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Divorce and Your Money - #1 Divorce Podcast

Visit us at www.DivorceAndYourMoney.com Divorce and Your Money is your guide to avoiding costly mistakes during divorce. Shawn Leamon, Certified Divorce Financial Analyst and MBA, wants to help you learn the fundamentals of how to get a divorce. Whether you are looking for an uncontested divorce, a do it yourself divorce, or an online divorce, resources are available to offer guidance. Through his divorce podcast and divorce blog, Shawn offers his professional opinion on the best ways to handle the end of your marriage. He covers topics including how to file for divorce, divorcing a narcissist, and finding the best divorce attorney. Even tricky subjects such as a “what is a QDRO?” and “is alimony taxable?” are tackled through these venues. If you need to know what the first steps are or what you should do to head to trial during litigation, you can find resources to give you a step-by-step guide to what comes next. Think of his advice as an alternative to divorce support groups where you can find exactly what you need when you need it. He offers one-on-one divorce coaching to give you a solid grasp on the decisions that are bound to affect your financial future. Before you have a divorce decree in hand, you will likely go through some type of divorce mediation. For any spouse saying, “I want a divorce,” you need to make sure that you are getting the financial future you are entitled to. Do not allow yourself to be blinded by the emotional, legal, and financial burden that divorce can become. Instead, take control of your situation with sage wisdom to help all individuals make better financial decisions for their independent future. If you find yourself asking “where are the best divorce lawyers near me?”, Shawn can help you to recognize the best of the best. Whether you need a divorce in Texas, a divorce in Florida, or a divorce in New York, you will have all the knowledge you need to find the best team of professionals to assist you. You can start from a place of being legally separated or once you have already started to file for divorce using free divorce papers or an attorney. No matter where you or your marriage may be in the process, Shawn Leamon has professional advice to offer your unique situation. A simple no fault divorce or a high-stakes power struggle are all areas he has vast experience with during his work outside of Divorce and Your Money. Let his advice be a guide to help you get all that you need for a secure financial future in your divorce records. It will not make a difference whether you are getting a divorce in Ohio or a divorce in California if you are following the basic principles set out through Divorce and Your Money’s divorce blog, divorce podcast, and divorce coaching.
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Aug 3, 2017
It’s difficult to predict the outcome of divorce. However, there’s one statement that applies almost universally: most people have more options for their settlement than they realize. There are ways to structure a settlement that most people don’t think about, particularly when you are settling out of court.
 
One option that many people don’t consider is doing a lump sum payment for spousal support or child support. Spousal support is often done as a monthly payment over a certain period of time. However, you could do one large payment, or a few large payments, instead.
 
In some cases, this won’t be an option, because the spouse who is paying support needs to have multiple years’ worth of support in their savings. However, when it is a possibility, it is worth considering.  
 
One of the biggest benefits in paying or receiving a lump sum payment is that you are done dealing with your ex-spouse, with the exception of child custody. It can be a big burden lifted. If you will be receiving spousal support, you don’t have to worry about whether they are going to make their payment every month. If you will be paying spousal support, it can bring up a lot of emotions every month when you write that check.
 
When you do a lump sum payment, there are different tax considerations. For monthly spousal support or child support, the person who is paying support gets a tax deduction for that amount, and the other spouse receives it as taxable income. However, with a lump sum payment, there is no tax deduction, so the person who is paying the support pays the taxes.
 
A lump sum payment will be a smaller amount than the total monthly payments would be. For example, if you were to receive $10,000 a year for ten years, you would receive a total of $100,000. However, a lump sum payment might be a check for only $70,000. Receiving $70,000 today is the same as receiving $100,000 over ten years. If you’re interested in why this is, you can look into present value calculations. It’s a well-accepted mathematical formula that takes into account the interest that you would receive over time. Therefore, with a lump sum you aren’t paying (or receiving) less money, it’s just a question of timing.
 
To decide whether a lump sum will be right for you, you need to know yourself. If you will be paying spousal support, will you be bitter every month when you pay that money? Some people don’t mind it very much, but others have a very negative reaction to every spousal support payment. If you will be receiving spousal support, are you able to manage your money so that you can make that money last? Are you able to stick to a financial plan? Getting that much money up front is almost like winning the lottery – and 70% of lottery winners go bankrupt within five years. It’s very tempting to spend money when you have a large amount in the bank.
 
Another thing to consider is how much you trust your ex-spouse. Do you trust that your ex-spouse will make their payments on time? If they start missing payments, you may have to get the courts involved. Your ex-spouse may fall on hard times themselves, like losing their job. Conversely, if you are paying child support in a lump sum, can you trust your ex-spouse to manage their money? If the money runs out, you will still want your children to be provided for.
 
Paying spousal support in a lump sum can solve some financial complexities, so it’s something to consider as you work out your divorce settlement.  
 
Thank you for listening to the Divorce and Your Money Show. Visit us at www.divorceandyourmoney.com for personalized coaching services. If you enjoyed the show, please take a moment to leave a review on iTunes, as it will help other people discover this free advice.
Aug 2, 2017

Going through a divorce is certainly not the end of the world. In fact, it is the beginning of a brand-new life. Throwing a divorce party gives you the ability to cleanse yourself of your past relationship and start anew. If you cannot seem to get started with the party planning, consider these unique ideas for hosting the greatest divorce get-together you can imagine.

 

Let the Good Times Roll

Are you the type of person that loves great music and having a good time? Based on 80’s rock ’n’ roll and hair metal, this divorce party idea is great for people of all ages.

If you are in the mood for a creative DIY event, consider going to your local thrift store and buying LPs. You can have your guests customize different LP labels about things they remember about your past relationships and turn them into titles for songs or albums.

The best part about a rock ’n’ roll themed party is that you can play all of the quintessential breakup songs from the 80s, which helps add to the party atmosphere.

You can also serve delicious beverages that everyone loves, but create different names for the drinks. A few examples include: Gin & Toxic (gin & tonic), Bum & Coke (rum & Coke), and Divorcetini (Martini).

 

Backyard Bonfire

Hosting a backyard bonfire can be both a great time with family and friends and a ritual to help you begin your new life. Aside from being able to serve crowd favorites (such as sausages, hamburgers, chicken, and beer), you can easily set up a bonfire in your backyard or at a nearby park or beach.

At the bonfire station, have a variety of different pieces of memorabilia from your relationship. You and your friends will be able to burn all of the items you have selected to start the healing process. Whether it includes photographs, old clothes, or keepsakes, it is the perfect way to feel rewarded and cleansed.

The best part: At the end of the night, you can finish the party off with s’mores. You can even get personalized chocolate-bar wrappers related to divorce with sayings such as, “Now That I’m Divorced, I Want to Have S’more Fun.”

 

Divorce Funeral

Funerals are a remarkable way to get closure. With a divorce funeral, you can take a new approach to the traditionally heartbreaking event. Then you can celebrate the death of your marriage and the rebirth of yourself as a newly single person.

A great way to decorate for a divorce funeral is setting up an altar with photos and memories of you and your ex. To light and reflect on your relationship, you can even add votive candles around the photos for your friends and family. But remember, it does not have to be a sad event.

Order a customized coffin cake, and place your wedding ring inside it, symbolizing the death of your married life. The best part about a divorce funeral is that it is incredibly easy to set up because you can take advantage of Halloween decorations, which are available at almost any party store.

 

Online Dating Party

Now that your married life is over, are you ready to get back on the market? If so, why not try online dating? It is an incredibly fun way to encourage yourself to find other interesting singles in your area.

You can print out a variety of different online dating profile forms, and hand them out to family and friends. Have them fill out the dating profiles, based on what they think you would be looking for in a new partner. You might even find that some of the content would be useful for setting up an actual profile.

Try basing the party on a specific dating website, such as Plenty of Fish or Match.com. For Plenty of Fish, you can serve different fish-themed snacks and use orange decorations. Match.com works perfectly with blue-themed beverages and snacks.

 

Conclusion

Throwing a great divorce party is easier than you could imagine, especially if you are in the mood for having some fun. It is a wonderful way for you to let go of the past, and it also gives your friends and family members a way to come to terms with the divorce.

Shawn Leamon, MBA, CDFA is the host of the “Divorce and Your Money Show” and Managing Partner of LaGrande Global, with offices in Dallas, New York and Hanover, New Hampshire. 

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Aug 1, 2017
“When your feelings get big — whether they’re sad, or grief or anger or helplessness — slow down and breathe. Really take a moment. If we respond when we’re feeling really emotional, it may not be the real twist that we wanted to make in the long run. It might feel really good in that moment, but it might not be so helpful in the bigger picture.” — Dr. Robbin Rockett
 
In the middle of divorce, the range of emotions can feel overwhelming. In this episode, we interview Dr. Robbin Rockett, a clinical psychologist who experienced divorce. She discusses how to find a support group, why you need a therapist and ways to take care of yourself during the divorce process.
 
You’re going to want to listen to this episode more than once!
 
Thank you for listening to the Divorce and Your Money Show. Visit us at www.divorceandyourmoney.com for personalized coaching services and a full transcript of this episode. If you enjoyed the show, please take a moment to leave a review on iTunes, as it will help other people discover this free advice.
Jul 27, 2017
This was originally published on Divorce And Your Money here.

Your wedding ring is a big investment. Selling the ring is one of the most popular ways for dealing with it after divorce. Selling it can be very emotionally satisfying. A lot of people also sell it because wedding rings carry a lot of value, and they need the money for lawyers and other costly issues that come with a divorce.

