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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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Now displaying: June, 2017
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?

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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.

 

Jun 13, 2017

This was originally published on Divorce and Your Money here

Divorce is more common than people think. In fact, about 40-50% of marriages end in divorce in the United States. Although that statistic may seem damning, it also means that there are millions of divorced people in the world going through the same troubles as you.

One of the easiest ways to mend your broken heart and start preparing yourself for your new future is to heed the advice of people who have dealt with the same difficulties and obstacles that you are about to face. At this point, divorce podcasts can become more than just entertaining pieces to listen to. Rather, they will be guides for putting yourself back together again.

You can easily find divorce podcasts online, especially through app stores such as iTunes. They are typically free to listen to, and can easily be streamed or downloaded on smartphones, laptops, and tablets.

If you are looking for ways to build a strong foundation for your new life, consider the potential benefits of these 4 phenomenal podcasts:

1. Divorce and Your Money Show with Shawn C. H. Leamon (MBA) (yeah ok, I’m biased)

As the author of Divorce and Your Money: The No-Nonsense Guide, a book aimed at helping individuals cope with the financial stress of divorce, Shawn C. H. Leamon (MBA and Certified Divorce Financial Analyst) will guide you through the trials and tribulations associated with planning for divorce and show you how to emerge from it with strong finances.

You would be surprised at the sheer amount of pressure that money can put on you, especially when you are going through settlements with your ex-spouse. In order to make sure that you are prepared for the fight, you will need to get your finances in order. Shawn Leamon helps listeners find out how to protect their IRAs, their pensions, and even their personal checking and savings accounts.

When you are spending the majority of your time focusing on keeping yourself emotionally stable during your divorce, it can be difficult to worry about your finances. Therefore, the Divorce and Your Money Show can be a phenomenal resource. There are over 120 episodes, which guide you through everything from making your life hack-proof to cleverly hiding your cash from your ex-spouse.

The Divorce and Your Money podcast is renowned because it offers real-world advice that is practical and applicable to any situation. It helps pull you out of the burden of drowning in your feelings, and reinforces a focus on your financial future. After you have successfully separated from your spouse, this podcast will become your most important safety net.

2. Divorced, Happy, & Successful with W Marc Watts

For someone who is interested in gaining insightful advice and useful tips from someone who has dealt with the difficulties of divorce himself, Divorced, Happy, & Successful is a valuable resource.

Are you trying to gain insight into how divorce works, how it could affect you and your family, and what you can do to counter the inevitable emotional struggles? If so, there are over 269 episodes for you to take in.

The Divorced, Happy & Successful podcast was developed by W Marc Watts as a result of his divorce at the age of 35. He went through a time when he was confused and unhappy with where he was. When he noticed that it was starting to affect his son’s life, he knew it was time for a change. W Marc Watts transformed his own grieving process into something that can help you understand the aspects of divorce and learn what you can expect to deal with when separating from your spouse.

It is full of real-life advice, which you can take to heart and use as a personal guide for dealing with your own divorce.

3. The Divorce Field Guide with Ani Mason, Esquire

An interesting aspect of The Divorce Field Guide by Ani Mason is that it is developed for people who are on the edge of deciding whether divorce is right for them, are going through a divorce, or are healing after a divorce.

The main objective of the podcast is to create a comprehensive roadmap for navigating the reality of  divorce. Instead of dealing with the entire situation at once, break it down into several smaller pieces that are easier to digest. Ideally, you should then be able to make sense of what is happening, which will make the situation far simpler to manage.

Ani Mason is part of Mason Law & Mediation, LLC. They are professionals who regularly deal with couples going through a divorce. While listening, you will surely be able to appreciate their in-depth knowledge and advice and use it to your advantage.

With each episode of the podcast, you will learn more about the different aspects of divorce, such as 50/50 parenting, traveling with your children, filing taxes as a divorced individual, and hiring a divorce attorney.

4. Over Divorce with Adrian & Tom

Over Divorce is the perfect tool for helping you get professional advice from a variety of divorce specialists, including lawyers, divorce coaches, financial planners, and child psychologists. These experts are interviewed during the podcast, and they have the perfect advice for helping you cope with your divorce and plan for a stronger future.

With each episode, you will be taken through the journey of understanding the emotional and psychological difficulties that people face when they decide that it is time to live a happier life without their spouse. An interesting factor of the Over Divorce podcast is that it covers divorce, separation, and regular breakups.

Instead of focusing on the past, Over Divorce helps you move on with your life and pay attention to the things that are most important, such as learning how to use meditation as a coping tool, overcome loneliness, and thrive as a single person.

It Is Not Over Yet

Dealing with divorce is not something that you have to do on your own, especially when there are plenty of people offering sound, professional advice. With the convenience of podcasts, all you have to do is listen. Afterward, you can decide if their advice is right for you.

 

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 13, 2017

This was originally published on Divorce and Your Money here.

Divorce is not the taboo subject that it used to be. In fact, more and more married couples are beginning to realize that they operate better individually than they do together. However, coming to this realization does not make it any simpler to end a long-term relationship. Whether you are looking to avoid divorce, building the courage to end your marriage, or are looking for ways to recover after losing your relationship, consider these top eBooks to help you through this difficult time.   

