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Five things you should know before you buy a house

Ever since you watched your first episode of House Hunters, you have been dying to buy your first home. Now that you and your partner have saved for some time, it is finally time to take that step. All those HGTV shows prepared you for this moment, or so you think. Here are five things you should know before you buy your first home.

What should your do to prepare for a divorce?

Going through a divorce is never easy, but there are ways you can make the process simpler. Getting organized and being prepared can help you navigate your divorce more successfully. Taking these few steps can help you reduce the stress of the process and start a new chapter of your life.

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When holiday debt can lead to bankruptcy

It is easy to let the consumerism of the holidays reel you into its trap. Also, it feels good to give loved ones expensive gifts. But while making big purchases during the holiday season may make sense at the time, it can leave you in debt once the new year arrives. According to a recent survey, Americans accumulated an average of around $1,000 over the 2017 holiday period. This amount of debt alone can take months to years to pay off, especially for those who can only make minimum payments with high interest rates.

If you are struggling with your finances because of holiday spending, you may not know where to turn for help. The burden may be even worse if you had existing financial struggles before the holidays. Here are some reasons you may want to consider filing for bankruptcy to wipe out your credit card debt.

Can stepchildren be adopted without consent?

Marriage, especially later in life, means that you are getting a new spouse, but you may also be acquiring relationships with the children he or she already had before meeting you. This creates myriad issues and may also make you wonder if you should legally adopt this new child or children in your life.

If the child's biological parents are both actively involved in the child's life and have not given up their parental rights, you will not be adopting the stepchild. However, if the other parent has relinquished or lost their legal parental rights, or if the other parent consents, then adoption may be a possibility. If you choose to adopt a stepchild, this creates permanent legal obligations for your parent-child relationship. The adoption also means that the child will be treated by law as if the stepchild is your biological child.

Adopting your stepchild without the noncustodial parent's consent

When you and your spouse married, you understood that you were taking on the role of stepparent. Since then, you and your stepchild have developed a strong parent-child bond. Now, you want to adopt your stepchild so you can offer him or her all the benefits of a legal parent, and your spouse is ecstatic. However, you cannot become a legal parent while the other parent retains his or her parental rights.

Here are several ways that the other parent may lose his or her parental rights:

3 considerations for divorcing same-sex couples

The legalization of gay marriage brought much joy and overdue validation to the LGBTQ community. In the years since the 2015 ruling, though, many of the couples who joyously married have found themselves facing divorce. The divorce rate among gay couples is not drastically different than that for straight couples, but there are some key differences that the former should take into consideration.

According to Time, both male and female same-sex couples outearn straight couples by a significant margin. Because divorce is an inherently financial matter, this means that gay couples should pay attention to the following financial and legal implications of ending their marriage.

How will your job change affect your child support payments?

In the state of New Jersey, the court looks at several factors to determine the amount of child support a parent should pay.

However, changes happen throughout life. For example, if you experience a career change that affects your salary, the financial contribution you make to support your son or daughter may be affected, too.

Helping your children adjust to post-divorce life

Divorce is tough on everyone, and if you are facing the break-up of your family, you are obviously concerned about the effect it will have on your children.

No matter how you and the other parent will feel about each other after the divorce, your focus must be on helping your children adjust to the inevitable changes in their lives.

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