The Bledsoe Firm - July 2019

There’s nothing like taking a dip in a nearby pond, lake, or even the ocean. For many, it’s a summertime tradition. However, swimming in open bodies of water brings certain safety risks, as these environments are not nearly as controlled as public, club, or backyard pools. Everyone should follow these tips to have a fun and safe time cooling off under the summer sun. Never Swim Alone. When you swim in virtually any body of water, having someone there to keep an eye on you can be a lifesaver: the more people, the better. Stick to bodies of water with a professional lifeguard on duty when possible, though that’s not always an option. When swimming in open bodies of water, have a “designated spotter” to keep an eye on the swimmers. This way, you’re prepared if anything bad happens. It’s also a great idea to keep flotation devices nearby, such as life jackets, life rings, foam boards, etc. Know What You’re Getting Into. Sometimes, it’s next to impossible to see what’s under the surface of the water. If you are unfamiliar with a body of water, don’t jump or dive in without knowing how deep it is. If you cannot confirm what is under the surface (and the spot is not a known diving location), don’t risk it. It may be okay to swim or wade, but jumping is out of the question. Along these same lines, be VERY careful around bodies of slow-moving or standing water. These can house dangerous microbes and other contaminants that can make you ill and potentially be deadly. Watch for Rip Currents. These can occur at any beach without warning. They pull swimmers away from shore and are strong enough that even excellent swimmers struggle to get through them. In fact, rip currents are behind nearly 80% of beach rescues. Keep an eye on the foam at the surface of the water. If it seems to suddenly pull away from the beach, there’s a good chance a rip current is lurking beneath. If you find yourself in a rip current, it’s crucial to remain calm and avoid expending energy swimming directly back to shore. Instead, try swimming parallel to the shore until you’re out of the current.

SUMMER SWIMMING SAFETY 3 Tips for Swimming in Open Water

3 More Money Mistakes to Avoid During Divorce

During divorce, it’s easy to overlook a number of different details. After all, there is a lot on your mind. However, overlooking certain aspects of your financial situation can lead to serious problems later on. Here are three more mistakes (in addition to the two mistakes we looked at last month), anyone going through divorce should keep in mind: Deciding a 50/50 Split is Fair or Even In some cases, dividing the total assets and property down the middle is the best approach, but that isn’t always the case. You need to work with a qualified accountant and attorney who are both familiar with divorce cases to assess the fair market value, depreciation, and potential income from a business or property. That analysis may change a determination on division of assets. Each asset must be analyzed separately. Once an accountant has assessed factors such as fair market value, tax amounts, and transaction costs, you can work with a lawyer to make a stronger argument to your spouse regarding actual and true division of marital assets. Keeping Your Money in Shared Accounts You need a clean break from a former spouse. One way couples muddy the waters around their divorce is by delaying the separation of bank accounts and credit cards. You don’t need to close down a shared account the day divorce papers are filed. In fact, a divorce lawyer may advise you to wait several days or weeks before clearing out an account. Once spouses separate from each other their income from employment no longer belongs to the marriage/partnership. It becomes their separate property. Often, one of the spouses will have to

pay child and/or spousal support out of their separate earnings going forward. Open your own separate account(s) once the divorce process commences. This will help you protect and keep your finances separate.

Forgetting About Your Debts For many couples, the focus is on income, assets, and division of marital property, but along with these positive attributes of a shared life can come some drawbacks. You likely have some shared debt with your former spouse. Just as your assets are divided during a divorce, debt accrued during the marriage is also subject to division and allocation between two spouses. While everyone’s debt profile is different, you should consider credit card debt, mortgages, loans for cars or children’s education, and other private loans. Spouses should each maintain the payments on the vehicles they drive and on the other assets they control. Avoid paying too much against community debts during the pendency of a divorce as you may not get reimbursed later. Finances always play a big role in divorce. Resources that supported one home now have to be allocated between two new households. If you have questions about your finances, don’t hesitate to get in touch. We’re here to help avoid these mistakes and more.

For more articles like this one, be sure to visit our blog at justfamilylaw. com/family-law-expert-blog for more insight!

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