1) The Ex-Wives’ Guide to Divorce: How to Navigate Everything from Heartache and Finances to Child Custody by Holiday Miller and Valerie Shepherd

For women struggling with the end of a marriage, it is always useful to have a guide that can give you the coping mechanisms you need to handle your divorce with dignity and strength. The Ex-Wives’ Guide to Divorce is a tool that will help you deal with everything from your finances to the protection of your children.

Written by two women who dealt with divorce themselves, this book provides a roadmap to help you navigate through your fears, money, and plans for the future. One of the unique features of The Ex-Wives’ Guide to Divorce is that it relates back to the personal experiences of the authors, so women can easily relate to it. 

2) Divorce and Your Money: The No-Nonsense Guide by Shawn C. H. Leamon (MBA) 

It can be easy to get swept away in the emotions and dramatics of dealing with a divorce, but it is important to focus on the practical elements. Then you can ensure that you are preparing for your future single life, especially your finances. This comprehensive book by Shawn C. H. Leamon (MBA) takes a practical approach to dealing with your money during a divorce.

As a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA) and financial advisor, Leamon’s book gives you the help you need to manage and protect your money during this difficult time. You will be able to take advantage of professional tips and checklists, which will keep your finances in check.

When you are preparing to go through a divorce, this book truly is one of the greatest tools to have in your arsenal, as it will give you the experience you need to ensure that you get the most out of the settlement. Also, this guide is useful for men and women who are interested in protecting their financial interests. With it, they can focus more on mending themselves after dealing with their heartbreak.

3) The Optimist’s Guide to Divorce: How to Get Through Your Breakup and Create a New Life You Love by Suzanne Riss and Jill Sockwell

For people that are over the hump and on the way to building a new life for themselves, the titular task can be daunting. The Optimist’s Guide to Divorce is a resource you can use to help you understand the difficulties of divorce, especially how to always look on the positive side of even the most difficult obstacles.

This account describes some of the most heart-wrenching real-life experiences of the Maplewood Divorce Club, a community of women that Suzanne Riss and Jill Sockwell belong to. By reading these stories, you will gain numerous tactics for keeping your hopes up and maintaining a sense of humor throughout your divorce.

4) Daughters of Divorce: Overcome the Legacy of Your Parents’ Breakup and Enjoy a Happy, Long-Lasting Relationship by Terry Gaspard and Tracy Clifford 

Since divorce is such a common part of marriage, there are millions of daughters around the globe who are coping with the heartbreak of their parents’ divorce. It is important to remember that even though your parents are going through a divorce, it does not mean that you have to as well.

Daughters of Divorce is a comprehensive guide written by mother-and-daughter team Terry Gaspard and Tracy Clifford. They developed it to offer uplifting advice, tips, and tricks to help adult daughters avoid their parents’ patterns, which could lead to their own divorces.

Between them, they have over 30 years of clinical practice and have conducted 320 different interviews with daughters of divorce. Therefore, you will be able to use this book to deal with the emotional issues that could lead to difficulties in your marriage.

5) When Happily Ever After Ends: How to Survive Your Divorce Emotionally, Financially and Legally by Karen Covy, J.D. 

Making the decision to go through with divorce is just the beginning of one of the most difficult times in your life, so you will want to make sure that you are prepared. Just because it is going to change everything in your life, you do not have to be destroyed by it. When you have the ability to manage your family and finances and maintain a positive outlook on your future, you can easily navigate your way through the tumultuous seas and come out on the other side as a champion.

When Happily Ever After Ends is a guide that readers can use to learn how to make the right decisions for themselves and their family, master the art of negotiation, and feel comfortable with divorce (rather than fear it).

Books written by qualified experts are essential for making sure you get the most out of your divorce, whether you are concerned about your finances, your children, or your self-worth. With the help of these five guides, you will undoubtedly be equipped to handle absolutely anything that is thrown your way by your ex-spouse.

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 13, 2017

This was originally published on Divorce and Your Money here

Typically, the end of a marriage is accompanied by so many varying emotions that it can be easy to lose sight of the end result. Outcomes can be unpredictable, especially in cases that involve litigation or a difficult mediation process. If you are still considering whether divorce is the right path to pursue, you may want to know what you stand to gain or to lose from the split. Is the stress of dissolving your marriage worth the final outcome

What are the advantages and disadvantages of finalizing your divorce? You can find out some of the top pros and cons of divorce below:

You have more freedom to do as you please.

After you were married, you had to check in with your spouse about even the smallest of decisions. Post-divorce, you are free to live your life the way you want to live it, whether that means selecting your favorite restaurant for dinner or planning your dream solo vacation. You gain the ability to spend your money however you like, and live wherever you want in whatever conditions you prefer. There is no longer the need to get permission from your spouse when you want to go out with friends or spend a night on the town.

Not only that, there are fewer holidays to remember. Without your spouse, you can forego an extra birthday celebration each year, ditch the anniversary traditions, and eliminate shopping for a Christmas present for your mother-in-law. Your freedom will know no bounds after your divorce is official.

You may find yourself happier than ever.

