December 30, 2010

Kelsey’s Quickie Divorce Request

Posted in Celebrity Divorce tagged at 1:23 pm by demetriagraves

Kelsey Grammer has asked a judge to put a rush order on his divorce from Camille Grammer, so he can re-marry but the split could end up being very expensive. The actor has requested that a judge grant the divorce decree as quickly as possible, sorting out the financial details later – which is known as a bifurcation. According to reports Kelsey has requested the bifurcation so he can end the marriage to his third wife Camille which will allow him to marry his fiancee Kayte Walsh.

According to California law, a divorce can become final six months after a petition is filed. Camille, who currently stars on Bravo’s “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills,” filed for divorce on July 1, 2010, so if the judge grants Grammer’s request for bifurcation, it will be finalized on Jan 1, 2011 which is the planned wedding date for Kayte & Kelsey, who have been engaged for several months. Kayte is a 29 year old British flight attendant and was pregnant with their first child but unfortunately mis-carried a couple of months ago.

The Emmy-winning actor has two children with Camille, daughter Mason, 8, and son Jude, 6. He also has two older daughters, Spencer and Greer, from previous relationships.
The split from Camille could end up costing the actor big bucks. Apparently Kelsey and Camille never signed a prenuptial agreement, meaning that all the money they earned during their marriage will be divided 50-50 and Camille could walk away with more than $50 million. It’s rumored that the couple amassed a fortune in excess of $100 million during their 13-year marriage. Much of it was invested in real estate – the couple has homes in California, Hawaii, New York City, the Hamptons and Colorado. They are said to be working out a financial settlement.

 

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Bankruptcy Increasing In Senior Population

Posted in Bankruptcy tagged at 1:19 pm by demetriagraves

For a second year in a row, many seniors will have to endure revisions to their fixed budgets as the cost of living increase adjustment to their monthly social security checks will not happen. The federal government has determined that the social security provisions will remain fixed this year. Budgets will just have to tighten for many American’s across the nation as our economy recovers and as a consequence of this bankruptcies filings in the senior population are on the increase. In fact, seniors are the fastest growing segment of people filing for bankruptcy in the United States.

More and more Americans are having to rely on alternative methods to pay the bills like using credit cards and building more debt than they can actually afford to pay back on a monthly basis. Many Americans that are of retirement age are not prepared financially to enter into retirement, but with unemployment at a high level in our nation right now, some have no other choice. Bills begin to add up and the increasing debt is leading many to file for bankruptcy. Over the past two decades, bankruptcy filings for individuals that are 65 years of age or older increased by greater than one hundred percent and for older individuals (75-84), bankruptcy filings increased by a whopping 433%. For many retired Americans, Social Security Income is their most important source of income and often their sole source of income, so this can make managing finances difficult and thus making this group more prone to needing to file bankruptcy.

You don’t have to go without the food or medicines you need. There are other alternatives such as filing bankruptcy. It’s important that you get the right advice from an experienced bankruptcy attorney, so that you can make an informed decision and find out if filing for bankruptcy is the right choice for you. No matter what your age, declaring bankruptcy may seem like the end of the world. But for many people, filing for bankruptcy gets the creditors off your phone and puts you back in control of your financial life. Should you want to discuss this matter further, I offer a free 30-minute phone consultation, and we can discuss your individual questions about Bankruptcy.

December 22, 2010

Considering Bankruptcy?

Posted in Bankruptcy at 12:29 pm by demetriagraves

If you’re considering filing for bankruptcy, you’re not alone. More than 1.4 million Americans filed for bankruptcy just last year. For many of these people, bankruptcy allowed them to escape from financial ruin and get bank on the road to financial stability. The decision about whether to file bankruptcy can be difficult and confusing and it’s not always clear-cut as there are several factors that go into it. This is why it’s important to work with an attorney who can help guide you in the right direction.

Some of the factors that go into the decision about whether or not to declare bankruptcy are more general, such as your yearly income, overall assets and the specific type of debt you have. There are other areas to consider which are more personal such as your overall comfort with declaring bankruptcy or whether you’re tied to keeping your home or paying off a specific debt.

Some options that can be tried before declaring bankruptcy include attempting to pay off the debts yourself or repaying them with the help of a credit counselor (stick with one recommended by the Department of Justice). You could also consider debt consolidation, which involves taking out a new loan in order to pay your old ones, such as a balance transfer credit card. I find that the vast majority of people who I work with that are considering bankruptcy have already tried some these options and they haven’t resolved their situation.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is designed to wipe out most of your debts and give you a clean slate. Beware that there are some types of debt that will still remain with Chapter 7, such as child support payments and student loans. In 2005, laws were passed that make it far more difficult to declare bankruptcy. This is why it’s vital to have some professional help if you are considering bankruptcy. Please talk to an attorney who is familiar with bankruptcy. Not only can they help you best assess your options, but they’ll work with you to develop a strategy to minimize your overall losses.

