“You’ve got to know when to hold ’em Know when to fold ’em Know when to walk away And know when to run You never count your money When you’re sittin’ at the table There’ll be time enough for countin’ When the dealin’s done.” – Kenny Rogers
Mortgages are a bit like gambling. You never know when the “perfect time” to initiate a new mortgage is, because there is always a risk that interest rates could go down slightly right after you sign the documents; however, there is always a risk that rates could also rise. The good news is that you can always refinance if rates drop, so unlike gambling, you can “fix” a bad hand.
Right now is a great time to buy (or refinance if you haven’t already done so). Mortgage rates are still really low and housing prices have stabilized. Of course, nobody wants to pay more than they have to for their home. Here is how to “win” the mortgage game:
1. Connect with a really good loan officer.* He or she will help you to obtain the best mortgage rate available based on your income, liabilities, assets and credit score; 2. Correct your credit score, if needed; 3. Consider a 15 year mortgage instead of a 30 year. The monthly payments are often only slightly higher, but you can save a ton of money by minimizing how many years you are paying interest; 4. Take your pre-approval and start looking for a new home with a realtor; and 4. Retain an awesome attorney to close your mortgage!
Curious about the current mortgage rates? Check out this website: https://themortgagereports.com/47095/mortgage-rates-today-january-21-2019-plus-lock-recommendations
Wondering about how much a mortgage might cost? For a ball park range only, peek at this one: www.mortgagecalculator.org
If you just want to listen to Kenny Rogers: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UyARoGIzmKk
As always, please let us know if we can help with a real estate or any other legal matter.
Regards, John & Faye * If you are in need, we are happy to recommend a really good loan officer.
Pliability. /ˌplīəˈbilədē/ noun: the quality of being easily bent; flexibility. – Google Dictionary
If you live in New England, the word “pliability” may trigger thoughts about Tom Brady and Alex Guerrero. Arguably, Brady has been able to play into his 40’s and gain legendary status because of his commitment to pliability.
Pliability is a must for the family of all professional athletes and coaches. Like having someone enlisted in the military, it is a full family commitment to crazy, constantly moving schedules.
Brady is not unique in that his family is blended; he has a child from a previous relationship and two children with his wife. What would happen if the mother of his oldest son wasn’t pliable?
No Super Bowl or parade for the kid even though his dad is the GOAT. Without knowing any of the parties or the specifics of their parenting agreement, it is unlikely that Brady always has visitation on the first Sunday of every February or the following week reserved so his son can ride in a parade (though it might be smart to do so). Without some pliability by his mom, the poor kid would miss these extraordinary, once (or six times) in a lifetime, experiences. While we realize that Brady’s specific concerns are not typical, they actually are pretty common.
Take the fairly typical “overnights every other weekend and dinner once or twice during the week” scenario. What if there is a big family event that the child would miss because it’s not the “right” weekend for the parent? What if Mom or Dad travel for work? What if one of the parents or the child(ren) are sick? Ideally, both parents are pliable and do what is best for the child(ren).
Co-parenting can be bit trickier if the parents live far apart from one another. Typical visits are longer in duration, but less frequent. For some parents, it means commuting back and forth to where their child lives. In this scenario, the local parent should really be pliable if the parent shows up late, arrives early or needs to reschedule due to weather.
Simply put, there is no “one size fits all” for co-parenting schedules and life happens. When developing a plan, the parents should consider the needs, preferences and best interest of the child. They should also be (wait for it) PLIABLE.
As always, please let us know if we can help you with developing a parenting agreement that works for you or any other legal matter.
Divorce can be messy. More often than not, people just grow apart or want different things from life; however, it is not unusual that clients come to us talking about adultery by one or both of the parties. What should you do if your spouse cheats on you?
Chose to work work together to save your marriage. We realize that this is almost never the first reaction, but for some couples, it is an option;
Have a consultation with a reputable attorney who can explain the divorce process and your rights;
File a Complaint for Divorce, either jointly or contested, stating that there is an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage; or
File a Complaint for Divorce with fault. You can request that the court order a divorce based on many types of fault, including desertion, gross intoxication, adultery, non-support, impotency or extended incarceration. Some people feel that it is important to them, for a variety of reasons, to file in this manner. Because the petitioner essentially has to prove that his spouse is “guilty.” litigation typically takes a bit longer and is more costly.