Living in a stressful environment can take a serious toll on your emotional and psychological health. Particularly in a situation that involves any kind of abuse, the long-term effects of managing that high-stress environment can be extremely detrimental to your health and outlook on life. When the stressors are removed from your environment, you may experience an increased amount of happiness, regardless of any of the negative repercussions of your divorce. Finding relief from tension and excessive arguing can do wonders for your overall wellbeing.

Your kids may benefit from the split.

In the same way that you may be suffering from the tension of your impending split, your kids will soak up that same toxic environment. Many couples try to keep the marriage alive so they will not disrupt the lives of their children. However, this misguided attempt can backfire. Maintaining a failing marriage can lead to an increase in arguments, tension, and stress throughout the household.

Over time, these circumstances can have the same impact on your children that they have on you. With a divorce in the works, your kids can benefit from the lack of stress and tension that is constantly within the home. They have the opportunity to learn how healthy communication works, even between people who are at odds with one another. As a result, they may find that their future communication skills have increased and that they are happier in the here and now.

Finances will be much tighter than they used to be.

No matter what your finances were like prior to divorce, it is pretty much a guarantee that they will be tighter afterward. After all, covering the cost of maintaining two separate households will be significantly more expensive than your shared marital home. You have to consider the cost of paying twice as much for your mortgage or rent and all of your utility bills. Even spousal or child support may not be enough to cover all of the bills.

After a divorce is finalized, many families slip below the poverty line, due to the onslaught of additional bills and expenses. You may be looking forward to your newfound freedom as a single person, but your finances could limit your ability to enjoy the life you have been dreaming of.

You will have more baggage when you start dating again.

A marriage may end for any number of reasons, but the one guarantee is that it undoubtedly leaves you with some emotional baggage. The items that you will carry with you into your newly single life will need to be dealt with, preferably before you start dating new partners. Emotional baggage from a previous marriage can make it more difficult to find someone. Everyone may not possess understanding or patience while you sort through the healing process. Particularly when there are children involved, baggage can make dating more difficult.

Responsibilities will be yours and yours alone.

When you lose your spouse, you also lose your helper. Maintaining your household becomes your sole responsibility, instead of a shared task split between the two of you. Having one less person to assist with regular chores or maintenance on the home, such as mowing the lawn or cleaning the bathroom, can create more work for you. All of the responsibilities within the home are now yours and yours alone.

Because you are now responsible for all everything that accompanies running your own home, you will have less time for rest. Your household work may require more time during the weekends or evenings that it used to. This change can also limit your ability to go out with friends and enjoy single life, just as your finances could.

The Ups and Downs of Divorce

It is easy to identify that there are a number of pros and cons of divorce, no matter what your unique situation may be. You can look forward to more freedom and happiness in a newly single lifestyle, but it will be balanced with more responsibilities and tighter finances. By knowing what you stand to gain or lose by finalizing your divorce in advance, you can begin to appropriately prepare.

Start processing the things that you are looking forward to doing on your own, and make a plan to relieve some of the stress in your life without your spouse. It is never too early to start  considering the pros and cons of an impending 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.

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 9, 2017

This was originally published on Divorce and Your Money here

Does It Matter Who Files First?

In and of itself, the initial act of filing for divorce is stressful and emotionally draining. However, many couples spend an exorbitant amount of time stressing over the details, such as whether or not it matters if your spouse files first. Therefore, what do you need to know about taking that first step towards the end of your marriage? Certainly, there are advantages to being the first to file, but does it really matter if you are the first?

If you file first, you have more control over the proceedings.

The major benefit of being the first to file can usually be boiled down to this simple sentiment: filing first gives you the greatest degree of control over the rest of the proceedings. Spouses who file first have the first pick of legal representation, and they can even select the location of the coming proceedings. If you want to have the upper hand after the proceedings commence, filing first gives you the greatest advantage in these particular areas.

If you are the first spouse to file, you will generally be able to be better prepared than your partner. You will have the freedom to assemble your team of professionals, and you can have them waiting before your spouse even knows the paperwork is coming. In other words, hiring your team in advance allows you to retain the best of the best.

Once your spouse is aware that they will need to hire their own representatives, your choices are fewer. Any professional who meets with your spouse, even briefly, can no longer meet with you, due to protected client information they could divulge. This caveat is a great way for your spouse to make divorce more inconvenient for you.

Do you and your spouse now live in separate towns? The first to file typically gets to decide where the trial is held, and where it will be held for future issues. When you file first, it prevents your spouse from selecting a location that is considerably closer to them, and therefore less convenient for you.

Filing first also gives you the ability to prepare for court in advance, including rounding up documentation, such as income statements and loan details. You may even have the opportunity to financially prepare by stashing cash aside or gaining access to marital funds.

What if you do not file first?

If you are not the first spouse to file, some aspects of the divorce may still work out in your favor. The largest advantage to not being the first to file is the reduced cost on your end. The spouse who files first will typically have to pay a filing fee with the courts, which could cost a few hundred dollars.

In addition to the extra cost of the filing fee, the spouse who files first may come out with a large attorney’s fee in the end. It will also require more time for their legal team to assemble all of the paperwork and gather pertinent information, which adds up on the final bill. If you are concerned about the overall cost of divorce and have little access to additional resources to pay for it, you may greatly benefit from allowing your spouse to be the first to file.

