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Columbus Ohio Family Legal Blog

Are personal loans an alternative to bankruptcy?

Personal loans are nothing new, but they are experiencing a surge in popularity among Ohio consumers. The growing popularity might be in part because, unlike other types of loans that must be used for specific purchases, personal loans have a wider range of applications. Debt management -- usually in an effort to avoid bankruptcy -- is just one such use.

In 2018, personal loans grew faster than any other type of consumer debt, totaling $291 billion. The average balance for this type of loan is around $15,143 with an average interest rate of 9.37 percent. This comes out to about $353 in monthly payments. If a person took out a personal loan for debt consolidation, that monthly payment might be considerably less than what they were paying on multiple debts and accounts before.

How business owners can protect themselves in property division

Entrepreneurs and business owners in Ohio are usually thinking two, three or even four steps ahead. These business-savvy individuals understand how important foresight and preparing for various events can be, but some may be hesitant to bring that prowess into a certain area of their life -- marriage. While planning for a possible divorce might feel counterintuitive to even the most experienced business owner, addressing things like property division ahead of time can protect both personal and business interests.

Some people mistakenly view prenups as denying one person a fair share of marital assets. This is very rarely the case, and the vast majority of people who use prenups do so simply to protect their own interests. This is particularly applicable to business owners who, despite being married, are often the only one directly involved in regular and daily business operations.

Bankruptcy may help individuals who feel overwhelmed

When struggling with financial issues, many Ohio residents may feel alone. They can see their family members and friends having the ability to buy new items, go out to dinner or go on trips, and they are struggling just to meet daily needs. However, individuals in this type of situation are hardly alone, as numerous people face money issues, and many find help through bankruptcy.

To put this scenario into more perspective, Americans are carrying a total of approximately $4 trillion in debt. That amount has increased by $1 trillion in less than a decade. According to reports, approximately $1 trillion come from consumer debt like outstanding credit card balances, and almost $1.6 trillion come from student loans. The remaining $1.2 trillion are associated with auto loans.

How the Ohio family law court can help protect your children

When you decided to divorce, you understood that your decision would not only affect you, but would also have a significant impact on your children's lives as well. Like most Ohio parents, you only want what is best for them. Perhaps a leading factor in your decision to end your marital relationship has to do with your spouse's addiction problems. You may be worried about having to let your kids visit and possibly be in environment that places their well-being at risk.

When a judge issues a custody and visitation order, both parents must comply with the terms set therein. If you fail to do so, the court can find you in contempt. However, if you believe your children's safety is at risk, you have recourse through the family justice system to petition the court to help protect them. You can do this regardless of whether there is an existing court order.

Jeff Bezos to divorce, does not have prenuptial agreement

Before the rash of recent headlines, even the most frequent Amazon shoppers might have had no idea who the founder of the company was. Now it is hard to miss what is going on with Jeff Bezos, who is still the company's CEO. The news of his divorce has many people in Ohio wondering if they could benefit from a prenuptial agreement.

Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos were married for 25 years before they decided to file for divorce. The couple did not have a pre or postnuptial agreement, and there is likely a significant amount of assets on the line. So if the Bezos did not feel as if they needed the legal protections afforded by a marital agreement, why would anyone else?

Could more debt lead to bankruptcy?

Debt is sometimes hard to avoid. Even for the most well-seasoned and responsible consumer, a bit of debt here and there can quickly snowball into something much larger. Is it all bad news, though? While consumer debt is currently rising higher than expected, it is unclear how it might affect future bankruptcy filings.

In Nov. 2018, consumers in Ohio and across the rest of the nation added $22.1 billion to their debt. This was apparently a much higher increase than experts had originally predicted. Added to the $25 billion in debt that consumers tacked on in October of the same year, and some people might be starting to feel the pinch of monthly repayments.

What are the benefits of dissolution?

Ending a marriage does not have to be a messy, contentious affair. In fact, many Ohio couples hope to remain on friendly terms, whether for their children or simply because they appreciate each other's friendship. Although popular media often portrays couples battling it out over property, support payments and other matters, you can reach the same results -- ending your marriage -- through dissolution. 

Compared to divorce, dissolution is a more peaceful approach to things. Instead of going through the court, you and your soon-to-be ex can reach an agreement on your own. In your agreement you must address the following and more: 

  • Child custody, both physical and legal 
  • Parenting plan 
  • Child support 
  • Property and debt division 
  • Spousal support 
  • Legal fees 

How can I make child custody and visitation easier?

Starting a new life in the new year can be exhilarating for some people in Ohio, but not for everyone. As recently or soon-to-be divorced parents try to get used to their new normal, making sure their child custody and visitation schedules work well is essential. In some cases, this means putting in a little extra effort outside the confines of the custody agreement.

Co-parenting -- or working together with an ex-spouse -- can be difficult, but it is often worthwhile. Divorced parents who maintain similar expectations and consistent rules between households can make it easier for their children to adjust to their new normal. Since watching their parents divorce might be one of the biggest changes they will ever experience, co-parenting with a focus on consistency can help everyone involved adjust.

Six New Year's goals for those beginning to end their marriage

New Year's resolution or not, many of us take stock at the beginning of a new year and consider what we might want to do differently going forward. Our goals for the coming year are informed by events, good, bad or otherwise, of the year prior.

If your physical health took a downward turn in 2018, you may consider beginning a diet and exercise routine.

If 2018 brought increased credit card debt, you may consider beginning ways to save money.

For many, the goal for 2019 is beginning the process of ending their marriage.

Is bankruptcy the solution to revolving debt?

Revolving debt is when a person carries a balance from one month over into the next. This type of debt can be incredibly difficult to get rid of as ongoing balances tend to accrue interest, which leads to larger and larger balances. When revolving balances -- particularly those related to credit card debt -- become too much, bankruptcy might be a solid financial option for some people in Ohio.

In America, the average household has approximately $7,000 in revolving debt on their credit cards. A report from NerdWallet indicated that this is a significant increase from 2017, when revolving credit card balances were at an average of only $6,081. Overall, carried-over credit card balances shot up an astounding $420 billion in 2018.

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