Declaring bankruptcy may seem like the end of the world, but for many people, filing for bankruptcy gets the creditors off your phone and puts you back in control of your financial life. Should you want to discuss this matter further, I offer a free 30-minute phone consultation, and we can discuss your individual questions about Bankruptcy.

Don’t Let Divorce Sour The Holidays

Posted in Divorce at 12:26 pm by demetriagraves

Divorce is difficult for children and their parents at any time of the year, but it seems that it can be particularly difficult over the Holidays with the potential for stress multiplying exponentially during Holiday season. Here’s some advice to help prevent the holidays from becoming a battleground and a tug-of-war between parents.

Specifying ahead of time which parent will have custody of the children during the long holiday break can help prevent tension and anger from creeping into what is traditionally a family-based holiday. It’s important to have this in writing, as you know, if it isn’t written it isn’t true. E-mail is a wonderful way to communicate because you have a record of what’s been said and agreed upon.

Even in intact families, more than a week of holiday togetherness can test a child or parent.  The kids are off from school, they don’t have things to do, perhaps they get bored at home, and that can create stress. I recommend that soon-to-be-exes put their differences aside long enough to confer on gifts for their children. There’s no need to go into competition with the other parent as it doesn’t work and can be destructive. Divorcing parents shouldn’t give gifts with the expectation the child will use it in a certain way. It’s their gift, that they can take to Mommy’s house or Daddy’s house. You can’t expect kids to have to keep it here at my house. Parents should take into consideration their ex’s desires in choosing gifts for their children. A classic example is, the kids show up at the custodial parent’s house – where they’re living most of time – with a puppy. They don’t want a puppy. If they wanted a puppy they would have gotten one.

Despite the potential for stress, it’s important that parents strive to help their children to look forward to the holidays. This is a new time to start new traditions, which can give children stability. It gives them something to think about from year to year, and it helps them grow up.

December 18, 2010

The Truth About Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Posted in Bankruptcy tagged at 8:36 am by demetriagraves

The more Bankruptices I oversee, I find that there are a lot of misconceptions about the bankruptcy process . This article outlines the truth about bankruptcy by highlighting some common true or false scenarios. Most people who find themselves considering bankruptcy are good people who have fallen victim to bad circumstances that make it difficult or completely impossible to pay off their debts. They need a fresh start and that is exactly what Chapter 7 bankruptcy is designed to do.

True or False: If you file chapter 7 bankruptcy you will lose everything.

FALSE: Most people believe they will lose everything if they file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. That is false. Bankruptcy law allows you to keep much of what you have. While every situation is different, you should be able to keep your cars, personal belongings, tools of your trade, and even the equity in your home (depending on the amount of equity).

True or False: You have to have no income to qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

FALSE: Most clients are surprised to learn that they can have a decent paying job and still qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. As a family you can earn as much as $50,000-$60,000 and if single make as much as $37,000, and even if you make more than the guidelines specified, there are other means which my allow you to qualify for Bankruptcy, such as credit for your car, your mortgage deductions and other factors.

True or False: Chapter 7 bankruptcy can stop a foreclosure.

TRUE: The legal protection of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy will temporarily stop foreclosure.  Although banks can request “leave of stay” to proceed, the bankruptcy will initially stop the pending foreclosure.

True or False: Chapter 7 bankruptcy can stop wage garnishment.

TRUE: The Chapter 7 code can stop wage garnishments with the exception of Child Support garnishments which are exempt from bankruptcy. The Chapter 7 bankruptcy code was designed to give you a fresh start.

True or False: Chapter 7 bankruptcy can stop harassing credit card bill collectors.

TRUE: Under the automatic stay law, the creditors named in your bankruptcy have to stop contacting you. Many clients say that being free of harassing bill collectors makes their lives enjoyable again. Plus imagine life without debt, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy can make that a reality.

True or False: You cannot afford Chapter 7 Bankruptcy.

FALSE: Many clients can’t afford not to proceed with a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Once all of your credit card bills, medical bills, and other unsecured loans have been eliminated, you will find paying for your basic living expenses is a lot easier. Most attorneys, including myself will work with you in getting your Bankruptcy complete.

Should you want to discuss this matter further, I offer a free 30-minute phone consultation, and we can discuss your individual questions about Bankruptcy.

Dylan Walsh Divorce

Posted in Celebrity Divorce tagged at 8:31 am by demetriagraves

47 year old actor Dylan Walsh, who plays Dr. Sean McNamara on FX’s Nip/Tuck, has filed for divorce from his wife, actor Joanna Going who is also 47. Even though Hollywood divorces are relatively common this split has come as a surprise to many.