Immediately after a divorce, many people want to sell it right away. Most people understand that they will not get the full value they paid for their ring, but a lot of people settle for less than what they can actually acquire. However, many people get in so much of a hurry that it does not serve them. In order to get the highest, most satisfying payout, you need the right strategy.

However, if you do not want to sell the ring and do not need the money or the satisfaction of getting rid of it, there are other viable options that can be very cathartic.

 

Below are tips for getting the best payout for your wedding ring.

Try Waiting

Most people do not realize that waiting to sell the ring will end up paying much more. The more patience you have with the ring, the more you will end up getting for it.

If you sell your wedding ring out of anger or desperation, you will probably move forward with the first jeweler or gemologist you encounter. Therefore, you could miss out on good negotiation tactics. When you have patience, you can get several offers and create the competitive pricing. Jeweler and gemologists will always have more interest—and therefore higher bids—if they know others are interested in the piece.

 

Try Not to Use It as a Retainer for Your Lawyer

Many people who are desperate to pay their divorce attorney will use their ring as a retainer. Down the line, you could receive much more benefit if you can get a loan instead. Lawyers will pay pennies on the dollar, much less than any jeweler or gemologist would offer, especially if you shop around.


Getting Estimates

To get the best estimate and therefore the highest bid, gather as much documentation about the ring as possible. The more documentation you have, the more ways you have to appraise it. Any piece can be taken to a fine jewelry appraiser, but they will be much more impressed with a thorough, documented history of the ring, as will gemologists and diamond specialists.

After you have gotten several appraisals and a thorough amount of paperwork for your ring, auction houses like Sotheby’s are one of the best ways to get the most amount of money for your ring. They will document everything, including the appraisals, and gather interest before the actual auction. That way, you have a better chance of creating a bidding war.

The more people who bid on it, the higher your payout. To keep yourself safe, you must choose to have a reserve. Then you will know that you will end up with your desired amount. You will be glad you waited.

 

Upgrade or Redesign It

You are used to wearing a beautiful piece of jewelry, and this ring has meaning to you.

One choice that many people do not consider is trading the in for a new piece of jewelry, but it can be very healing. Many jewelers will give you store credit for your ring. Often, store credit will be higher than any cash offer you receive, and you will end up with a piece of jewelry that is just as beautiful and valuable as the original. It will also be a symbol that you are moving on.

If you do not want to trade it in, here is another option: change the style of the ring, or turn it into a completely different piece of jewelry altogether, such as a pendant for a necklace. This choice is a great way to mark your new life, and it is a beautiful way for your wedding ring to change with you.

 

Keep It

Perhaps you have a sentimental attachment to your ring. Sometimes marriages end amicably, or one person does not want to let go of everything the ring symbolized.

You can still wear it if you want to, though that might not be the healthiest thing to do. However, if you need more time, wearing it is certainly an option. You can also pass it down to children or grandchildren.

If your children are still small, you can keep it in a jewelry box and hold onto it for them, or keep it for yourself as a way to remember the past. That way, you can get a new jewelry box or another kind of container. If you want to add some humor and flare, you can also order little coffins that were specifically made for wedding rings.

Sometimes, you want to keep it, but you do not want it to be where you are tempted to keep looking at it. If that is the case, try putting it in a safe-deposit box. Then you can take your time considering your next course of action. If you know that it is safe and available to pass down or sell, you will have peace of mind as you go through the challenges of life after divorce.

 

Summary

Whatever you choose to do with the ring, think about all of your options. If you do choose to sell it, there are many wrong turns you can take, which can lead you to get significantly less of a payout. Consider hiring a divorce coach, who has experience in selling rings. They know the industry and have valuable contacts.

 

A wedding ring might seem like a small aspect of a divorce. However, its symbolism is huge, so it is a decision you should not make immediately or take lightly.

 

Shawn Leamon, MBA, CDFA is the host of the “Divorce and Your Money Show” and Managing Partner of LaGrande Global, with offices in Dallas, New York and Hanover, New Hampshire.

Jul 27, 2017
This is the final episode in a 7-part series on your post-divorce finances. Some documents and accounts need to be updated by the time your divorce is finalized (or as soon as possible after it is finalized). This practice can potentially prevent many future problems.
 
One set of documents involves estate planning. They contain details about what should be done in the event of your death or incapacitation. The first thing to consider is the last will or trust, which lists the beneficiaries who will receive your assets or property when you pass away. If your ex-spouse is included, this information may need to be changed.
 
Another set of documents is called a medical power of attorney or medical proxy. This document lists the person who will be in charge of making medical decisions if you cannot.  A similar document is the financial power of attorney, which also needs to be updated if you do not want your ex-spouse making financial decisions in the event of your incapacitation. These documents are fairly easy to set up, but if you do not have them, a judge will be forced to make these decisions for you.
 
The next item is a checkbox about most of the financial accounts you may have, which is called the beneficiary designation. Here, you will list the person who will get your account or assets should you pass away. Whether you are preparing for divorce or have finalized it, you should update this information.
 
Other miscellaneous accounts also need to be updated post-divorce. You can check the accounts you have in common with your spouse by checking your credit report. They include bank accounts, credit cards, vehicle registration and titles, insurance policies, and retirement and investment accounts. Depending on the settlement, you should either remove your name or your ex-spouse’s name from these documents and accounts.  You also need to update documents with emergency contact information.
 
Thank you for listening to the Divorce and Your Money Show. Visit us at www.divorceandyourmoney.com for personalized coaching services. If you enjoyed the show, please take a moment to leave a review on iTunes, as it will help other people discover this free advice.
Jul 25, 2017

Blog originally published on Divorce And Your Money here.

Navigating a complicated divorce on your own is nearly impossible, but regularly seeking the advice of a trusted attorney can become quite expensive. For those who need an objective opinion and guidance, is there another expert that you can refer to for more trivial matters?

Many couples are discovering that a divorce coach is a very cost-effective, useful person to add to their team of professionals when attempting to tie up all of the loose ends associated with their marriage. While not a substitute for legal counsel, a divorce coach can provide professional advice, opinions, and guidance.

So what exactly is a divorce coach? Before you hire one, you will want to see the answers to these three questions:

 

What Is a Divorce Coach?

Typically, a divorce coach is not an attorney, although some professionals will advertise themselves as both. Coaching services are designed to offer individuals personal support and guidance for managing the divorce process, separate from the legal aspect.

For those who believe they may need a therapeutic setting, it should be noted that a divorce coach is not the same as maintaining a relationship with a licensed therapist. However, it can assist you in processing some of the emotions associated with dissolving your marriage.

For example, a divorce coach can help you make the best decisions for your future, based on the facts presented to both of you. Unlike soliciting advice from close friends and family (who are often biased and opinionated), a divorce coach can serve as a trusted third party. By being several steps removed from the emotional and relational aspect of the split, they are more likely to remain neutral and objective.

Furthermore, a divorce coach can educate you about obtaining a divorce at a significantly lower rate than an attorney. Depending on the unique training, skill set, and experience that divorce coaches possess, they may even be able to assist you in organizing your paperwork to file for divorce. Many trained coaches specialize in helping you set goals for yourself and your divorce, and they may even be able to help you gain a better grip on your new financial situation.

 

Why Hire a Divorce Coach?

Assembling the proper team of professionals is critical to success in divorce, which ultimately makes it the key to also establishing a firm financial future for yourself. Unfortunately, hiring the most qualified professionals can come at a relatively high cost. Consider the fact that an attorney will charge per phone call, per minute, and per meeting. By the end of your divorce, those extra questions and phone calls can really add up to an exorbitant bill.

A divorce coach offers a unique service by providing objective advice for your future—without the high price tag of an attorney.

They typically charge less per minute or per meeting, and hiring a divorce coach can help lower your attorney’s fees. Because they can help you make decisions and work out responses to emotional scenarios in advance, they can reduce the amount of time spent with your attorney. Your divorce coach can also usually answer basic questions regarding the divorce process, which prevents you from making unnecessary, costly phone calls to your divorce attorney.

Particularly when negotiating a settlement with your spouse, divorce coaches can offer unbiased opinions, which are separate from the legal process (instead of basing recommendations on the ease of negotiations). They can give you space to consider the emotional aspects and ramifications of decisions, even though they are not therapists.

 

What Benefits Come with a Divorce Coach?

Beyond the cost savings associated with hiring a divorce coach, there are many other positive reasons to consider finding a professional coach in your area. For many individuals, working with a divorce coach puts them in a position of power.

This decision grants you the feeling of control over the situation at hand, even though a professional is still guiding you through each step of the process. Setting goals and working through your emotions in the midst of your divorce can help you gain a better grip on the psychological toll that divorce can often take.

A good, well-qualified divorce coach can also give you some insight into planning for the future. Many coaches are qualified to help you look at your financial information and begin planning for a new income and lifestyle after you are single. If you take this step early in the process, you will be more prepared for bills, savings, and all of the other critical financial decisions that you will face over the coming months as you re-establish your own household.

 

Finding the Right Divorce Coach

Hiring a divorce coach may seem like a simple way to make muddling through the divorce process simpler, healthier, and more cost-effective. While separate from a relationship with a divorce lawyer or therapist, a divorce coach offers a unique selection of services, which can help you navigate the process with increased ease.

When you begin your search for a qualified divorce coach, make sure to check all of their qualifications. In order to take a closer look at your finances, you may want to find a professional who has experience in money management or financial planning. Also consider the training, classes, and certifications they have earned to be divorce coaches.

Assembling a team of the best professionals is critical to success, and you should definitely consider your divorce coach’s qualifications before hiring. By settling for someone who is less than qualified, you could miss out on all the benefits that a divorce coach can offer.

