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Oklahoma Law Blog

Overdue child support and homeownership

Prospective Oklahoma homebuyers who are delinquent in paying child support should be aware that these payments are considered debt for mortgages purposes. This means that delinquent child support is counted as a derogatory credit event that can impair the chances of obtaining a mortgage approval. While such a low mark can be a major hindrance, there are other options that may allow a buyer to qualify for a mortgage.

When trying to obtain a mortgage, it is important that a buyer obtain a copy of their credit report and examine what is being disclosed. They should also determine if their FICO score falls within the requirements set by mortgage lenders. To determine if monthly mortgage payments will be affordable while having to pay any overdue child support, one can enter their information in a home affordability calculator.

Mobile workers prone to distracted driving, says report

The growing mobile workforce in Tulsa and across the country could be a significant contributor to the threat posed by distracted driving. When people consider distracted motorists, they often think of teens texting while driving. However, smartphones can be just as big a problem among connected mobile workers. According to a report by the vehicle management platform Motus, smartphone ownership among mobile workers is highly correlated with a growing accident rate. While 55 percent of these workers owned smartphones in 2015, 77 percent had such devices in 2017. During the same period, car accident figures also increased 12.3 percent, from 5.7 million to 6.4 million.

The Motus study noted that mobile workers on average take 49 percent more trips than other types of American workers. In addition, mobile phone use is most common from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. when mobile workers are out on the job. According to the study's calculations, a typical mobile worker drives around 1,200 miles while distracted each year. This dramatically raises the risk of car accidents.

Should You Be Getting Divorced Quickly?

Rarely would we recommend speeding up the process of divorce. In the vast majority of cases, Henry + Dow wants to encourage married couples to contemplate if divorce is the right decision for their circumstances. Given all the difficulties that come with divorce, we want to ensure that choosing divorce is the best choice for a couple.

Grandparents Rights: How Can I Secure Visitation?

Grandparents make up an integral part of the family unit, especially for grandchildren. When a family is going through a divorce however, it can be especially tricky for grandparents to secure visitation rights that give them access to a continued relationship with their grandchildren. The laws for grandparents rights vary by state, but in Oklahoma certain requirements need to be met in order to grant rights to grandparents for visitation.

People are divorcing more later in life

Divorce rates are on the decline, generally, in Oklahoma and across the country, but people over the age of 50 are getting divorced twice as often as they were in 1990. The trend has been referred to as gray divorce; people are more often divorcing later in life. For people aged 65 or older, the rate of divorce has tripled since 1990.

Researchers have said that gray divorce becomes more likely for couples not necessarily when they are going through life transitions, but simply when the people are dissatisfied with the marriage. Divorce may be more common in the first years of an empty nest or following retirement, but these don't correlate strongly with gray divorce in particular. There have been studies indicating that the chances of divorce may increase dramatically when a close friend or relative divorces.

5 Sure Signs You're Married to a Narcissist

Life is tough. But it can be even tougher when you're married to someone with a personality disorder, particularly that of narcissism. It can be sometimes difficult to spot the traits, behaviors and patterns of a narcissist, especially one that is very good at what they do.

Tax considerations to keep in mind during divorce

There are a number of tax considerations people in Oklahoma who are getting a divorce should keep in mind including those associated with the tax reform bill. One of the major changes is that starting in 2019, alimony will no longer be taxable for the recipient or tax-deductible for the payer.

This may raise an issue with prenuptial agreements that address the issue of alimony, and it could be necessary to get guidance from the IRS. Another result of the tax reform is that the valuation of businesses might be different. It is possible to value some businesses at a higher amount, and this may or may not be to a person's advantage depending on the situation and who owns the business.

Henry + Dow Attorney Named to 2019 Best Lawyers in America

Henry + Dow, Tulsa's premier family law firm is pleased to announce the inclusion of Partner Shane Henry to the 2019 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America©, one of the oldest and most respected peer-review publications in the legal profession.

Henry was recognized by his peers in the highly competitive Family Law and Family Law Mediation practice areas. Attorneys attaining this prestigious honor are reviewed by their peers based on professional expertise and undergo and authentication process to make sure they are in current practice and in good standing. Henry was first awarded this recognition in 2018.

Property division and retirement funds during divorce

Oklahoma couples who decide to divorce often face long-term financial consequences that far outstrip the emotional and practical changes that accompany a separation. One of the most significant changes that can come with the end of a marriage is the division of retirement funds that have been accumulated over years. The aftermath of divorce can leave both partners with significantly fewer assets, especially as it costs more to fund two single retirements than one as a married couple. As a result, many people work intensively to save and rebuild their retirement accounts after divorce. Unfortunately, this is often hindered by the complexities created by mandatory caps on annual contributions to qualified retirement plans.

For many, the division of retirement funds can come as a particular shock. While other major assets, like a house or bank account, are held jointly, retirement funds are generally in one individual's name and accumulated at one person's place of work. In addition, the financial aspects can be significant. In some cases, a retirement fund may be split in half or some other division may be chosen, depending on the couple's history and agreements. In some cases, each person may simply leave the marriage with the retirement account that's in his or her own name.

Staying financially afloat following divorce

Even as the "dual-income, no kids," or DINK, mentality has grown over the last decade or so, there are still plenty of stay-at-home moms and dads in Tulsa who put their careers on hold to raise their children. Should those parents suddenly face divorce or separation, they naturally worry about how to re-enter the workforce and become financially self-sustaining.

The good news is that with a little foresight and diligence, staying financially afloat following divorce is possible. Consider the following tips:

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