Ignorance is Bliss…Not!!!

Old book with feather pen         Thomas Gray penned “Where ignorance is bliss, ’tis folly to be wise” in his poem Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College, written in 1742. Today this phrase has become synonymous with apathy and a carefree attitude. In my mind it takes its place with classics such as, “it’s only a lot of reading if you do it,” or “it only takes a minute if you wait to the last minute.” Each of the phrases represents what I call a lack of situational awareness.  Continue reading

The Times They are a Changin’

Lease agreement document with money on a wood backgroundBob Dylan wrote these lyrics 53 years ago, but I think they are just as relevant today as they were then. If there is one constant in life it is the fact that there will be change. For example, here in Colorado we have legalized marijuana, which in itself violates Federal law. This puts law enforcement and, sometimes, business and property owners in an awkward position.   Continue reading

A Soup Sandwich is Just That

Soggy BreadWell, it’s been some time since my last post; time has a way of getting away from us all, and I am no different. Anyway, when I was in the Army we often used the phrase, “soup sandwich” when referring to troublesome soldiers. A soup sandwich is exactly that: a sandwich over which soup has been poured and the phrase itself denotes a mess. If you have ever tried to pick up bread that has been soaked in water you know exactly what I mean as it is nearly impossible to do so.  Continue reading

How Should I Handle a Mortgage When Divorcing?

I just published this article on my website:

Mortgage concept by money house from the coinsIn addition to dividing assets when getting divorced, couples must also address debts. This means they must choose how to handle mortgages as well as homes.

Divorcing spouses in Colorado who own a home together must generally wrangle with the question of what they will do with their home once divorced. Many people, especially women, have strong emotional ties to their homes. This can make the thought of selling a home very difficult and upsetting.

If young children are involved, concerns about maintaining stability for the kids often contribute to a decision to keep a home. For other people, they prefer to sell a home so as to get more physical and emotional distance from their prior marriages and lives.

Houses and mortgages are not the same

Regardless of what people decide to do with their home, it is important for spouses to remember that making a choice about a home is not the same as making a choice about a mortgage. Conscious and deliberate thought must be given to what should happen to the financial liability associated with a home .

Selling a home

Bankrate explains that among the many options divorcing spouses have, selling a home may be one of the cleanest and least pitfall-ridden from a purely financial perspective. This eliminates any future financial ties regarding the mortgage between spouses once the divorce is over.

If the home’s equity is less than the amount owed on it, a short sale may be required. While this may have some negative credit impact, it again makes a clean break for both spouses.

Sharing the mortgage

If the couple keeps the home even if only one spouse will continue to live in it, they could choose to maintain a joint mortgage. Spouses should be very careful about this arrangement even if a divorce decree specifically states that one spouse is responsible for making the mortgage payments.

If both names are on the mortgage, both people can be held accountable for the debt. Any missed payments or foreclosure can negatively affect both spouses’ credit. According to Time, this is true even if a quitclaim deed transfers ownership of the home to one person only. Again, homes and mortgages are not one in the same.

Refinancing

One person may wish to keep the house and is able to get a new mortgage in his or her name only. This avoids the issues associated with maintaining a joint mortgage and lets the spouse who wants the home have it.

Getting the right guidance

In addition to remembering that homes and mortgages should both be reviewed, decisions about either should not be made in vacuums. Working with an attorney when getting divorced is always recommended so Coloradans can understand their full financial picture with all assets and liabilities viewed together.

“No, It Isn’t All Yours”

Piece of of chocolate cake on the tableWe have all been faced with the following situation: there is one slice of cake left and everyone wants a piece. How can you ever hope to divide the remaining piece so that everyone who wants some is satisfied? Well, the simple answer is that you cannot without some form of compromise. Similarly, ending a marriage, dividing property, and agreeing to a parenting plan, all involve choices, and compromises. Continue reading

“Houston, we have a problem”

Spaceship In Space Most of us remember these words spoken by Tom Hanks in the movie “Apollo 13” (or if you’re old like me you remember the actual event), and for me the words represent a moment in which the astronauts realize they had a problem beyond their ability to solve. We all have these moments, but as to when we recognize such moments is different for each of us, and sometimes it can be too late.   Continue reading

Say It Isn’t So!

Black silhouette of a baseball player In 1919 “Shoeless” Joe Jackson was part of a group of Chicago White Sox players who were accused of “fixing” the 1919 World Series. During the investigative proceedings a reporter for the Chicago Daily News wrote a column for the paper titled, “Say It Isn’t So,” which expressed his hope that Joe Jackson did not participate in fixing the series. While the jury is still out on Joe, I find that parents often need to hear those things they do not want to during a divorce, child custody case or child support matter.   Continue reading