The other major advantage to not filing first is the ability to plan. When your spouse files for divorce, they will typically have to list their demands, which are served to you as part of the initial paperwork. If you know in advance what your spouse is hoping to gain by ending your marriage, you can start planning accordingly with your own team of professionals. Fortifying yourself against the demands of your spouse in this manner can help you secure a more freeing financial future.

Advantages to Both Sides

Overall, it is clear to see that there are definite advantages to both sides of this situation. The spouse who files first has more control over the rest of the proceedings. They have more control over the location, the timing, and the professionals they are attempting to hire throughout the process. If control is what you need most during the coming proceedings, filing first can give you a significantly greater upper hand.

Waiting to be served papers that your spouse has filed can result in a lower cost to the overall proceedings on your end, and it can give you additional time to plan for or against your spouse’s demands in mediation or litigation. For some individuals, these benefits outweigh giving control to their spouses. However, the cost benefits could outweigh their desire to have the utmost control in this situation.

Regarding the end of your marriage, consider where you and your spouse are. The advantages are clear, whether you file first or not. Make sure that you take advantage of the benefits you receive, regardless of the situation you happen to find yourself in.

Does It Matter Who Files for Divorce First?

When you know that divorce is inevitable, you may wonder if there are advantages and disadvantages in being the first one to file. Although many believe that submitting a divorce petition before their spouse is beneficial, that’s not always the case.

Although spouses who file first can potentially have the power to choose where to get divorced, the majority of people going through a divorce believe that monetary concerns are more important than the choice of courthouse.

But financially speaking, it may be in your best interests NOT to file first.

1. Your spouse may know your financial demands.

A divorce petition typically includes the list of your financial wants and demands. It almost always involves property division, including how the petitioner wishes to negotiate finances. Grounds for spousal and child support may also be outlined.

When you’re the divorce petitioner, your spouse will see this list of desires when he or she is served. This action could result in a potential counterattack on your finances, which could cost you more money in the end.

2. You may pay divorce filing fees.

Divorce is a civil affair that entails the judgment of a local court. In order to begin the divorce proceedings, a petition must be filed. This petition is for the dissolution of marriage, and it must be filed with the court clerk in the county you currently reside in.

Those going through a divorce may not be properly informed that the first person to petition for a divorce usually pays the filing fees. These fees must be paid in order to file papers with the court. In most counties across the country, the filing fee is a few hundred dollars. These fees are government-mandated, and they’re on top of any other legal or service fees.

Each court’s exact fee schedules are generally posted on their websites. Be advised that there are some additional, hidden costs associated with filing fees. The court may charge the petitioner for any certified copies of the requested petitions. Any motions, requests, and proposed orders also come with a fee.

3. You may pay more in divorce attorney fees.

When you file first, your divorce attorney gets right to work. While your attorney is busy gathering and compiling information for your case, you’re paying for his or her services. In addition, if you file first, your attorney will assist with the filing process. Again, the time and effort involved has a cost that you’ll have to pay.

Furthermore, your current spouse may contest the divorce, or you may find that you must negotiate terms. And that means more work on your attorney’s part—and more money out of your pocketbook.

Find this information helpful? Share it!

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

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Jun 9, 2017

This article was originally published on Divorce Magazine. You can view the original article here

Consider a Quickie Divorce To Save Time

The divorce process can be a lengthy and painful time that drags on for months or years. When you are amid emotional turmoil over the demise of your marriage, the last thing that you want to encounter is a longer waiting period. Fortunately, there are several ways around the time-consuming portion of the process. An alternative to this norm is a “quickie divorce," which allows couples to file quickly and move on with their newly single lives.

Try The Option of an Uncontested Divorce 

The first method that many couples use to reach a quickie divorce is filing for an uncontested divorce. In this type of arrangement, the two spouses have already agreed upon the specific terms of the settlement. No arguments exist regarding property division, child support, custody arrangements, or any other loose ends.

Situations that involve retirement savings, investments, alimonies, and other complicated financial arrangements may not be able to be settled on their own. Rather, they may require the assistance of a certified divorce financial analyst, attorney, or mediation specialist to reach an agreeable settlement that is fair to both parties.

To qualify for an uncontested divorce, you and your spouse will need to open the lines of communication. To be able to speed up the divorce process, it is crucial that you get on the same page in terms of the details surrounding the end of your marriage and all your marital property. If the two of you are capable of being amicable throughout this process, it allows you to officially end the marriage more rapidly than couples who are less effective at communicating.

A No-Fault Divorce Can Speed Up The Divorce Process

Likewise, it also helps to file a no-fault divorce. In this type of arrangement, neither spouse is trying to prove that the other is at fault for the breakdown of the marriage. They simply need to claim that the reason for the end of the union is related to any of the recognized reasons available in their state. Most commonly, this option means filing for divorce because of irreconcilable differences.

Places to Get a Quickie Divorce

Of course, beyond those basic steps to get a quickie divorce, you could also consider moving. Many states offer looser residency requirements and shorter waiting periods, which allow for the entire process to move through the court system faster. If you do not currently reside in one of the states listed below, you may want to relocate if finalizing your divorce is of paramount importance to you and your spouse.

