Regardless of the circumstances, parting ways with a spouse is emotionally and financially challenging. While the financial and legal realities of being newly single will be different for everyone, planning ahead can make what will undoubtedly be a painful time a little easier. We can work with you and your team of professional advisors to help protect your interests before, during and after your divorce. And when it comes time to stand on your own, we’ll be there to help you see the possibilities more clearly.

Dealing with Divorce

You won’t have to do this alone – you can count on us to help you:

 

The average cost of DIVORCE is $18,400. The average cost of a WEDDING? $28,427 -Source: U.S. Census Bureau

  • Plan Ahead

    Take stock. Seek counsel. Money matters.

    Regardless of your situation, careful preparation not only helps with the financial and emotional stress now but also for the long term.

    • Learn how your state addresses divorce, gather vital information and documents and tally joint and personal assets.
    • Build a team of trusted professionals and personal confidants who will provide level-headed advice.
    • Develop a budget to ensure enough cash to cover expenses throughout the process. Use credit cards wisely and keep tabs on your credit score.
    • Consult people you trust before making large financial decisions.

  • Protect Yourself

    Compromise and civility are key.

    During negotiations, it’s important that you protect yourself, your future and that of your family during this process.

    • Seek trusted legal, financial and personal counsel to help consider the long-term impact of decisions being made.
    • Separate your finances and get the bills sorted out to keep from damaging your credit. Make credit card balances a priority.
    • Work with your financial advisor and tax professional to minimize tax liabilities.
    • Know your retirement and Social Security options. You could be eligible to receive a portion of your spouse’s benefits.

  • Pursue Your Future

    Start your new life in the right direction.

    Taking the time to plan for your new life can help make the transition much smoother and ensure that divorce does not derail your financial plan.

    • Get a handle on your finances and debt. Reassess your financial and retirement plan to align with your short- and long-term goals.
    • Update fiduciary and beneficiary information. Immediately update your will, estate plan documents and beneficiaries information on insurance policies and retirement plans.
    • Establish your new identity. If requested with your divorce petition, make your name change official. Notify your employer and update all necessary accounts.

Considering Divorce

When considering divorce is inevitable, making the right financial decisions is critical. However, lack of financial knowledge frequently drives people to agree to a divorce settlement they may not fully understand or may regret in the future. Once a divorce settlement has been signed, it is very difficult to change it.

As a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst I help clients and their attorneys understand the long-term effects of their divorce settlement. Decisions made during a divorce can affect the clients future financial well being.

  • During the Divorce Process

    How will this divorce affect you financially? Those who face divorce are unaware of the outcome of their financial security by the settlement they accept. Settlements that may look reasonable and equitable have tendencies not to remain that way over time. What’s missing in the majority of divorce cases is a qualified financial professional, skilled in pre divorce planning issues, to help you prevent inequitable financial settlements. While Attorneys play a crucial role in the process of divorce, they usually are not trained in the intricate financial details that concern tax issues, IRS rulings, capital gains, dividing pensions, etc. I help provide the financial expertise and guidance necessary to help clients, and their attorney, understand these issues, developing settlement solutions and evaluate the short and long-term financial impact the settlement will have on you.

    As a CDFA I can provide clients with powerful case exhibits in the form of spreadsheets, graphs and personal financial analysis to show various financial outcomes. I will assist you throughout your divorce case and address your following concerns regarding:

    • How will I survive financially?
    • What does it mean if I accept this settlement?
    • Can I afford the house? Should I sell the house?
    • What about our retirement accounts?
    • What tax liabilities will I be incurring?
    • How much support will I receive?
    • Will I have to go back to work?
    • How will this affect my retirement?

  • After the Divorce

    It is time to think about your future. I help clients get their lives back on track financially after the divorce and some of the post divorce services I offer are:

    • Creating a financial plan
    • Creating spending plans to help clients keep on a budget
    • Follow up of QDRO & 401k spousal transfer to IRA account
    • Investment account re-titling
    • Transfer of pension benefits from spouse's account
    • Setup Children's education accounts
    • Income Planning
    • Beneficiary updates and changes for IRA's, Wills, Trusts, and Life Insurance
    • Life Insurance designed to protect divorce settlement
    • Long Term Care coverage

  • Collaborative Divorce

    Collaborative divorce is a method of alternative dispute resolution in family law. It can best be described as a method of practicing law in which the lawyers, financial professionals, and mental health professionals for both sides (parties) agree to assist the clients to resolve conflicts by employing cooperative techniques rather than adversarial strategies and litigation. All of the people involved commit themselves to achieving a negotiated outcome. It is agreed that no litigation will be commenced during the negotiations.

    The parties and their lawyers enter into a “Participation Agreement” where it is agreed that if a settlement is not reached, the lawyers will withdraw from the process and not participate in the ensuing litigation. It is understood by all involved that the lawyers’ retainers are limited to settlement negotiations.

    The most important element of collaborative divorce is that the lawyers commit to manage the conflict, emotional issues and relationship issues creatively.

    The parties and their advisors engage in group meetings. These meetings allow the parties to explore their issues using their own words and feelings.

    Josh is certified in Collaborative Divorce and can act as a financial neutral in a Collaborative Case. He works very closely with attorneys and mental health professionals trained in this area to help client's who want to pursue this method. Please contact Josh if you are interested in Collaborative divorce and want to learn more.