 

Shawn Leamon, MBA, CDFA is the host of the “Divorce and Your Money Show” and Managing Partner of LaGrande Global, with offices in Dallas, New York and Hanover, New Hampshire.

Jul 25, 2017
This episode is the sixth part in a series about your post-divorce finances. If you have not already heard the first five parts of this series, be sure to listen to them because they build upon each other.
 
By now, you should have outlined your financial goals, found out how to choose a financial advisor, and learned some key financial terms and concepts. Even if you are early in the divorce process, planning ahead will help you know what you need to think about during the divorce.
 
How do you know that your financial advisor is doing a good job? You may not keep the same advisor for the rest of your life, and in some cases, you may want to consider changing advisors. Here are some tell-tale signs that you may want to change sooner rather than later:
 
1) Your investment performance is worse than the benchmarks.
 
Monitoring your investment performance is an important part of assessing your investment strategy. For a given year, what return are you receiving on your accounts? Of course, stocks fluctuate from day to day and year to year. To see how your investments are performing, compare them to benchmarks (i.e., groups of other stocks).
 
For example, the S&P 500 is an index of the top 50 stocks in the US. Perhaps your stocks went up 5% in one year, but the S&P 500 went up 7%. If so, you may want to ask your advisor why. However, perhaps the stock market as a whole went down one year, but you lost more money than the benchmark. If so, that is a problem.
 
If you see a trend where your portfolio is repeatedly performing worse than the benchmark year after year, you should strongly consider making a change. We recommend that you do your own research to learn what the best benchmarks are to accurately compare your portfolio.
 
2) Your investment portfolio is overly complicated.
For most people, a few investments are enough. Those investments might be funds, such as an index fund that contains 500 stocks. However, each investment will be a single line item in your portfolio.
 
Reportedly, Warren Buffet, a great investor, plans for his money to be invested in just two funds after he dies: 10% in short-term government bonds, and 90% in Vanguard’s low-cost S&P 500 index fund. Keep in mind that Buffet is a billionaire, but the point is that it is fine to have a simple portfolio. You should understand every investment in your portfolio. If you have 50 different line items in your portfolio, it probably is not a good sign.
 
3) You have red-flag investments in your portfolio.
You should probably not have some types of investments in your account if you are listening to this podcast. You are unlikely to need any high-fee investments; they are probably unsuitable for you and your lifestyle. Low-fee investments will help you earn more money over time from your investments.
 
Below is a list of investments that are not appropriate for most people. If you have these investments, you should reconsider keeping them:
  • Structured products
  • Annuities
  • Hedge funds
  • Private equity funds
  • Any kind of illiquid fund, which involves locking your money up for 2 years or more
  • Options
  • Any sort of directional strategy
  • Anything that cannot be explained in a few sentences, or that takes up more than one sheet of paper to explain in-depth
  • Anything that has high fees (over 1.5% for any investment fund)
 
To decide if your financial advisor is doing a good job for you, you should look at the three points above. Of course, they are general recommendations, so please take your own circumstances into account. Remember to seek professional guidance about making the best decision for you.
 
In the next episode, we will discuss the financial documents that you will need to update after your divorce.
 
Thank you for listening to the Divorce and Your Money Show. Visit us at www.divorceandyourmoney.com for personalized coaching services. If you enjoyed the show, please take a moment to leave a review on iTunes, as it will help other people discover this free advice.
Jul 20, 2017
This was originally published on Divorce And Your Money here.

 

Dealing with the legal aspects of divorce can be convoluted, time-consuming, and frustrating. Therefore, it can seem overwhelming. The attorneys on both sides want to start with as much information as possible. You can hire divorce attorneys to gather and exchange this information.

This process is called an interrogatory or discovery, and it can work against you if you are not careful. Below is an explanation of the process. That way, you can understand it a bit better and proceed with more knowledge and caution.

 

What Is Discovery?

In any legal proceeding, each side has information that the other side needs before moving forward with negotiations or going to court. Remember, that information is exchanged during the discovery process.

There are several types of discovery for legal proceedings. The discovery for a divorce is called an interrogatory because of the way the questionnaire is designed.

Most states have a limit to the number of items on the interrogatory questionnaire. That way, one side does not bog the other side down with too much busywork. If given the chance, some lawyers would give the opposition an amount of information that is impossible to acquire.

A maximum response time is also allowed, which ensures that the divorce does not get held up because one side takes too much time with the discovery. The usual response time is around 30 days, but you should follow up with your state to make sure. There is an option to ask for an extension, but for it to be granted, you will need to show a good reason and an open line of communication with the other side.

 

Financial Interrogatory

This interrogatory involves the exchange of financial information for the division of property and alimony.

These questionnaires vary, but they universally ask for the following information in one form or another:

  • An itemization of income and assets
  • A record of how often you are paid
  • A list of all bank and investment accounts
  • The identity of witnesses you will be using in the case
  • Exhibits and evidence you will be using if the case goes to court

 

Custody Interrogatory

This exchange of information is used to determine the custody of the children, which is when a lot of divorces get difficult. It is never a good idea to let any kind of emotional response through in a discovery document, so try to remain as factual as possible.

The interrogatory will mainly consist of questions about your spouse, especially regarding anything that might deem them as an unfit parent.

If you make any allegations claiming that your spouse is unfit, make sure that they are accurate. Then you can easily back them up with a good amount of proper evidence. If you are stretching the truth in any way, it will backfire and make you look bad in the eyes of the court.

There will also be a list to prove childcare expenses so that any child-support deals can be worked out.  The requested expenses will mainly consist of:

  • Tuition and school supplies
  • Babysitters
  • Clothing
  • Extracurricular activities
  • Medical treatment

There is also a space on the custody interrogatory, where you can respond to any allegations that have been made against your character. Make sure to provide as much evidence as possible that proves that the allegations are false, which can include character-witness affidavits, affidavits from teachers and coaches, emails, and texts.

 

Watch Out for Trick Questions

One cannot stress how important it is to follow instructions to the letter. It is a lawyer’s job to try to get more out of the other side whenever possible, so bear in mind that any interrogatory used in a divorce proceeding will use as much legalese as possible. It is always a good idea to get outside consulting, either from a lawyer or a divorce coach. Then you can make sure that you have not missed anything, and that you have not provided too much information.

Make sure that you have checked, rechecked, and triple-checked everything. This process is another reason why it is a good idea to hire an outside consultant. Objective, fresh eyes will help you see mistakes, especially anything that is missing, which could count against you in court.

Do not put this process off until the last minute. It makes you more vulnerable to mistakes, and it raises the impact of the stress of the divorce, which is already going to be stressful enough.

As you can see, an interrogatory is one of the most important parts of your divorce process. To move forward in a way that benefits you, you need to answer interrogatories that your spouse’s divorce attorneys send you in the best, most strategic way possible.

The best strategy is to supply exactly the right amount of information, but it is extremely difficult to implement. You need your attorney to go through it with you, but it can be time-consuming. And remember, lawyers’ billable hours can be very costly.

To save yourself headaches, ask your attorney to help you with the interrogatory process. They have been trained to know exactly how to handle these kinds of questions to maximize your benefit.

Whichever way you choose to go, it is always advised to get started early. The sooner you get it filled out, the sooner the divorce can wrap up, and you can move forward.

 

Shawn Leamon, MBA, CDFA is the host of the “Divorce and Your Money Show” and Managing Partner of LaGrande Global, with offices in Dallas, New York and Hanover, New Hampshire.

 

Jul 20, 2017
This episode is the fifth part in a series about your post-divorce finances. This series will help you make more informed decisions about your finances during and after your divorce. If you have not already heard the first four parts of this series, be sure to listen to them because they build upon each other. This episode will use a lot of the terminology that was explained in the last episode.
 
Here, we will discuss the investments you will need in your post-divorce life. Investments are a very complicated topic, and people spend their entire careers specializing on a single facet of investing. Therefore, this series will only be a brief introduction.
 
When you sign your divorce papers, you will usually find yourself with a sum of money. The amount will vary, but you will probably not want to leave it in a bank account. Rather, you will more than likely want to invest it so that you will see better returns.
 
Most of you have many years left ahead of you, so you will want to plan for the rest of your life. Keep in mind that you do not need to rush to invest as soon as the divorce is settled. Many people take some time to settle into their new lives before making major financial decisions.
 
To keep it simple, you will probably want to invest in a mix of stocks and bonds. More elaborate investments are unnecessary. The sooner you expect to withdraw that money, the more bonds you should have.
 
Stocks suffer from the volatility of the market. Therefore, if you are older and your portfolio is stock-heavy, you may find that an economic downturn has a severe financial effect on you. However, if it will be many years before you need to use that money, it makes sense to invest in stocks. As long as the economy continues to grow, your stocks could increase in value over the long-term. If you wait out any short-term volatility, you will receive higher returns.
 
Bonds have less volatility, although they also have lower returns. If you are near retirement, then your investment portfolio will probably have more money invested in bonds than stocks. You want to have the certainty that the money will be there when you need it.
 
Depending on your financial advisor, you may consider commodities (e.g., gold, oil, wheat) or real estate. However, mutual funds and hedge funds are still essentially investments in stocks and bonds that are managed for you.
 
Investment returns are uncertain, but one thing that is certain is that lower fees will give you better returns over the long term. For both stocks and bonds, index funds have lower fees. There is nothing wrong with a simple, boring investment portfolio.
 
Ultimately, it will be best if you understand what you are investing in. If you do not understand it, you do not have to put your money into it. You will need to do further research to understand all of your options, but remember that a lower-cost option will ultimately benefit you in the long run.
 
