Stevens Firm - March 2019

Are You Ready for Fido?

How to Decide if Your Family Can Care for a Pet

While we don’t know exactly why humans keep pets, one fact is certain: Millions of people love them. In fact, nearly 70 percent of households in the U.S. have a pet. But no matter what you see on your favorite dog Instagram accounts, keeping a pet isn’t endless playtime. Ask yourself the following questions before buying or adopting a furry companion. Do you know what you’re getting into?

For example, dogs are one of the most high-maintenance and expensive animals to own, but they tend to be more involved in family life than a cat or a hamster. That said, your home’s size and location may make it better suited for a smaller pet, as many larger animals require more square footage and plenty of outdoor space. Is your family ready?

Every family is different, and it’s important to have an honest discussion about the implications of owning a pet. If you have kids, consider how much they will be able to contribute to such a responsibility. Another factor to consider is how much free time you have to spend with your pet; some animals require more attention than others. To avoid major conflict down the road, discuss care and responsibility plans as a family before welcoming an animal into your home.

Owning a pet can change your lifestyle. To start, you will have to consider the animal’s well-being when hosting events or taking vacations. You will also have to make room in your budget for pet-related expenses. Additionally, some animals can live for upward of two decades. Discuss how responsibilities will change as a pet ages and what your future will look like before making the commitment. Does an animal fit your lifestyle?

Keeping a pet can be a source of joy for your family, but it can also be a source of stress. Before making any major choice, talk to your family members and

When choosing a pet for your family, gather research from animal experts and other pet owners. Calculate the cost of owning a pet, and evaluate how that animal will fit into your lifestyle.

consider what owning a pet would mean for all of you.

A Different Kind of Spring-Cleaning

Put cards in your name. If you had a joint banking account with your spouse, be sure you establish a separate account with separate cards. You might even consider using a separate bank entirely. Additionally, credit cards can sometimes require some time to obtain, so be sure you are applying before you absolutely need to. Put your legal team together.

Spring is right around the corner, and for the vast majority of the population (particularly those who are still thawing from the polar vortex), warmer temperatures couldn’t come soon enough. But once the sunshine starts to cascade through your windows, you start fighting with the uncontrollable urge to banish all the winter dust and gloom from your house. This urge leads to the inevitable but annual process of spring- cleaning. Whether you actually decide to scrub behind the oven or just delete some unneeded pictures from your hard drive, there is satisfaction to be gained from any form of spring-cleaning. Interestingly, the urge to cleanse and organize one’s home coincides with higher rates of divorce throughout the country. In fact, according to research conducted by the University of Washington in 2016, the number of filings for divorce reaches an annual high in the month of March. If you and your partner are contemplating a divorce in 2019, you should consider using your springtime energy to get yourself financially prepared. Here are some helpful tips to get you started. Check your credit. During your marriage, you may not have been paying special attention to your individual credit situation. Once you’re single, however, good credit will be one of the most critical aspects of your financial well- being. Without credit, it can be nearly impossible to obtain loans for any purpose, so be sure to request a credit report sooner rather than later.

With a great divorce team at your disposal, you won’t have to worry about who to call when the time comes. Divorce, custody, alimony, child support, and other matters of family law can seem like desperate struggles. It is no secret that the field of family and divorce law can be emotional. At The Stevens Law Firm, we cater to the needs of each client and treat every situation with the respect and attention our clients deserve. If you have any questions, give us a call today!

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