Below is a list of the most popular states that will finalize a quickie divorce, as well as their specific requirements:

  • Alaska This state is one of the few that does not have any residency requirements. Spouses must reside in the state at the time they file, and intend to continue living within Alaska. There is a thirty-day waiting period.
  • Idaho To reach the residency requirement, spouses must live in Idaho for a minimum of six weeks. After this period, there is a twenty-day processing time to finalize the divorce.
  • Montana Montana has a ninety-day residency requirement before individuals can file for divorce.
  • Nevada In terms of obtaining a quickie divorce, Nevada is slightly faster than Idaho. The residency requirement is the same (six weeks), but there is no waiting period afterward.
  • New Hampshire At one full year, New Hampshire has the longest residency requirement of the states on this list. However, for couples who are already residents of New Hampshire, there is no waiting period. Therefore, you could effectively file and obtain an entire divorce within an incredibly short period of time.
  • South Dakota Only a sixty-day waiting period applies in South Dakota, and it has no residency requirements.
  • Wyoming Wyoming has a sixty-day residency requirement, followed by a twenty-day waiting period.

Consider Your Financial Future Before Having a Quickie Divorce

To get the process of divorce over with much faster, consider filing for divorce in one of these states. While a quickie divorce is not ideal for every circumstance, some couples could benefit from this type of arrangement. Open communication is a key component to making these quickie divorces work.

Communication is key when filing an uncontested divorce because the settlement must be agreed upon between both spouses. If there are complicated financial implications or unfavorable settlement terms, this type of arrangement is best avoided. Your financial future could be at stake.

If you believe that there are more complicated issues that could impact your finances or that the settlement is unfair, you may want to pursue a divorce that utilizes an attorney or mediation professional.

Keep in mind that while divorce is a painful process emotionally and financially, you do not want to rush into an unfavorable settlement. It has long-term implications for your financial future, which you will not want to jeopardize if you want to end the marriage faster.

 

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 9, 2017

This was originally published on Divorce and Your Money here.

What is informal separation?

Informal separation occurs when you and your spouse live apart, but do not pursue formal separation or divorce. Informal separation could be thought of as a trial separation. In other words, you and your spouse are testing what it might be like to live apart. Sometimes, informal separation allows space for you to repair your marriage, while at other times, it may lead to a permanent separation or divorce. Many times, informal separation has a set amount of time, such as six months.

Understand Your Local Laws

If your informal separation leads to a divorce, the separation period may have an important impact on it. The separation date can influence the way property is divided, the calculations of spousal and child support, and other issues related to the divorce. However, all states do not recognize separation dates. If there are major changes to your life outside of the separation (e.g., your spouse receives a bonus at work, or you lose your job), it could impact your final divorce settlement.

Sometimes You Just Need Space

Divorce is permanent. It is a big step. If you are not ready to face the dreaded D word (and everything that comes with it), informal separation may be a way to give you and your spouse some breathing room. Then you can figure out the next phase of your relationship.

Separation is not a copout, and it is not “divorce light.” Just because you choose to separate, that does not mean that you are delaying the inevitable. Your separation may provide the time and space you need to start improving a broken relationship. It is not easy, but for some, it better allows the possibility of getting back together. In fact, according to a marriage therapist in the Wall Street Journal, some couples have a 50% chance of getting back together.

There are some substantial considerations. For instance, what you are you going to tell your family and friends? Is dating allowed during the trial separation? Are you allowed to communicate and talk with your spouse outside of therapy or essential conversations? While there are many considerations, it can be very valuable to take the time to reflect on these issues.

Consider an Informal Separation Agreement

When getting informally separated, it may be wise for you and your spouse to sign an informal separation agreement. This document would help outline your specific expectations while living apart (e.g., bills, spousal support, basic custody arrangements, and other key details). You may also want to consult a family law attorney to help draft an informal separation agreement.

The biggest risk is that the informal separation agreement will turn into a formal separation agreement. In other words, the details you negotiate today are used to determine the relevant support if you pursue a formal divorce. For example, if you share custody during an informal separation period, it will be difficult later to convince a judge that you deserve sole custody of the children.

That said, an informal separation agreement can help protect you by ensuring that the relevant expenses are paid, particularly if you do not have substantial income. Then you can continue living your life, at least to some degree.

Keep Important Benefits

There are many legal and practical benefits to remaining legally married, as opposed to being legally separated. Through separation, you can maintain your health insurance benefits, file joint taxes, and keep other marriage-related benefits. Furthermore, if your religion frowns upon divorce, informal separation could become a permanent solution without having an official divorce.

Final Thoughts

Informal separation can serve as an important glimpse into what divorce could be like. It could show you that life on your own is not what you really want, and it may serve to mend the marriage. On the other hand, if things are really broken, an informal separation may show you that it is time for a 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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Jun 9, 2017

This was originally posted on Divorce and Your Money here.

Divorce Gifts: The Top 4 Divorce Gifts for Men and Women

Although a divorce can be an incredibly difficult and emotional time for both ex-husband and ex-wife, it can also lead to better opportunities in the future. If you know someone who is going through a divorce, consider these 4 heartfelt divorce gifts, which are listed according to gender.