In the next episode, we will discuss how to tell if your financial advisor is doing a good job for you.
 
Thank you for listening to the Divorce and Your Money Show. Visit us at www.divorceandyourmoney.com for personalized coaching services. If you enjoyed the show, please take a moment to leave a review on iTunes, as it will help other people discover this free advice.
Jul 18, 2017
"After divorce or a big life change, whatever it is, and you’re on your own, just take some time to get acquainted, get back with yourself, figure out what you’re doing, what’s important to you, and get up running. That’s really the first place you start before making any rushed financial decisions, because that’s a good way to make a big error without thinking about it.”
 
Marriage over. Divorce papers signed. Money transferred. Rest of your life begins. Now what?
 
One challenge after divorce is figuring out who can help you plan your finances for the rest of your life. There are many different financial advisors (and people who call themselves financial advisors), investment strategies, terminology, and calculations to consider after divorce. How do you begin to make the right decisions?
 
In this episode Shawn is interviewed by Clinical Psychologist Dr. Robbin Rockett, Psy. D, the host of “Solo Parent Life” podcast.
 
Thank you for listening to the Divorce and Your Money Show. Visit us at www.divorceandyourmoney.com for personalized coaching services and a full transcript of this episode. If you enjoyed the show, please take a moment to leave a review on iTunes, as it will help other people discover this free advice.
Jul 13, 2017
This episode is the fourth part of a series on your post-divorce finances. If you have not already heard the first three episodes, please go back and listen to them first. Even if you are in the early or middle stages of a divorce, this series will help you define your financial goals for the rest of your life. It is important to define those goals early in the divorce process, so that you know what is important to negotiate throughout it.
 
This episode will discuss finance and investment terminology that you need to know while going through your divorce. We will just cover some of the most important terms, so that you can follow these finance conversations more easily.
Here are 13 key financial terms to know:
 
Asset – anything you own that has value (such as a house, car, computer, baseball card collection, or investment account)
 
Debts – money you owe to other people (such as loans and credit cards)
 
Balance sheet – a summary of all of your assets and all of your debts on one page. This sheet covers the same information as a financial affidavit in a divorce. It is important to note that a balance sheet is a snapshot of your financial situation on a particular date, because assets can fluctuate in value over time.
 
Stock – ownership in a company (same as equity). It can be a share of a publicly traded stock, or an equity in a private company (such as a small business).
 
Bond – money that you loan as an investment, typically to a company or government. You will be paid interest until they are ready to repay the loan. Keep in mind that bonds are a very complicated topic.
 
Portfolio – the combination of investments that you own. They can be stocks, bonds, real estate, any other type of investment, or a combination of different types.
 
Asset allocation – the percentage of your portfolio in stocks, bonds, or other investment types. For example, a younger person may have an asset allocation of 80% stocks and 20% bonds, whereas an older person might have a higher percentage of bonds and real estate.
 
Risk – uncertainty about how your assets will perform. Some forms of investment carry more risk than others.
 
Index – a group of stocks or investments. They may group similar stocks (such small companies, large companies, and international companies), bonds, or other investments. Often, they are followed over time to measure how the group is performing, or how a country’s economy is doing. Therefore, they are often used as benchmarks (such as NASDAQ and S&P 500). One related financial concept (that we will not be able to cover in this episode) is a type of investment called index funds, but you can research it on your own to learn more.
 
Mutual fund – a common type of investment that involves a company pooling money from different investors. This combined money is invested by a manager, and each investor’s returns are carefully measured. The investment strategies for mutual funds vary; they may invest in stocks, bonds, real estate, or international companies.
 
Hedge fund – similar to a mutual fund, but typically with a very high minimum investment ($500,000 and up, depending on the fund).
 
Capital gain – the amount of money that you receive when selling an investment that exceeds the price you paid for it. For example, if you bought a house for $100,000 and sold it for $120,000, you would have a capital gain of $20,000. This term is important because you will owe capital gains tax on that $20,000. During your divorce, you will need to be aware of how much capital gain each of the assets you will receive will have, so that you are not stuck with a large, unexpected tax bill.
 
Inflation – the concept that prices of goods and services generally increase over time. Costs of everything from gas to bubblegum to homes are higher today than they were fifty years ago, because of inflation.
 
If you would like to learn more about finance, start regularly reading the Wall Street Journal. If you look up terms and companies that you do not know, you will learn a lot about the finance world. In the next episode, we will talk about which types of investments to consider when you plan your post-divorce finances.
 
Thank you for listening to the Divorce and Your Money Show. Visit us at www.divorceandyourmoney.com for personalized coaching services. If you enjoyed the show, please take a moment to leave a review on iTunes, as it will help other people discover this free advice.
Jul 11, 2017
This was originally published on Divorce And Your Money here.

Abandonment divorce, also known as desertion, is basically defined as one spouse leaving against the will of the other spouse. Sometimes, this situation occurs when one spouse leaves and is never heard from again. Other times, it can happen when things seem to be going well, and there are no signs of unhappiness; then all of a sudden, divorce is sought, and they become cold, distant, and completely different.

Whichever way abandonment divorce happens, it is often traumatic and brutal. Your world will feel like it is falling apart. However, there are ways to stop the downward spiral that inevitably comes from something this heartbreaking.

 

1) Know Your Rights

Some states require a certain amount of time. Most say a year, but some require more time before abandonment or desertion can be claimed for divorce. Make sure to look up your state laws to see how long you have to wait.

Be aware that some situations do not count as grounds for abandonment, including a mutual agreement to separate, unexpected military service, and fleeing an abusive situation. Even though these reasons are valid, they make closure more difficult.

A judge will decide whether there is a case for abandonment on a case-by-case basis, which means you will have to provide ample evidence that your spouse disappeared without any support or warning.

Sometimes, it can be hard to prove abandonment. You will have to prove that they left of their own free will, or have not been present in the marriage. You will also have to prove that they have not been financially contributing to anything in the household or family. It takes a lot of work. It will feel a lot less overwhelming if you seek help with collecting evidence as soon as possible. A divorce coach can help you find the evidence you need.

 

2) Counseling

Your confidence will take a hit. It is hard not to take abandonment personally, even though you should not. The trauma of the whole situation will lead to much confusion and many unanswered questions. An objective observer, such as a therapist, can help you see things with a better perspective.

In all likelihood, you will have an obsession for wanting answers that may never come, which is perfectly natural. You should be kind to yourself during this natural grieving process. A therapist will help you see how to accept that some questions may never be answered.

These emotions are powerful. If you try to deal with them all by yourself, it will only lead to burnout or breakdown, so allow yourself to seek the help you need.

 

3) Acceptance

What happened was wrong, and accepting that fact is the only way to move on. Accept that it has nothing to do with you, and everything to do with your spouse. This acceptance can go a long way in helping you heal from abandonment divorce.

Many people who choose abandonment have mental health problems. Once you are able to realize this fact, you will see that it has nothing to do with your worth.

 

What if They Come Back before a Year Passes?

If they come back and can prove it, the clock resets. Therefore, if they leave again, you have to wait another year—or whatever the amount of time is in your state—before you can file for abandonment divorce.

Also, the amount of time that they remain when they return does not factor into this law.  They could return for a single day with the intention of working things out. In some cases, spouses will go back and forth between returning and disappearing, just so they can avoid divorce.

This situation will make abandonment much more difficult to be grounds for divorce. A divorce professional can help you figure out the direction to go in this kind of situation.

Sometimes, it might be better to look for other grounds, which might also apply to your situation. You have options; abandonment is just one of them. Emotional abuse is often the next option spouses choose as grounds.

Whichever way you go, you will need to collect evidence. Make sure you have all the information that is required by your state.

If you experience abandonment without a prior warning that anything was wrong, it will likely put you in panic mode and make you highly emotional, which is perfectly understandable. Subsequently, many people overlook options they never knew they had.

Consider talking to a divorce coach, so that you can have an objective observer guide you through this tumultuous time. A divorce coach will know where to look when you are feeling overwhelmed. Whichever route you choose, just remember that it is not the end of the world. It will get better, and you will find yourself again.

 

Shawn Leamon, MBA, CDFA is the host of the “Divorce and Your Money Show” and Managing Partner of LaGrande Global, with offices in Dallas, New York and Hanover, New Hampshire.

Jul 11, 2017
This episode is the third part in a series on managing your finances after divorce. Although it might feel far away, the day will soon come when you need to plan for the rest of your post-divorce life. This series will help you do that. In the first part, we discussed three key goals to keep in mind for your life after divorce. The second part covered different types of financial advisors, as well as the one question you need to ask to find out if a financial advisor will act in your best interest. If you have not listened to those two episodes yet, please do!
 
In this episode, we will discuss how to choose a financial advisor in more detail. Feel free to meet with several financial advisors throughout this process. They will not charge you for the initial meetings until you hire them. It is recommended that you interview at least 3-5 financial advisors to find one that is right for you. Then you can compare proposals and get the financial advisors to compete with each other. This episode will give you tips about what to ask during the interview process.
 
There are three main questions to cover when interviewing a financial advisor. They will not be quick answers. You will have to work together to get to a final answer. The three topics are:
 
1) Can they make a budget and financial plan for you?
Remember the three key goals from the first part of this series:
  • Get out of debt.
  • Save for retirement.
  • Have an emergency fund.
 