Conduct is one of 34 factors that the courts use to determine the division of marital assets under Massachusetts General Law Chapter 208, Section 34. How much does conduct of the parties really matter? It depends, but can be somewhat punitive and restorative.
Consider and compare these two situations: 1. Husband has purchased one casual dinner for his girlfriend per week over the last few months; 2. Wife has bought a dinner a week for her boyfriend for the last two years and all dinners were at the Four Seasons in different cities.
Different situations, right? Is the likely financial impact different? Yes. Very.
Some states have taken the fault option a step further and allow for a spouse to sue the girlfriend or boyfriend involved:
Working for the government is typically awesome. Most state and federal employees get incredible health and life insurance benefits. They also have fairly “normal” hours, without necessity to check email on nights or weekends. These benefits are tossed on the back burner when there is a government shutdown.
Unfortunately, these shutdowns have become all too common, under both Democratic and Republican leadership. In late 1995-1996, the federal shutdown lasted over a month. What happens to support obligations during these periods?
Child support and alimony obligations survive government shutdowns. What should you do if a shutdown or layoff effects you?
The essentials: Make sure that you have a rainy day fund. Regardless of whether you are self employed or working for someone else, there will certainly be an amount of time during your career where your income is less than usual or non-existent. Just like your rent or mortgage, you should plan for how you will pay your support obligations during that time; and
Communicate with your ex. We know, we know….you don’t want to talk with your ex, but it may save you unnecessary time in court. If your ex is aware of the situation and you communicate your concerns to them, they may be more likely to work with you to figure out a reasonable solution rather than just bringing you in to court. In most cases, both parties can come up with a reasonable, short term agreement on their own.
If those options don’t work: If you are the payor, you could file a Complaint for Modification. If your loss of income continues for an extended period of time, it may worth it to file a Complaint for Modification based on a material (ie. significant) change of circumstance. Child support can always be changed, depending on custody and income; however, it typically takes a month or so to have matters heard so the change should be fairly long term; and
If you are the payee, you could file a Complaint for Contempt. If the loss of support continues for an extended period of time, it may be worth it to file a request that the court acknowledges that someone is in violation of an agreement (ie. Contempt). There is no minimum amount of late payments that must be accrued prior to filing, but judges usually look for a pattern or significant amount of late payments. Filing could lead to a finding that the person is in violation of the agreement, but the judge could also lower payments or defer to a payment plan on the arrears based on an inability to pay.
As always, please let us know if you have any questions about child support and alimony or any other legal matters.
If you follow us on Facebook*, you probably know that we love to reference movies and television shows. We bet you know some of these names: Vinny Gambini. Rachel Zane. Saul Goodman. Fletcher Reede, Sol & Robert. Rebecca Bunch. Lionel Hutz. Elle Woods.
What do all of these names have in common? They are all attorneys created by Hollywood and take creative liberties about what it like to practice law in the real world.
1. Attorneys are more like chess players than dramatic actors. If you walk into a court house, you won’t see lawyers slamming their fists on the table or hear dramatic music. What you will find is lawyers huddled in a corner or in a conference room, trying to position their client in the most favorable way. There are, however, those Elle Woods toe tapping moments, where a new realization changes our next move.
2. Attorneys are actually decent people. Being an attorney means that you get to help people in your community with real solutions. We are generally nice people, just trying to perform a service, not the nasty, self serving jerks that Hollywood often makes us out to be.
3. Attorneys are pretty honest. We present evidence that is favorable to support our client’s position. We can be creative in arguments and questioning. We can present alternative explanations. Much to the surprise of some clients and as Fletcher Reede once said, we “cannot lie.”
4. Attorneys put a lot of work into an argument. Good attorneys can make a strong argument and make it appear effortless. One of our best friends participated scholarship pageants when we were in college. Did she wake up every morning looking like a Disney princess? Nope, but she wanted to win, so she practiced her singing and spent a lot of time fine tuning her interview skills. Similarly, attorneys spend hours, days and months looking at evidence and planning to argue our client’s position.
Who is your favorite lawyer on television or in a movie?**
If we can assist you in any legal matters, please call or email us at fayejslgal.com.
John & Faye
* If you don’t, you should: https://www.facebook.com/Wjslegal/?ref=bookmarks
** Ours is currently Saul Goodman!
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