Top 4 Divorce Gifts for Men

1. Out of the Blue Care Package

Do you know a man who always cheers up when he has his favorite snacks? If so, the Out of the Blue Care Package is the perfect way to put him in good spirits. With an assortment of fan-favorite treats ranging from Frosted Flakes to Pop Tarts, this gift basket has everything that he will need to heal after a divorce. Each care package comes with a unique assortment of blue treats, an inspirational card, a can koozie, and a stress ball. The Out of the Blue Care Package really is the best way to help him see that the grass is greener on the other side.

2. Divorce Socks

Depending on the man you are shopping for, a divorce may not mean that he will want to feel upset for very long. If you are the type of person that loves to send gag gifts, these divorce socks are perfect. Not only are they incredibly comfortable, they are also a great way to bring a little laughter and light-hearted fun into a divorce. There are many different designs that you can choose from, but two of the most popular include the “Ball and Chain” and “100% Single” designs.

3. Divorce Mugs

For the man who enjoys a hot cup of coffee or tea first thing in the morning, there is nothing more memorable than a divorce mug. The “I’m really looking forward to never looking back” mug is a great daily reminder to stay positive, even when life puts you through the toughest of situations. By seeing the perfect affirmation every morning, going through a divorce might not seem as tough.

4. Amazon Gift Card

If you are still not sure what would be the perfect divorce gift for him, you cannot go wrong with an Amazon gift card. That way, your loved one can purchase absolutely anything their heart desires. Whether it is protein powder to use once they start going back to the gym or some essentials to keep up their appearance, the options are endless. It is a great way to let them know that you are thinking about him, while putting a giant smile on his face.

Top 4 Divorce Gifts for Women

1. Silver Plated Sailboat Pendant

The silver plated sailboat pendant is a beautiful reminder that there are plenty of good days ahead. And although you might be going through a rough spot, there are always calm waters along the way. The pendant is plated silver and crafted with the highest artisan skills. Therefore, it offers a beautiful design that will be a personal memento and a positive affirmation to see every day.

2. “The Best Is Yet to Come” Pendant

As another great piece of jewelry for a loved one, the “The Best Is Yet to Come” pendant is perfect for women of all ages. It helps signify that life will get better, and it is also a unique memento to remind her of the past hardships that she has conquered. Nestled on a comfortable chain, it is a unique way to represent staying strong, even through the toughest of times.

3. Ceramic Divorce Mug

Much like the divorce mug for men, the “And they lived happily ever after…separately” mug helps put a humorous spin on divorce, especially for a woman that could use a little bit of uplifting amusement. It is a funny reminder that the worst is in the past, and the best is right around the corner. If you are looking for a high-quality, beautiful divorce mug, this design is perfect for reminding your friend or family member that you are thinking about her.

4. “I Love Me” Tumbler

For women that enjoy taking their beverages to-go, the “I Love Me” tumbler is ideal for women that are searching for their independence after a divorce. The bold script and cute artwork on the front of the tumbler help remind her that she needs to focus on bettering herself and conquering her fears. It is also a great way to showcase self-love and show others that she is working on becoming a better version of herself.

When going through a divorce, it may feel like the end of your life. But with the help of a perfect gift, any type of pain can be forgotten, even if just briefly.

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 8, 2017

This article was originally published on Divorce and Your Money here.

Top 8 Songs to Get You Through a Divorce

Nothing compares to the mood-enhancing, cathartic, healing power of music. Music has an energy that our bodies and minds connect to. It is a powerful tool to help you deal with the difficult emotions that an impending divorce can create.

You want to get that anger and sadness out. You want to feel better and more empowered. Therefore, we have curated a list of the absolute best songs about breakups and divorce.

8) "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover" by Paul Simon  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ABXtWqmArUU

“You just slip out the back, Jack.

Make a new plan, Stan.

You don't need to be coy, Roy.

Just get yourself free”

Paul Simon wrote this song after his divorce from his first wife. It is about a woman trying to console a man and prod him into leaving an unhappy marriage. The great thing about this song is that it has a slow yet upbeat rhythm, and it relaxes you into feeling like you are free to move on.

“And then she kissed me,

And I realized she probably was right.

There must be fifty ways

To leave your lover.”

It was one of Paul Simon’s biggest solo hits, which makes perfect sense. Many people going through the end of a marriage can relate to the feeling of wanting to be free and move on. The song brings the feeling of hope and the promise of a future without the current emotional upheaval that a divorce causes.

7) “Roses” by Outkast

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gWju37TZfo0

“Caroline! See, she's the reason for the word ‘bitch.’”

When a marriage breaks up, sometimes things can get childish, and that is what this song is for. Outkast knows how to throw some up-tempo shade, and they do it well with “Roses.”

“I know you'd like to thank your s*** don't stank,

But lean a little bit closer.

See that roses really smell like boo-boo-ooo.”

This song has so many spiteful yet somehow lighthearted moments that it is a joy to sing over and over again. Divorce can cause an immature, vindictive spirit to rise up, and this song can give you an outlet. But remember, it will not always smell like roses.

6) "I'm Still Standing" by Elton John

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZHwVBirqD2s 

“And I'm still standing after all this time,

Picking up the pieces of my life without you on my mind.”