A financial advisor can help you prepare a budget to meet these goals. You will need to share information about your income, assets, and debts to make a plan. Even if you are not in the place that you want to be (or you have made some financial mistakes in the past), a financial advisor can help you reach your goals. Ask them to prepare a budget and a financial plan. Make sure they explain it and that it makes sense to you. You can compare the different financial plans from the 3-5 advisors that you are interviewing, and see which one you prefer.
 
2) What kind of investment portfolio do they recommend?
They may recommend stocks, bonds, mutual funds, index funds, or a combination. A future episode in this series will talk about these different investments in-depth. Get a detailed proposal from each prospective advisor, compare them, and do your own research. You can even give each advisor the proposals from their competitors, and ask them to explain why their proposal is the best one.
 
3) What fees do they plan on charging you?
Broadly speaking, there are two levels of fees:
  • Fees for the specific investments they recommend
  • Fees that the investment advisor charges to manage your assets (typically a percentage of your assets)
 
There is an entire chapter in Managing Private Wealth: Principles that is devoted to fees. It is a complicated topic, so this episode will only cover the basics. To simplify, you can ask each financial advisor what the total annual fees will be for all of the investments they are recommending. Typically, they will quote it to you in terms of a percentage of your assets. Be sure to translate that percentage into a dollar amount, so you will know exactly what you will be paying.
 
You can often negotiate better fees by considering multiple advisors at the same time, because they will compete with each other. These fees will add up over the years. Depending on how much you are investing, you could save tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars by negotiating lower fees.
 
Conclusion
There is one red flag to keep in mind as you interview advisors: if they guarantee you a certain return, run away. Responsible financial advisors will not guarantee anything, but scammers will.
 
The next episode will cover some important financial terminology, so that you can be better prepared for conversations with financial advisors. Then you can plan for your post-divorce life.
 
Thank you for listening to the Divorce and Your Money Show. Visit us at www.divorceandyourmoney.com for personalized coaching services. If you enjoyed the show, please take a moment to leave a review on iTunes, as it will help other people discover this free advice.
Jul 6, 2017
This episode is the second part of a multipart series on your post-divorce finances. Part 1 discussed the three essential financial goals to think about as you plan your post-divorce life. Even if you are not very far along in the divorce process, your divorce will be over at some point. Therefore, this series will help you plan for the rest of your life.
 
In this episode, you will get an overview of financial advisors and financial planners, including what these terms mean and how to choose one. Many people do not understand how the finance industry works. The fact is that the incentives in the finance industry are often not structured to benefit you (the investor). Financial firms are businesses, and like any business, their goal is to make money. It is very important for you to know about the different kinds of financial professionals, and how they make their money. There is one critical question to ask a financial advisor that you are thinking about working with: “How do you get paid?”
 
This question might seem intrusive to the average person, but it is important for you to know what kind of pay structure they are under. They may get paid directly by you, or they may receive commissions. But generally, they get a fixed fee that you agree upon. Regarding commissions, they may receive one every time you buy or sell an investment, or they may charge you a markup on the cost of the investment. Because they are compensated to sell you certain financial products, their incentives are not necessarily in your best interest.
 
Like stockbrokers, these professionals can be considered brokers, or they may be “dually registered,” which means they receive both fixed fees and commissions. If they state that their securities are offered by a certain financial institution, it is an indication that they are receiving commissions.
 
Fee-only financial advisors (not to be confused with fee-based) charge you a fixed fee— whether it is to create a budget or financial plan, or to manage your investments. In the latter case, they are often paid a fixed percentage of your assets each year. (The typical fee is 0.5 – 1%.) Fees can add up over time, so it is wise to negotiate for the best fee possible, which the next episode will discuss further.
 
Financial advisors are not necessarily required to act in your best interest, which surprises many people. But advisors who receive commissions can actually recommend things that are not in your best interest.
 
The finance industry has a word for a financial advisor who must act in your best interest: a fiduciary. This person is legally required to act in your best interest, and they do not receive commissions. They only receive a fixed fee that you pay them. So rather than asking prospective financial advisors how they get paid, you can simply ask, “Are you a fiduciary?” If the answer is “no,” you should strongly consider looking elsewhere. Brokers can be useful in certain situations, but it is important to understand how their business works. That way, you will not get harmed by it.
 
In the next episode, you will learn some key tips for interviewing your post-divorce financial professionals.
 
Thank you for listening to the Divorce and Your Money Show. Visit us at www.divorceandyourmoney.com for personalized coaching services. If you enjoyed the show, please take a moment to leave a review on iTunes, as it will help other people discover this free advice.
Jul 5, 2017
This was originally published on Divorce And Your Money here.
 

A separation can be a confusing financial time. If you are still legally married but living apart, deciding who should pay the bills can be a difficult endeavor. Significant financial strain accompanies the attempt to maintain two separate households on the same income, but remember, the consequences for letting bills slide can be severe.

Below, you can find some practical answers to your top questions about paying the bills during separation:

 

Who is responsible for the payments?

In most cases, there is one clear-cut answer that makes it a little easier to divide up responsibilities. The spouse who has their name on the bill each month is usually the one who is ultimately responsible for issuing payment on a regular, timely basis.

In some scenarios, such as a mortgage payment, joint credit card account, or car loan, both spouses may have their name on the bill. When both spouses are listed as responsible parties to the debt, failure to pay those bills on time will result in credit damage to both parties.

You will need to consider the long-term ramifications of missing payments when you are financially responsible and able to pay. Even if you feel that it is your partner’s responsibility to cover that expense, you should still make sure that payment is issued for each and every bill. Otherwise, you could incur severe credit damage, which will make it difficult to qualify for future loans or mortgages.

Who should pay for what?

The decision about who is responsible for payments is largely a personal one, which is based on the unique factors of your marriage and divorce (including your finances, emotions, and ongoing relationship).

The spouse whose name is listed on the bill is usually responsible for that bill, but it the specifics of the marital home can get complicated. For example, one spouse may have their name on the mortgage, while the other continues to reside in the marital home. Household expenses can be shared, but they may not be equally split between spouses, depending on the income level of each partner.

If one spouse pays all of the mortgage and household expenses, even while maintaining their own separate residence, you may have significant financial repercussions before the divorce is finalized. This cost can add up to thousands of dollars, which is a major disadvantage to the responsible party.

 

Can you receive temporary spousal support?

It should be no secret that the incomes of two spouses are not always equal. If one person is a significantly higher earner than the other, the financially disadvantaged spouse may be able to request temporary spousal support while they try to figure out their newly single income. This support may also apply during situations when one spouse has been out of the workforce for an extended period of time.

Temporary spousal support is not likely to cover every penny of your expenses, but it can certainly be a welcome addition to your monthly income for a period of time. It can assist with paying bills while you search for a better job or a higher-paying position in your current field. The financial gaps can be substantially lessened, giving you breathing room and a better opportunity to establish financial security for your single lifestyle.

The additional benefit to this method of gaining assistance in paying your bills is that it does not have long-term consequences for your credit. The bills have a greater chance of being paid on-time with the financial assistance of your spouse, so it is more likely to make sure your credit score stays in pristine condition. As a result, you will be more eligible for future loans, mortgages, or credit cards.

 

Final thoughts

As you split your household into two separate residences, making decisions about who should pay for which bills is a stress-fueled time for every couple. Especially in situations where income was not equally divided between the two spouses, there can be serious financial strain from covering all of the new household expenses. Opting to ignore past-due bills will only create more headaches for your financial future by wreaking havoc on your credit score, including eligibility for future loans and programs.

Ultimately, the decision about who should pay the bills during a separation will be based upon the unique relationship of the couple, as well as their financial status. To make the best decision for both of you, consider what each spouse is able and willing to pay during this time.

Shawn Leamon, MBA, CDFA is the host of the “Divorce and Your Money Show” and Managing Partner of LaGrande Global, with offices in Dallas, New York and Hanover, New Hampshire.

 

 

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Jul 4, 2017
This episode begins a multipart series about post-divorce finances. Even if you are early in the divorce process, this series will help you plan your life after your divorce.
 
After making a settlement, many people find themselves wondering what the next step is for their finances. Should they start by making a budget, choosing a financial advisor, or deciding what investments to make? This process can be daunting, so this series will help you navigate those decisions.
 
Imagine that you are at the end of your divorce process. Your assets have been divided, and it dawns on you that you have to plan the rest of your life. Many people have to financially rebuild after divorce. You may need to recalibrate some of your goals. This episode focuses on the goals that you will need to think about regarding your post-divorce finances. 
 
We can narrow these goals down to three basic areas:
  1. Get out of debt
  2. Save for retirement
  3. Have money for an emergency
 
In order to achieve these goals, you will need a budget to plan your spending, which you should do while negotiating a settlement or going through mediation. As you get to the end of your divorce, take some time to refine the details of your budget. In order to achieve the three goals above, will you need to cut expenses or increase your income? Each of these areas are very in-depth topics on their own. There are many books, professionals, and other resources devoted to each one.
 
The issues we will cover in this series are complicated. In fact, professionals spend their entire careers specializing in these areas, so these episodes will just be introductions. Here are the topics that will be covered in the next five episodes:
  • What kind of financial advisor you should use
  • How to choose a financial advisor
  • What all of the financial terms mean
  • Which types of investments to consider
  • How to know if your financial advisor is doing a good job
 
In the next episode, you will hear some important warnings about the finance industry, and find out if a financial advisor is going to act in your best interest.
 
Thank you for listening to the Divorce and Your Money Show. Visit us at www.divorceandyourmoney.com for personalized coaching services. If you enjoyed the show, please take a moment to leave a review on iTunes, as it will help other people discover this free advice.
Jun 29, 2017

This was originally published on Divorce And Your Money here.