The two actors, who have been married for six years, have cited the ever popular  irreconcilable differences as the reason for their split. Walsh is seeking joint legal and physical custody of their 7-year-old daughter, Stella. In the divorce papers, Walsh has also stated that he will be paying spousal support.

This is the second divorce for Walsh. Back in 2003, he split from Big Love actress Melora Walters after seven years and two children together. Could this be a case of the seven year itch?

It seems that this has been a big week for celebrity divorces with Dexter’s Michael C Hall and Jennifer Carpenter announcing they would divorce. Plus Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens have announced they’ve split. Along with Scarlett Johannson and Ryan Reynolds who have also separated recently.

December 10, 2010

Secured Debt & Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Posted in Bankruptcy tagged at 10:41 am by demetriagraves

Most people have secured debt associated with either their home or car. These are often the biggest purchases an individual makes and are usually purchased with a secured loan. This is where the lender takes a security interest in the asset purchased which protects the lender until the loan is paid.

So, what happens to secured debt when the borrower/purchaser files bankruptcy?  The lender is a secured creditor, with rights in the asset that is the collateral as well as rights against the borrower.  The general rule in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is that liens are not altered by the bankruptcy or the discharge of the borrower’s personal liability.  In other forms of bankruptcy the liens may be “stripped” but not with a Chapter 7.  In most cases, if the Parties wish to retain the asset, they can “reaffirm” the loan, otherwise the lien will remain.

If you end up filing for bankruptcy you need to assume that the lender does not want the collateral back:  the lender wants money.   So, if you are willing to continue paying on the contract or loan, the secured creditor is generally delighted:  they are not looking for ways to dispossess you, unless you don’t pay.

Secured debt has two elements: (1) your promise to repay your loan, and (2) a lien on the property, ie collateral. When you file for chapter 7 bankruptcy, your personal liability will be wiped off the books for all of your loans that are eligible to be discharged. But any lien that was placed on your property will remain. That means it is necessary for you to actively address the liens on your property. Chapter 7 gives several options on how to address your liens. Some of the most prominent examples are that you can reaffirm the debt, redeem the property, abandon the property, or, in some jurisdictions, simply continue making payments.

If you find yourself overwhelmed with debt, filing for chapter 7 bankruptcy might be what you need to get a fresh start. However, filing for chapter 7 bankruptcy is not always the right solution, so it’s important to get the right advice. For more information on bankruptcy I offer a free initial consultation where you can your questions answered and find out whether filing for chapter 7 bankruptcy is right for you.

Dating & Divorce

Posted in Divorce tagged at 10:36 am by demetriagraves

One of the most common questions I get asked as a family law attorney is regarding dating and divorce. If you are going through a divorce and trying to move on with your life, you may be thinking about dating. You might think that your daily life is difficult and stressful, and the friendship, help and change seen in a new relationship could be a positive experience. Until your divorce is final, you must carefully think about how you handle relationships, and how a new relationship could influence your divorce case.

When pondering a relationship, keep in mind that legally you’re still married; therefore actions you take until your divorce is final could affect how your divorce proceeds and some common considerations apply. Your family law attorney can provide you with essential guidance, based on your problem, state law and how these concerns are dealt with within your area. Sometimes it is significant to learn how the judge within your suit treats particular circumstances.

Keep in mind that separation can be very a stress filled and emotional experience for all concerned. Sometimes individuals don’t like to see their partners moving on with their lives and also dating and they can respond by being much less cooperative in the separation proceedings. This leads to additional conflict, time, plus expenses, even if you and your soon to be ex-partner acknowledge that finalizing your breakup is the best for both of you. Maintaining a low profile in case you date just before your separation is finalized could be the best move to make from a realistic standpoint.

Areas that might be influenced by dating before your breakup is finalized are spousal support along with property and asset settlement, as well as child custody plus visitation. Once again, your attorney can best guide you on the problem of whether dating could have any influence in your case.

In nearly all American states, the law allows you to get a separation dependent on reasons, which means one spouse’s activities are the cause of the breakup, or a no-fault breakup which tends to be more common. Examples of grounds are cheating, desertion or rudeness. American states approved no-fault regulations, recognizing that partnerships break down with no error of one partner or the other, it is very typical to get a no-fault divorce. In numerous states, dating prior to your divorce is finalized might fall within the lawful meaning of infidelity. If you’re dating whilst still wedded, it is possible that your spouse might raise the problem of infidelity.