This upbeat song was written by Bernie Taupin and famously performed by Elton John. Taupin wrote it for an ex-lover, and Elton John performs it with such gusto that one thinks he is actually directing it at somebody from his past.

“And did you think this fool could never win?

Well, look at me, I'm a-coming back again.”

The lyrics paint a picture of someone one who was tossed aside, but began to realize that they could stand better on their own. This song will kick out the depression that divorce can cause, and it will have you feeling empowered in no time.

5) “You Oughta Know” by Alanis Morissette

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NPcyTyilmYY 

“And I'm here to remind you

Of the mess you left when you went away.”

Oh, the spite and anger in this song. It is delectable and just what the doctor ordered when going through a messy divorce. The lyrics are raw and edgy, just like the music. And they speak of the pain and rage left behind when somebody leaves you for another.

“It was a slap in the face how quickly I was replaced.

Are you thinking of me when you *** her?”

There are many rumors about which ex Morissette wrote this song about. However, even though some people from her past may see themselves in her music, she has told reporters that she will never reveal who it really is, so everyone else is being a bit presumptuous. Oh, burn, Alanis. She is very good at that, especially in this song. Perfect.

4) “Somebody That I Used to Know” by Gotye

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8UVNT4wvIGY 

“But you treat me like a stranger, and that feels so rough.”

The words in this song make a deep cut. It is a cathartic song—a way to get your feelings out. Sing along with the lyrics, and shout the pain out through the words.

“Told myself that you were right for me,

But felt so lonely in your company.

But that was love, and it's an ache I still remember.”

Gotye was inspired to write the song by mixing together several breakups from his past. Since it not just about one breakup, but several, that makes it general enough to apply any divorce or struggling marriage. It is relatable, and it shares the sadness and emptiness that almost everyone experiences at the end of a relationship.

3) “Forget You” (“F*** You”) by Cee Lo Green

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pc0mxOXbWIU

“And although there's pain in my chest,

I still wish you the best

With a... F*** you!”

It feels good to cuss and get the anger out. Cee Lo does it best by saying forget you (f*** you) with a smile. It is highly recommended that you watch the music video to see the pure joy he gets out of saying it. It is contagious and badly needed, spiteful comedy while struggling through a divorce.

“I've got some news for you:

Ooh, I really hate your ass right now.”

Let it out with comedy. Get in tune with the anger and hatred that you cannot help but feel when somebody you thought you would spend forever with someone has turned into a completely different person. Cee Lo Green will steer you in the right direction.

2) "What Goes Around" by Justin Timberlake

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TOrnUquxtwA

“You know I gave you the world.

You had me in the palm of your hand.”

Justin Timberlake explained to several interviewers that this song is about a friend’s breakup with an actress. Still, many want to believe that it is a sequel to his 2002 hit, “Cry Me a River,” which was aimed at Britney Spears after she very publically dumped him.

The lyrics tell the story of a man whose ex cheated on him. He was was very much in love with her, but the guy she cheated on him with is now cheating on her.

“I heard you found out

That he's doing to you

What you did to me.

Ain't that the way it goes?”

So many divorces end in this kind of a scenario. The satisfaction of seeing things not work out for somebody who hurt you so deeply is as good as it regarding something like divorce.

This song will fill you with that sweet feeling of schadenfreude that can raise your spirits during the most emotional part of the end of your marriage. It is highly recommended.

1) "I Will Survive" by Gloria Gaynor

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gYkACVDFmeg

“Did you think I'd lay down and die?

Oh, no, not I

I will survive.”

Gaynor’s reimagining of a little known Righteous Brothers’ song is on many lists about breakups and divorce, and there is a reason: The message never ceases to be empowering. This disco smash hit is about an ex-lover trying to return to somebody who has moved on. It is satisfying in every way because the lyrics describe a person who survived a terrible breakup but became stronger. Therefore, she now gets to show how much better she is on her own.

“Go on now, go. Walk out the door

Just turn around now 'cause you're not welcome anymore.”

Even just imagining saying these lyrics to the person who is causing you so much pain during a divorce is energizing. This sentiment is something that is very much needed when your life is in upheaval. Gaynor captures the goal that everybody has after they have survived the end of a marriage: standing proud and tall.

Emotions are the hardest part of divorce. Your marriage was something that was supposed to be forever, and most people never see their divorce coming. It can hit you like a brick, and the shock that you feel when you realize that things are coming to an end can disrupt your judgment. Even if you have known that things were not working for a while, it still hits you hard when the final decision is made.

Working through those emotions and getting them out with things like music is therapeutic. It helps you heal and find yourself again, and it clears your head. It takes time, though. While you are working through the tough emotions that divorce brings, think about getting advice from a professional. A certified divorce financial analyst (CDFA) can help you avoid the landmines that decisions made under the influence of shock and turmoil can cause.

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 6, 2017

This article was originally published on Divorce and Your Money here.

Did you know there are 5 methods you can use to get divorced? You should know which process is best for your specific situation. The following article will provide a brief overview of each divorce method. I encourage you to deeply consider these options because traditional litigation is often not the best choice for everyone.

Before diving into the key types of divorce, you should understand the difference between uncontested and contested divorce.