When it comes to filing your paperwork at the end of your divorce, it is incredibly important to understand each individual document. Official documents pertaining to your divorce should be easily understood, recognized, and identified, in case you need to access them in the future. In particular, a divorce decree (which marks the official end of the marriage) is one of the most significant documents that you will obtain. All parties should understand what it does, what items it includes, and even how it can be modified.

If you have a few lingering questions regarding what a divorce decree actually is, you are definitely not alone. These frequently asked questions should help clarify your thoughts:

What is a Divorce Decree?

A divorce decree is an official court document containing the final settlement and agreement for your divorce. In order to officially end the marriage, this paper must be signed by a judge, then filed with the court clerk. Your divorce decree cannot be enforced or finalized until this paper is filed with the courts.

The decree by itself typically includes all of the necessary areas of your marital life, which now need to be separated. It is the official answer to questions that pertain to your finances, benefits, property, and childcare or custody arrangements.

What is Included in the Divorce Decree?

If a divorce decree marks the official end of your marriage and establishes your newly single life, what can you expect to find covered in it? Most couples will include everything that they need to jointly address and separate into an equitable settlement. However, first and foremost, it should be noted that the issuance of a divorce decree also typically marks the end of employer benefits from a spouse, including health insurance and other types of coverage.

Most married couples are anxious to receive a divorce decree, which settles the financial aspect of their split. This decree untangles debts and marks the specific obligations of each spouse toward a shared or accumulated debt. According to the judge’s decision, it also divides your property, real estate, and assets (including retirement accounts, savings accounts, and other finances) between the two of you. It is responsible for establishing all of the financial implications of your divorce.

The decree is designed to give clear expectations about the rights and responsibilities for both spouses. Beyond the financial responsibilities already covered, it also includes details for child support and alimony, if applicable. Custody arrangements for any children involved are also typically included in the divorce decree.

Can You Change a Divorce Decree?

A divorce decree can potentially be modified in the future through an appeals process, but only under very specific circumstances. For example, this decree may be changed by a judge if it is found to contain errors in the law. It cannot be altered to revise facts contained within the document that pertain to errors in hearsay. However, if something was divided between the two spouses that was not in accordance with state laws, the divorce decree could potentially be modified.

It may also be altered to reflect changes in income or other financial situations that could affect the payment of child support or alimony. A spouse who is responsible for making monthly child-support payments and takes a lower-paying job may be able to appeal the decision about the specific monthly obligation that is owed. Likewise, a higher-paying job may indicate that a greater percentage of the pay should be allocated toward child support or alimony.

Custody arrangements may also be changed based on the evolving needs of the children. Older children may have a preference about which parent has full custody of them, so a divorce decree could also be modified to reflect:

  • Changes in parenting or life status
  • Any potential moves that either spouse makes
  • Other situations that pertain to the wellbeing of the children, which may call into question previous custody agreements

Covering the Basics

Understanding just what to expect from your official divorce decree is an important aspect of taking charge of your newly single life. You should know exactly what implications the document has, in terms of your financial arrangements and relational arrangements (if children are involved). The divorce decree officially marks the end of your marriage, but it also places you on the path to independence.

Shawn Leamon, MBA, CDFA is the host of the “Divorce and Your Money Show” and Managing Partner of LaGrande Global, with offices in Dallas, New York and Hanover, New Hampshire.

 

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Jun 29, 2017
"The divorce itself is a business transaction. You’re dividing up assets, your cash and your house. The part that is hard to look at as a business transaction is if there are children involved. That becomes much more of an emotional piece. If you can look at it with two paths, one being the business part of it and the rest of it being the children, when there are children, it helps. You’ll be more focused on the children and what the needs are of the children rather than the material things that you may be getting or losing.” - Karen Bigman, The Divorcierge
 
About Karen Bigman
In this episode we interview Karen Bigman, a divorce concierge and divorce coach. She shares her insights from the financial challenges she experienced after getting divorced. To learn more about Karen, you can visit her at thedivorcierge.com/.
 
Thank you for listening to the Divorce and Your Money Show. Visit us at www.divorceandyourmoney.com for personalized coaching services and a full transcript of this episode. If you enjoyed the show, please take a moment to leave a review on iTunes, as it will help other people discover this free advice.
Jun 27, 2017
This episode is intended to be shared with your spouse, especially for those of you who are earlier in the divorce process.
 
As you begin your divorce, you may not realize how much control you have over the divorce process. It is possible to avoid a lot of fighting over the assets, the children, and anything else that needs to be settled in the divorce. If you are able to avoid a long, drawn-out legal battle, it will benefit both spouses in the long run. It often benefits your children as well, if you have any.
 
No divorce is easy.
 
However, some divorces are more difficult than others. If you and your spouse are able to be fair and reasonable, you can work out a lot of the biggest issues between the two of you. For example, you can discuss over email what are the top five things that you want, within reason. Your spouse can reply with their top five priorities, and then you can negotiate. By doing so, you can do a lot of the hard work before giving it to your attorneys to iron out the details.
 
Sometimes, one spouse takes an aggressive approach to the divorce. Attorneys tend to exacerbate that attitude, which gets very expensive. Instead, you can stay in control of the process and spend less on attorney fees. If you start out asking for something that is obviously going to cause problems, like full custody of the children (assuming there was no abuse), then it creates a lot more fighting, which creates conflict. If you have children, you will most likely still have a relationship with this person, and adding conflict to the divorce process will not help you stay on good terms. If your financial situation is relatively uncomplicated – splitting a house, some assets, and a couple of cars – then a big legal battle will cost more than it is worth.
 
Often, people going through a divorce are driven by their emotions. You may have a lot of anger towards your spouse. However, an efficient and fair divorce will be the best for both of you. It will help keep your relationship intact so that you can speak to them when you need to, particularly if you have kids. Try to stay rational in this very difficult time. A divorce is a business arrangement, and the more you treat it as such, the better off you will be.
 
Thank you for listening to the Divorce and Your Money Show. Visit us at www.divorceandyourmoney.com for personalized coaching services. If you enjoyed the show, please take a moment to leave a review on iTunes, as it will help other people discover this free advice.
Jun 26, 2017

Before a married couple starts browsing the internet for an attorney, many couples will make an attempt at marital counseling. This last-ditch effort to determine whether or not the marriage is salvageable is common, though it frequently seems as though one spouse enters into the therapist’s office with more enthusiasm than the other.

Many couples may now benefit from a relatively new approach to counseling, which is typically popular among couples who have already made the decision to pursue a divorce. This type of therapy, known as divorce counseling, can help you make significant improvements in your relationship as you move toward finalizing a divorce.

Is divorce therapy right for you? What exactly is divorce counseling? Find some answers to this new approach in the sections below.

What Is Divorce Counseling?

Traditional therapy typically aims to understand and cope with the underlying emotions or tensions that are present within the relationship. Divorce counseling is slightly different, in that many licensed practitioners do not focus on this aspect of the split at all. Instead, the primary objective of divorce counseling is to establish a few healthy ground rules for communication moving forward, even as your relationship status changes. A divorce therapist can help form a new relationship between spouses that can remain amicable, even during a divorce.

When should you consider enlisting the help of a divorce therapist? Many couples will turn to this practice when the relationship is heading toward divorce, and communication has become overly hostile, angry, bitter, or resentful. In situations when there are children involved, it can be especially helpful to relieve some of the tension in the home environment. Then you can help them model positive, healthy communication skills.

Ultimately, it is most useful for couples who need some extra assistance in developing a set of rules for topics that can and cannot be discussed, as well as how those topics should be addressed.

Can You Do It Alone?

While some types of divorce counseling are designed to be completed with your spouse to help set up healthy guidelines for a future relationship or friendship with one another, you can work through divorce counseling on you won. Many individuals find that dealing with the emotional repercussions of divorce to be overwhelming, so divorce therapy can give you a safe space to process your feelings, thoughts, and fears about the future in your newly single life.

Having space to deal with your emotions can help you begin the process of emotional healing. With some of the stress relieved by having a constructive outlet for your emotions, you can focus on the more important things at hand with a greater degree of clarity. Divorce is bound to be a stressful process, but it will feel less burdensome if you have the ability to appropriately process your feelings.

You may even want to consider investigating divorce counseling as an option for children who are be affected by the circumstances.

What Should You Look for in a Divorce Therapist?

Not everyone can or should advertise themselves as a qualified divorce therapist. Before you enlist their help, you should consider whether they are going to be the right fit for you, your marriage, or your children. Consider things such as their personality, their friendliness, and their overall level of professionalism first. However, beyond that, you will want to make sure that they are well-qualified to be in their position.

A divorce therapist should have at least a bachelor’s degree in psychology, sociology, or a related field. The better, more qualified divorce therapists will frequently pursue higher degrees and additional certifications, classes, and continuing education to learn as much as they can about their respective field of expertise.

Consider finding a divorce therapist who is accredited through the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. This organization offers stricter guidelines on the qualifications necessary to be labelled as a divorce therapist. They also require that all applicants pass a state or national licensing exam to ensure they understand best practices in their field.

Potential clients should also ask about a divorce therapist’s clinical experience. You want to ensure that they have plenty of practice within their field with divorce, marital, or some type of family counseling. The more experience and familiarity they have with the type of therapy that suits them best, the better equipped they will be to help you manage the situation at hand.

Deciding on Divorce Counseling

Once you and your spouse have come to the conclusion that the marriage is over and divorce is imminent, counseling may be a great first step. It can help you establish ground rules for ongoing communication with one another, or give you space to process through your emotions solo.

