especially when it comes to the home study portion. In fact, many couples are intimidated by the home study, which is why it's so important to be prepared. Adoption.org explains what you should know about a home study so you can take the proper steps before it occurs. 

The adoption agency you're working with will request a number of documents and it's in your best interest to have these documents ready before the actual home visit. While the items requested can vary, be prepared to provide marriage and divorce certificates, birth certificates for children currently in your care, verification of employment, bank statements, home title, a listing of assets, as well as any other documents the social worker deems necessary. You'll also be asked to undergo a background check and physical. 

How can I improve my credit score?

While it's true that filing for bankruptcy has an impact on your credit score, it's often the right decision for people who are faced with a massive amount of debt they won't be able to pay off. However, once you've got a handle on your financial situation you'll want to take steps to improve your credit score. Experian explains how you can do just that, which is integral to rebuilding your financial future. 

In general, a bankruptcy will remain on your credit score for seven to ten years. While that may seem like a daunting period of time, the best course of action is to pay all of your bills on time each month for the duration. If you're approved for chapter 13, make sure you stay on top of your payment plan and don't lag behind on other commitments, such as monthly utility bills, mortgage, or rent. This prevents new items from damaging your score, which will only make it dip lower than before. 

The psychological reasons to create a good parenting plan

Divorce is hard on you. The only ones it may be more difficult for is your children. You are all going through a lot of changes, and how you handle it could help or hurt your children.

If you are like most parents here in Florida and elsewhere, you want to make this time as easy on your children as possible. You and your future former spouse agree to do what it takes to make that happen. This includes creating a parenting plan that addresses their psychological needs.

How to improve your chances at child custody

If you are a parent in Florida who is going through a divorce, one big concern you may have is what type of custody decision is the court going to decide? If you want sole custody, there are certain things you can do that may help your chances.

According to FindLaw, it is ideal if you and your soon-to-be-ex spouse can come to an agreement together about child custody. However, this can be a challenge for many couples and, if this is the case, the court ends up making the decision. The judge considers what living situation is in the best interest of the child, and there are numerous factors he or she looks at including who is the better parent at tending towards the child's every day needs, and the preferences of an older child.

How bankruptcy documents can help you post-bankruptcy

Once a bankruptcy is finally dealt with, many people would rather not dwell on it any longer. However, you still want to have your bankruptcy documents within easy reach. Going bankrupt does not foreclose the possibility that a Florida financial lender will grant you a loan if you are looking for one, and in fact, bankruptcy paperwork can even help you get approved by answering questions a lender may have about your financial past.

When you approach a lender to buy a mortgage, you will need a number of financial documents to show your current level of income, your assets, your debts and perhaps your tax returns. However, as Bankrate.com explains, if you have a bankruptcy in your recent history, your mortgage lender might also ask you for your bankruptcy discharge paperwork. Your lender may want proof that you have settled with your creditors, alleviating any fears that you still have creditors on your case.

Alcoholism and family law

When it comes to family law, there are so many different ways in which an alcohol problem can affect people. For example, if you struggle with alcoholism, this could have an impact on your present and future life in many ways with regard to family law matters. Or, if your spouse or former partner struggles with alcoholism, there are all sorts of considerations you may need to focus on. From filing for divorce due to alcoholism and domestic violence to child custody disputes, there are all sorts of divorce-related issues that can be significantly affected by heavy alcohol use.

Some people develop a drinking habit after their marriage breaks down, whether they become very depressed or they live alone and fail to monitor their drinking. Excessive drinking has also caused many marriages to fall apart and it can also impact a person’s ability to pursue a more favorable outcome in court. Not only does alcoholism sometimes get in the way of someone’s ability to review legal options and plan ahead, but it may prompt a court to believe that a certain parent is unfit to have custody rights.

The connection between cancer and bankruptcy

As many Floridians already know, cancer is one of the most expensive medical conditions to treat in America. To add to this, over the years, the cost of treating cancer has only gone up. This was confirmed by Cancer.gov, which also pointed out that the cost of new and improved cancer treatments adds up in dollars and cents, sometimes as high as $10,000 per month.

What makes this situation even worse for patients is that insurance companies are now shifting more and more of the cost of care to them. Insurance companies manage to do this through raising premiums, copayment rates, coinsurance and deductibles. Because of this, even when insured, 33 percent of patients with insurance, ranging from ages 19 to 64, still rack up medical debt and struggle with paying medical bills.

Tips for rebuilding credit after bankruptcy

For many residents of Florida, filing for bankruptcy can be a good way to get a fresh financial start, but when you file, you need to do so while understanding that your credit score will typically take a hit in the aftermath. At Blanton Law, P.A., we understand that rebuilding credit is a common goal for many people who file for bankruptcy, and we have helped many clients facing similar circumstances work to rebuild their credit after filing.

According to Nerdwallet, there are several things you can do to help rebuild credit after bankruptcy, but one of the first steps you should take is to make sure you have at least a small stash of savings tucked aside. Even having, say, a few hundred dollars in an emergency fund can prevent you from having to rely on credit cards, payday loans and the like, which can plunge you even deeper into debt.

Hiding your vehicle from repossession

Your vehicle may be important to you for a variety of reasons. Perhaps it was your dream pickup you finally bit the bullet and purchased, or maybe it was the only car you could afford. Certainly, your vehicle gets you where you need to go, whether to work, school or just around town. However, if you are no longer able to keep up with the payments on your car or truck, you may be facing the unwelcome process of repossession.

In Florida and most other states, it takes very little to fall into repossession. Sometimes, missing one payment puts you in default, and your lender can take action to reclaim the vehicle that is collateral for your loan. If you know the lender is trying to repossess your vehicle, your reaction may be to stash it away where the repossession company cannot find it. However, this may not be a wise move.

Changing your mind about divorce

For some people, the decision to file for a divorce is a result of many years of bitterness and resentment, as well as the certainty that the marriage must come to an end. For others, divorce may be the result of a recent challenge that a couple has gone through (such as an affair), even though everything else seemed fine for many years. When it comes to divorce, people sometimes change their mind for a number of reasons. Some people may decide to move forward with divorce even though they backed down from one in the past, or they may come to the conclusion that staying in the marriage is best even though they were preparing to split up with their spouse.

There are many different reasons why people change their minds about filing for a divorce. For example, someone may have lengthy talks with their spouse about the situation and they may come to the conclusion that they can work through the difficulties they are facing in marriage. Or, a couple may agree to begin counseling in order to resolve their differences. In other instances, a couple may decide that divorce is necessary after all due to failed attempts at therapy or irreconcilable differences.

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