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How to talk finances before a marriage

Married couples in Wisconsin tend to do better when they share similar values related to money. According to an Experian survey in 2017, 59 percent of respondents said that financial issues played some role in their marriages coming to an end. Furthermore, 26 percent said that their spouse's credit score strained their relationships to some degree.

Ideally, couples will discuss their finances and develop a financial plan before getting married. This can be done by meeting with a financial planner or a financial therapist. Local churches may offer financial advice as part of a counseling program prior to getting married. Having this conversation before a wedding allows financial problems to be disclosed and potentially resolved prior to getting married. This discussion could lead to the creation of a prenuptial agreement. While talking about a prenup may be difficult, having such an agreement could make a divorce easier to prepare for and go through from a monetary standpoint.

How parents may share custody despite conflict

Not all parents in Wisconsin may be able to create a healthy co-parenting relationship after a divorce. While maintaining positive communication is ideal, there might simply be too many negative feelings for parents to move forward in a cooperative manner. However, parents can share custody, or one might have visitation rights. The goal is to keep parental conflict to a minimum as this can be emotionally damaging to the kids.

For high-conflict post-divorce relationships, parallel parenting is often the best structure. In parallel parenting, parents try to avoid any direct contact at all. However, this requires a detailed plan. Parents might agree to share calendars or only communicate using email. In contrast, there is a great deal of communication and cooperation in traditional co-parenting.

Filing taxes as head of household

Newly divorced individuals may be able to save money on their taxes by filing for the head of household deduction. This is a status that is often negotiated in divorce settlements along with who has custody of the children and who takes possession of marital property.

To file for head of household on taxes, a parent must have a child living with them for over half the year. Parents who are in this category may also qualify for a $2,000 child tax credit each year.

Avoiding problems in estate plans

Wisconsin fans of comic book artist Stan Lee might be aware that there have been some issues surrounding his estate over the years. Earlier this year, he said that someone had stolen $1.4 million from his accounts. He also had a document notarized accusing his daughter of being emotionally abusive and trying to take advantage of him that he then took back. Furthermore, Lee had worked with a number of agents and managers over the years, and there may be multiple documents making different claims that will need to be sorted out.

Even those with smaller and less complex estates can learn from Lee's situation. Everyone needs certain documents, such as powers of attorney in case of incapacitation. People should also review their estate plans from time to time to make sure they do not want to change their beneficiaries or other parts of the plan.

Keeping the home after a divorce

In some Wisconsin divorces, estranged spouses might decide that one of them should keep the marital home. On the surface, this might seem like a straightforward decision, but both parties need to consider carefully multiple factors because owning the home and paying its mortgage could result in financial stress and hidden liabilities.

For a couple who owned a home jointly, one person could be removed from the title by completing a quitclaim deed. Although this ends one party's ownership, that person might remain responsible for a home loan signed by both spouses during the marriage. A divorce decree and quitclaim deed do not end anyone's obligation to a lender. This loan obligation could prevent the person who signed away the house from gaining approval for a new home loan.

Shielding your property rights during a boundary dispute

On a daily basis, you may not give much thought to exactly where your property ends and your neighbor's begins. However, this may be more of an issue in a situation in which your neighbor wants to erect a fence along the property line or you want to add a pool deck. Sometimes, these matters can lead to full-blown disputes between neighboring property owners.

If you and your neighbor are unsure of where the property line lies or you are embroiled in a bitter fight over a portion of land, it is important to get the answers necessary to resolve this issue once and for all. Boundary disputes can be costly and stressful, and it is always smart to know how to protect your property interests. It may be helpful to know about the various legal options available to you.

Lack of financial planning can spell disaster in divorce

For people facing divorce in Wisconsin and elsewhere in the United States, many questions abound regarding the best ways to navigate the situation from a financial standpoint. There are a number factors that play into how financial assets are divided during a divorce proceeding, including the amount of time spent married, the balance of income and whether any financial agreements were entered into jointly.

According to Forbes, a variety of financial mistakes can be made during a divorce that may have far-reaching implications for the future. For example, some people believe that receiving the deed for a shared home is of the utmost importance in a divorce only to find out later that the costs of upkeep are too much to bear. Likewise, some divorcing spouses choose to finance new or lavish purchases prior to or just after a divorce without thinking about paying off said purchases on a reduced income.

Ways to manage selling and buying a home at the same time

When people in Wisconsin want to sell a home and find a new one to buy, timing and financial pressures represent great challenges. People who sell their homes before they secure new residences face a time crunch. Alternatively, people trying to buy homes while still saddled with mortgages on their other homes operate at a disadvantage in the real estate market. To overcome these tricky situations, experts have some strategies that might help.

For people who have buyers for their homes, they could arrange a deal with a closing date that gives them time to find and settle on their new homes. They might also negotiate a purchase agreement that gives them a rent back contingency. This means that the new owners will rent the home back to the sellers while they complete the purchase of another house.

Estate planning is always ongoing

Wisconsin residents may believe that thorough estate planning is nothing more than creating and executing their estate plan documents. While this may constitute the bulk of estate planning work, it isn't the end of the planning process. For instance, it may be necessary to review beneficiary designations on financial accounts from time to time to ensure that they still meet a person's needs. It is also important that they are designated properly.

The designation paperwork is filed with whoever oversees the account. If this is not done, an individual or entity may not receive an asset intended for that person or entity. It is important to note that estate plans may need to be changed if circumstances change. For example, an adjustment to tax laws or a divorce may change how the plan needs to be structured for best results.

Due diligence among the first steps in mergers and acquisitions

The mergers and acquisitions process breaks down into four phases, generally speaking. In a situation where two Wisconsin companies are merging or one company is acquiring another, the parties involved can expect to go through due diligence first, followed by the agreement phase, the integration phase and the value attainment phase.

Due diligence is the phase during which the parties undertake a detailed examination of the company to be acquired or both companies in a merger. Every part of a business should be evaluated as part of due diligence, including human resources, assets and liabilities, intellectual property, finances and technology. It may also be valuable to examine information technology integration across and throughout the companies during due diligence as well.

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