The important thing about pursuing this type of counseling is to ensure that you are hiring the right divorce therapist. Without someone who has experience and training, you may not see the full benefits of this type of program. Make sure to take your time selecting the right approach and therapist for your unique situation, in order to make the most of your healing time and move forward.

Shawn Leamon, MBA, CDFA is the host of the “Divorce and Your Money Show” and Managing Partner of LaGrande Global, with offices in Dallas, New York and Hanover, New Hampshire.

Want more free divorce advice and tips?

Subscribe to the Divorce and Your Money Podcast, trusted by over 50,000 people across the United States.

Jun 22, 2017

This was published on Divorce and Your Money here

Divorce is never easy. It is particularly painful when one half of the couple is completely against the divorce and thinks the marriage can be saved. That feeling of rejection is like a sucker punch, and it can be difficult to overcome. You will feel out of control. The world you have invested so much of yourself into has just been destroyed. Where do you go from here? How do you overcome something you are so adamantly against? There is hope.

It will not be easy at first, but there are ways to get through it. You can even thrive after a divorce you did not want.

Let Yourself Grieve and Find Acceptance

Any ending requires a period of grieving. Sharing your life and love with somebody is a part of your life that does not just go away with the snap of a finger. Take the time to let the emotions out and experience the feeling of loss. Holding it in will only make you feel worse.

Nurture your grief as you let it out. Cry, get support from friends and family, journal, and have a few Netflix days. Just make sure you do not hold onto that grief. Do not hold back, and do not hold onto any of it. Sooth yourself, and release it. This grieving time should gently move into a place of nurturing yourself. Start to come to terms with the reality that it is over.

Realize that the decision has been made, and you get to decide how you react. Acceptance will lead you to healthier, more stable reactions. The deeper you go with the acceptance, the more you shed things like depression and anxiety. Now is your time.

Try to Stay Away from Blame and Feeling Rejected

Blame helps nobody, which is especially true if you blame yourself. Blaming your spouse is just as destructive. Ask yourself, “How does this serve you?” Nobody is to blame, but one of you is unhappy in the marriage. Find the acceptance of that without bringing blame into the equation, even if it is a divorce you did not want.

Remember that your spouse made their decision for themselves. It has more to do with them than you. It does not reflect your value. Your self-worth does not have to take a hit if you open yourself up to the possibility that it is all for the best.

For both you and your ex-spouse, focusing on blame leads to feelings of bitterness and unworthiness. Try not to feel like it is a rejection. Hold your head high, and realize you cannot control other people’s decisions. But you do get to control how you react and move on.

Get Counseling and/or Join a Support Group

Counseling is a valuable resource that can help clear the disruptive, destructive thoughts in your head about the divorce you did not want. Hearing the perspective of a trained, objective observer can do wonders. They can point out things that would never occur to you while you were in the thick of it. They can help you change your perspective to a more positive one.

Therapists and counselors can also show you ways to recover your self-worth. They help you get deeper inside yourself and tackle the emotions that did not come out during your grieving process. They will help you reconcile these emotions, so you can find ways to feel better until you get to a good, stable place.

Support groups are also a valuable resource, and they can be a perfect supplement to counseling. Hearing the stories of other people going through a divorce they did not want can make you feel less alone and crazy. You can connect to people who understand what you are going through. The validation you get from this experience is powerful in helping you heal and move on.

See this experience as a new lease on life

One way to shift gears and bring a feeling of joy and excitement to the divorce you did not want is thinking about all the possibilities that lie ahead of you. You are starting over in a lot of ways; your future is now yours.

There will be feelings of uncertainty as you feel the loss of the future plans you had with your ex-spouse. However, if you can turn them into feelings of excitement for what is possible, it can be a way to find yourself and start liking the new you.

Focus on Your Dreams

Tell a better story. What have you always wanted to do that you could not do in your marriage? Is there a training program or career path that did not fit with your former life?

Now you can chase that dream. You are independent now. You get to call the shots in your life without having to clear anything with a partner, who could have been affected by your choices. Obviously, any children involved will have to be considered, but you are still in control of your future. Grab that golden ticket. This divorce could be the best thing that ever happened to you.

Try just one of these suggestions at a time, but do try to incorporate all of them into your post-divorce life. It is imperative that you figure out how to move on—not just for any other family members who might be affected, but for your own happiness and peace of mind.

While you are processing and taking steps to heal from the divorce you did not want, try reaching out to a professional divorce coach. The process of overcoming an unwanted divorce can take an emotional toll, and a divorce coach can help steer you in the right direction, which your emotions might block you from seeing. If you become proactive in your healing process, things might even turn out better than you could have ever dreamed.

Shawn Leamon, MBA, CDFA is the host of the “Divorce and Your Money Show” and Managing Partner of LaGrande Global, with offices in Dallas, New York and Hanover, New Hampshire.

Want more free divorce advice and tips?

Subscribe to the Divorce and Your Money Podcast, trusted by over 50,000 people across the United States.

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Jun 22, 2017
This episode is about protecting your identity during divorce. We already touched on this topic when we talked with cybersecurity experts in Episodes 109 and 122. This time, we will focus on one specific tip that can give you peace of mind during and after your divorce.
 
People who are going through a divorce often realize that their soon-to-be ex-spouse has access to all of their personal information, which could be used to fraudulently apply for a credit card or take out a loan in their name. Their spouse knows their social security number, birthday, past addresses, and the answer to almost every security question that banks use to verify someone’s identity. Particularly when the divorce is not amicable, it becomes a real concern that the ex-spouse could open a line of credit in your name. Many people want to know how they can protect themselves.
 
You may have seen commercials for identity-protection companies or credit-monitoring services. These companies monitor your credit report and alert you when there is any change. However, they all include disclaimers saying that they are not able to protect you in all circumstances. These services typically cost $9-30 per month, which adds up over time. There is a simple solution that gives you better protection and costs less.
 
Most people do not realize that their credit report is open all the time. In other words, any company can find out their credit history, so they can decide whether or not to issue you credit. Therefore, without your knowledge, someone has access to all your personal information. However, you can freeze your credit so that it cannot be accessed without your knowledge.
 
Here is how this process works:
 
1.     You request a credit freeze from all three credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion). It takes 5-10 minutes for each credit agency and costs about $10 each.
 
2.     Your credit report will then be “frozen,” so that no company can request that information without your permission. You will choose a username, password, and a code to control access to your information.
 
3.     When you apply for a new line of credit, the lender will tell you that they need to access your credit report. You will usually only need to take this step for one credit agency. You will contact the credit agency and ask them to open your credit report for a short period (i.e., 24 hours). You will again pay a fee of roughly $10.
 
4.     The bank or credit card company will request your credit report as they normally would, and your credit report will be re-frozen after the designated period.
 
Keeping your credit frozen is an excellent way to protect yourself because you have to explicitly give permission for companies to access your credit. Most people only open new lines of credit a couple times per year, so it is not necessary for it to be open all the time. Although it costs some money, the price is much less than identity protection services, and it is actually more secure. When you ask to have your credit frozen, you can also choose to receive notifications about your credit score and changes to your credit history.
 
Everyone can take this small step to help secure their finances and protect themselves from identity theft.
 
Thank you for listening to the Divorce and Your Money Show. Visit us at www.divorceandyourmoney.com for 1-on-1 coaching. If you enjoyed the show, please take a moment to leave a review on iTunes, as it will help other people discover this free advice.
 
Jun 20, 2017

This was originally published on Divorce and Your Money here. 

In situations when the financial implications of divorce are of the utmost importance, many married couples will begin to consider the more cost-effective options. One of them is pro se divorce, and it affords you more breathing room with your finances than many of the other choices. For some couples, a pro se divorce is considered to be the least expensive method, but it can only be effectively implemented under certain circumstances, which involve individuals who are willing to do the work required.

Find out more of what you should know about pro se divorces by reading these frequently asked questions:

In Legal Terms, What Does Pro Se Mean?

The legalese behind terms like pro se can make it difficult to understand exactly what you may be facing. In this case, the Latin definition of this terms easily translates into “for oneself.” A pro se divorce essentially means that you plan to file for divorce without an attorney, or you may plan to represent yourself in lieu of obtaining legal counsel.

This method of divorce tends to work best in uncomplicated situations between spouses, typically those that do not involve children. Dividing finances and assets without the assistance of an attorney can still be a difficult undertaking, so it is recommended to consider this method only when there is very little to divide between the two of you. If you are considering a pro se divorce, good communication is a must, as it is most effective when the divorce will be uncontested. Therefore, both spouses need to be able to agree on a resolution without legal aide.

Do You Need a Lawyer to File for Divorce?

While you may not be required to have an attorney to file for divorce, many individuals opt to put one on retainer. A pro se divorce can be a complicated, time-consuming affair that you should prepare for in advance. The good news is that you are legally able to file your own paperwork to set your divorce in motion, and walk it all the way through to its final stages.

However, in order to have it correctly finalized, opting to take on this monumental task without the assistance of an attorney will require a lot of research on your part. Submitting the proper paperwork at the right time and in the right place is not always intuitive to individuals who do not specialize in practicing family law.

If your divorce ends up heading toward trial, you can continue to opt for a pro se divorce, so you will represent yourself during the hearing. By being a pro se litigant in the proceedings, you can speak for your own best interests without paying an attorney to do it for you. Bear in mind that you have the option to find and enlist the assistance of a divorce lawyer at any point during the process. Seeking representation can be necessary if you become overwhelmed by the research required, or if you uncover more assets or custody issues than originally anticipated.

How Much Does a Divorce Cost without a Lawyer?