A new romantic relationship could affect spousal support or asset division. If you’re living with your new partner, your spouse may argue that your expenses and needs are much less, and also the scenario must be a factor in determining assistance along with real estate division. This may be important, simply because as soon as your divorce is final, modifying a support order can be difficult.

Separation produces many changes for your children, and coping with those alterations, which may contain their parents’ fresh marriages, could be particularly hard for them. Parents usually want to concentrate on giving stability and help for their youngsters at this time. Many individuals pick gradual introductions plus integration when bringing their kids and a fresh dating interest together. A new relationship could be a factor in case custody plus visitation concerns aren’t yet settled in your divorce. A child’s best concerns are the typical standard employed in determining these problems, to ensure your child’s well-being.

A court could think about what level of participation your kids have with the individual you’re dating, whether or not they presents any risk to your kids, along with factors such as living collectively which may be against your child’s best interests. As for child assistance, in a case where you’re residing with someone, your spouse might attempt to indicate that housing-related expenditures are shared, so there’s much less need for help. Here, too, it could be essential to regard everyone’s sentiments, and also it can help to maintain a low profile. Bear in mind, courts have discretion in determining these concerns, plus your attorney can help you assess your scenario. I offer a free initial confidential consultation where you can get all your questions answered.

December 3, 2010

Holiday Gift From Demetria

Posted in Uncategorized at 3:48 pm by demetriagraves

Every year we take the time to send all of all clients and colleagues a very special Thank You during this time of year.  But this year, I thought it was more important to GIVE in a very special way to show you how important you, your business and referrals are to us!

Today, I am writing to announce (with much enthusiasm) our firm Holiday special which will run from December 6, 2010 through December 31, 2010, everyone MUST mention the Holiday Special when contacting the firm!  We are very aware of the hard economic times and wanted to spread a little Holiday Cheer!

Are you Ready??? Ok…For all of those who would like to make a “fresh start” for 2011, we are offering 50%…yeah I know I went mad!…but yes 50% of the cost to do an entire Chapter 7 Bankruptcy from Start to Finish!  A total savings of $1,250!!

And for those who waited so long to start their divorce proceeding, modify their current child support and/or child custody and visitation orders due to financial constraints…this is an offer you cannot refuse….we are offering to start either a divorce proceeding or modification for just $1,000!  This is a total savings of $2,000!

And for all of you who graciously refer us clients on a regular basis…for every client you refer and retains our services, there is something special in store for you (make sure your referrals mention your name)!

So yes I have went mad! But if you, a friend or a colleague would like to participate in the Holiday Specials listed above, be sure to call us by December 30, 2010!  The Special ENDS at 12:01 a.m. on December 31, 2010!

Should you have any questions or just want to chat, please feel free to call me directly with questions at (818) 649-7559, email me at demetriagraves@yahoo.com or visit www.attorneygraves.com.

Thank You for your continued support and we hope you enjoy your Holidays!  If there’s anything I can do on my end to help you, in any capacity, please let me know.

Warmly,

Demetria

Holiday Gratitude & Appreciation

Posted in Uncategorized tagged at 3:45 pm by demetriagraves

During the holiday season, often it’s a time to reflect on who we are, what we want, and how to get it.  We make resolutions, go on diets, work out at spas, take long walks, develop a positive attitude, and make new friendships.  During the year, often we’re all so busy with work, children, and everyday life that we may forget to be kind and considerate, whereas the holiday season tends to bring this out in us. Be creative and disciplined and uncover your true self.  This is one of the best gifts you can give to yourself and to others.  Concentrate and make an effort to turn selfishness into selflessness.  When we help others we become immersed in the depth of wisdom, change, and inner awareness.

Over the holidays learn to cultivate your mind with positive thoughts and actions. Make a conscious note of how you treat others and don’t forget that Golden rule of treating others the way you’d like to be treated and your life journey will be smoother.

What are Gratitude and appreciation? Basically they both mean being thankful and expressing that thanks. Gratitude is a fundamental component of a growing body of research suggesting that better sleep, fewer physical ailments, and a greater ability to cope with tough situations becomes easier and smooth.  Gratitude elevates you as it also energizes, inspires, and brings out the most creative you.  Mental and physical health expand to their optimum.  Try a gratitude journal as this will help you feel more satisfied with your life and the people in it.  Recognize that someone benefited in some way from your positive thoughts and speech, and therefore see the connection to yourself.  Stay in the present to see what is really happening in your life and fit yourself into the bigger  picture.

Holidays can be the time to put aside past regrets, rejoice in the present and make plans for your future. Focus on the elements of your life, experiences, and people and things that have touched you.  Take time on a regular basis to mentally note your blessings as this will keep you grounded and pointed in the right direction.  Pause after each reflection that you take, integrate and appreciate feelings, and fulfill yourself with the world at large.