An uncontested pro se divorce is clearly one of the least expensive methods of finalizing this process. Other methods may cost thousands of dollars and include litigation and even mediation, but a pro se divorce can often be completed for just a few hundred dollars. When money is one of the primary factors that leaves you feeling trapped in an unhappy marriage, the low cost of a pro se divorce can give you a way to gain your freedom.

Couples need to keep in mind that making a mistake while filing the paperwork for a pro se divorce could be extremely costly. When you find yourself uncertain that you can adequately research the requirements for filing for divorce without an attorney, you may want to reconsider whether this method is for you. Making large mistakes during the filing process can certainly take away from any expected savings you may be hoping for.

Pro Se Divorces Are Perfect in the Right Circumstances

Many couples can greatly benefit from the anticipated savings associated with filing for divorce without an attorney. Pro se divorces lend more financial freedom to married couples, who find themselves in the ideal circumstances to pursue this option. To ensure that you can quickly bring your divorce to completion, there must be time to complete extensive studying on the requirements for your individual state and county.

Spouses who are able to maintain excellent communication skills and have a desire to resolve their marital conflicts quickly tend to be more successful with pro se divorces. They also may want to consider this option when there are no children or extensive financial assets to consider. If you feel like you and your spouse match that description, it may be time to consider the how much money you could save by pursuing a pro se divorce, rather than hiring an attorney.

Shawn Leamon, MBA, CDFA is the host of the “Divorce and Your Money Show” and Managing Partner of LaGrande Global, with offices in Dallas, New York and Hanover, New Hampshire.

Want more free divorce advice and tips?

Subscribe to the Divorce and Your Money Podcast, trusted by over 50,000 people across the United States.

Jun 16, 2017

This was originally published on Divorce And Your Money here.

Many couples who know their marriage is over will actually put off a divorce because they believe that it is better for the children if they stay together. However, in many cases, it is the exact opposite. Divorce is rarely seen as a good thing, but it can actually provide benefits that an unhappy marriage never could, which is especially true regarding your children.

The key is to manage the conflict between you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse. The conflict is what caused all the problems in the first place. See the divorce as an end to that drama, instead of something bad that is happening to you.

Your children will notice if things go badly, but they will also notice if things go smoothly. In the interest of minimizing any damage to the children and yourselves, talk with your spouse about how to make the divorce as conflict-free as possible.

For a little motivation, take a look at the top four positive effects that a conflict-free divorce can have on children.

1) Emotional and Physical Health Improves

Less Stress

Stress is the #1 cause of emotional and physical problems. If the tension is high in a home where the parents are not happy being with each other, that tension spreads through the whole family and causes a great deal of stress. It takes its toll on everybody in different but harmful ways.

Choosing to stay together for the children only increases this tension and stress. Feeling trapped makes you feel like a caged animal, and it does not give you as much of a chance to be the attentive parent you want to be.

After many families split, everybody goes through the initial shock and adjustment. At that time, a lot of children actually start to thrive without the buildup of tension that was always present before.

Healthier Relationships

Once you have released yourself from the confines of an unhappy marriage, you open yourself up to the possibility for a better mate. If you diligently work to make sure the divorce is healthy for both you and the other parent, you begin to build strength and a sense of self-worth.

Your new lease on life will help you attract a better partner. Your children watch and learn from the decisions you make. They will see how ending a bad relationship and finding one that is healthier and better for you is worth it in the long run.

They will see your strength as you move on with somebody you can enjoy life with. They will benefit from a lighter feeling of living a better life with a new person.  And the most valuable lessons for them involve seeing what makes a good relationship and why ending a bad one is worth it.

2) They Learn the Value of Self-Worth

Setting Boundaries

If you set the divorce up in such a way that you and your co-parent work together, the children will see the value of boundaries, which are essential during a successful divorce. If you show your children that you can consistently enforce them, they will reap far more benefits than you could possibly imagine.

Your children will learn how to resolve conflicts with other people in their own lives. They will also find out that it is okay to reject a situation that they do not feel comfortable with, and they will see that sticking to boundaries positively affects everybody in the family.

Doing What Is Best for You

This point is an extension of boundaries, but it goes even further. Divorce is not an easy decision, and it causes a lot of turmoil. No matter how smooth you try to make this transition, it shows the children that making tough decisions to improve their lives is worth it.

It shows a strong amount self-esteem and a willingness to do what you have to do for a more well-adjusted life. It teaches them that it is not selfish to put themselves first in a healthy way, which involves them believing that they are worthy of happiness.

3) One-on-One Time with Each Parent

They get to know you as a person, rather than part of a couple, so they will see you as an individual. This compartmentalization helps them pull more from each parent. It can have a huge impact and actually make them more well-rounded than if you had stayed together and compromised more than you wanted to.

4) It Increases Their Ability to Adapt.

This Too Shall Pass

Your children get to see that big challenges do not result in the end of the world. They see you pick yourself up, move on, and get stronger. This example rubs off on them and increases their resiliency.

They follow your lead. If you move in a positive direction and learn from divorcing your co-parent, they will see that bad things happening can actually lead to things getting better. In fact, the best lessons they can learn is to face problems head on and see how this tactic can improve their lives.

Difficult decisions never come with easy answers. If your marriage is no longer making anybody in the family happy, it might be time to consider divorce as a possibility. If you maneuver this situation well, everybody in your family could end up better off.

As you consider your options, talk to a divorce coach and see how they can help make the transition go more smoothly for your finances and your family.

Shawn Leamon, MBA, CDFA is the host of the “Divorce and Your Money Show” and Managing Partner of LaGrande Global, with offices in Dallas, New York and Hanover, New Hampshire.

 

Jun 14, 2017

This was originally published on Divorce and Your Money here

Many couples who know their marriage is over will actually put off a divorce because they believe that it is better for the children if they stay together. However, in many cases, it is the exact opposite. Divorce is rarely seen as a good thing, but it can actually provide benefits that an unhappy marriage never could, which is especially true regarding your children.

The key is to manage the conflict between you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse. The conflict is what caused all the problems in the first place. See the divorce as an end to that drama, instead of something bad that is happening to you.

Your children will notice if things go badly, but they will also notice if things go smoothly. In the interest of minimizing any damage to the children and yourselves, talk with your spouse about how to make the divorce as conflict-free as possible.

For a little motivation, take a look at the top four positive effects that a conflict-free divorce can have on children.

1) Emotional and Physical Health Improves

Less Stress

Stress is the #1 cause of emotional and physical problems. If the tension is high in a home where the parents are not happy being with each other, that tension spreads through the whole family and causes a great deal of stress. It takes its toll on everybody in different but harmful ways.

Choosing to stay together for the children only increases this tension and stress. Feeling trapped makes you feel like a caged animal, and it does not give you as much of a chance to be the attentive parent you want to be.

After many families split, everybody goes through the initial shock and adjustment. At that time, a lot of children actually start to thrive without the buildup of tension that was always present before.

Healthier Relationships

Once you have released yourself from the confines of an unhappy marriage, you open yourself up to the possibility for a better mate. If you diligently work to make sure the divorce is healthy for both you and the other parent, you begin to build strength and a sense of self-worth.

Your new lease on life will help you attract a better partner. Your children watch and learn from the decisions you make. They will see how ending a bad relationship and finding one that is healthier and better for you is worth it in the long run.

They will see your strength as you move on with somebody you can enjoy life with. They will benefit from a lighter feeling of living a better life with a new person.  And the most valuable lessons for them involve seeing what makes a good relationship and why ending a bad one is worth it.

2) They Learn the Value of Self-Worth

Setting Boundaries

If you set the divorce up in such a way that you and your co-parent work together, the children will see the value of boundaries, which are essential during a successful divorce. If you show your children that you can consistently enforce them, they will reap far more benefits than you could possibly imagine.

Your children will learn how to resolve conflicts with other people in their own lives. They will also find out that it is okay to reject a situation that they do not feel comfortable with, and they will see that sticking to boundaries positively affects everybody in the family.

Doing What Is Best for You

This point is an extension of boundaries, but it goes even further. Divorce is not an easy decision, and it causes a lot of turmoil. No matter how smooth you try to make this transition, it shows the children that making tough decisions to improve their lives is worth it.

It shows a strong amount self-esteem and a willingness to do what you have to do for a more well-adjusted life. It teaches them that it is not selfish to put themselves first in a healthy way, which involves them believing that they are worthy of happiness.

3) One-on-One Time with Each Parent

They get to know you as a person, rather than part of a couple, so they will see you as an individual. This compartmentalization helps them pull more from each parent. It can have a huge impact and actually make them more well-rounded than if you had stayed together and compromised more than you wanted to.

4) It Increases Their Ability to Adapt.

This Too Shall Pass

Your children get to see that big challenges do not result in the end of the world. They see you pick yourself up, move on, and get stronger. This example rubs off on them and increases their resiliency.

They follow your lead. If you move in a positive direction and learn from divorcing your co-parent, they will see that bad things happening can actually lead to things getting better. In fact, the best lessons they can learn is to face problems head on and see how this tactic can improve their lives.

Difficult decisions never come with easy answers. If your marriage is no longer making anybody in the family happy, it might be time to consider divorce as a possibility. If you maneuver this situation well, everybody in your family could end up better off.

As you consider your options, talk to a divorce coach and see how they can help make the transition go more smoothly for your finances and your family.

Shawn Leamon, MBA, CDFA is the host of the “Divorce and Your Money Show” and Managing Partner of LaGrande Global, with offices in Dallas, New York and Hanover, New Hampshire.

 

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