Uncontested Divorce

In an uncontested divorce, you and your spouse agree upon all the issues included in your divorce. Therefore, all you have to do is file the paperwork with the court. Then a judge will review it and sign off on it, and your divorce is complete.

In general, uncontested divorce is a cheaper, more efficient way to get divorced. However, for an uncontested divorce to proceed, you and your spouse have to agree on all the issues, such as dividing property, child and spousal support, and child custody. This type of divorce usually works well if you have few assets to divide and no children.

Contested Divorce

Contested divorce occurs when you and your spouse do not agree on all of the issues, so you decide to resolve them by using attorneys or a judge (or both). There are many types of contested divorce, so you have several tools at your disposal. The following list is a modified excerpt from my book, Divorce and Your Money: The No-Nonsense Guide:

1) Litigation

Litigation is the most common process for people getting a divorce. It occurs when both parties want a divorce, but they generally do not agree on the key details. In litigation, each spouse has their own attorney represent their best interests. A settlement between the spouses generally occurs, but according to studies, a judge decides less than 10% of litigated cases.

Advantages

  • Litigation is the most common process, so most divorce and family law attorneys specialize in it.
  • Some states have an appeals process if you are dissatisfied with the outcome.
  • If you go to court, you can have a neutral judge, who strictly follows the procedures of the state.

Disadvantages

  • Litigation can span several years, so it is expensive.
  • Litigation is usually the most contentious route for getting divorced, so it will be a fight.
  • Hearings and documents filed with the court are usually accessible to the public, so you will lose your privacy.

2) Mediation

In mediation, the divorcing couple works with a mediator who helps both parties come to an agreement about all aspects of the divorce, even if there are specific issues. The mediator is usually a retired judge, who assists the couple with decisions about what to do while remaining neutral. Mediation is a voluntary process that both spouses must agree to use.

Advantages

  • If both parties are reasonable, you can quickly reach an agreement. Specifically, you do not have to wait for court dates and potential delays.

  • Mediation is cost-effective, compared with litigation and other processes. Only one mediator with some supporting staff is involved, but you can still hire attorneys to help with the process. Mediation is also generally less acrimonious than other processes.

  • Mediation is private, as documents and discussions occur outside of court.
  • Until a final settlement is signed, mediation is nonbinding, and both spouses must agree to use it. There is not much of a downside with utilizing mediation to settle a specific issue or negotiate an entire settlement.

Disadvantages

  • If you and your spouse cannot reach an agreement by mediation, you will have to restart this part of the divorce process. Therefore, you could waste money.

  • If one spouse is abusive or if emotional problems are involved, mediation may be an inappropriate method of resolving the divorce.

3) Arbitration

Arbitration is another method of settling a divorce outside court. In arbitration, the divorcing couple hires a private judge to make a binding decision about the issues in their divorce case. It is very similar to going to court, except that the process and the judge’s decisions are private.

In arbitration, both sides still hire attorneys who present evidence to the arbitrator. However, the arbitrator makes the final binding decisions.

Advantages

  • Since it is usually held in a conference room at a lawyer’s office, arbitration is private.

  • The process is generally shorter than litigation, as most matters are resolved on the arbitration date.

  • Arbitration requires hiring attorneys and a judge, which can be expensive. However, it is generally a more cost-effective process than litigation.

Disadvantages

  • There is no appeals process in arbitration unless there is fraud involved.
  • To proceed with arbitration, both spouses have to agree to use this method to resolve their divorce, so it requires cooperation.
  • Every state does not allow arbitration as a resolution to divorce, so it is not always an option.

4) Collaboration

Collaborative divorce is a relatively new area of family law. It is a method that involves both spouses working together to come to a more amicable, peaceful resolution to their divorce, rather than engaging in a process that involves a long, hard fight.

In fact, one of the key contentions of collaborative law is that litigation will not be part of the divorce process. Both spouses have a joint meeting with their attorneys (who generally specialize in collaborative law) to discuss their concerns, priorities, and issues without involving the court.

Furthermore, both spouses agree that they will commit to the legal process of collaborative divorce, and they fully disclose all information regarding their assets, financial accounts, and liabilities. Spouses and their attorneys also collaborate in making mutual decisions that satisfy the demands, needs, and interests of each party, their children, and their families.

Advantages

  • Collaborative divorce is usually more peaceful and takes less time.
  • Given that collaboration is a less acrimonious process, it is usually one of the least expensive methods for divorce.

Disadvantages

  • Both spouses have to agree to act civilly. If they cannot, a collaborative divorce simply will not work.

5) Do It Yourself

Divorcing couples can complete the process without hiring an attorney, which is called a do-it-yourself or pro-se divorce. The required documents are publicly accessible for each state to complete the process, and as a couple, you are responsible for completing and filling out the documents yourself.

It can make sense if there are few assets to split and no children. Otherwise, avoid it.

Advantages

  • There is no need for attorneys or experts. You only pay any relevant, state-mandated fees. In many cases, you can complete the process for just a few hundred dollars.

Disadvantages

  • You can easily make expensive mistakes regarding alimony, child support, child custody, your property settlement, hidden assets, taxes, and a variety of other potential issues. However, a strong divorce team would be able to help you settle these issues.
  • You have to complete a lot of detailed paperwork on your own, so it is time-consuming.
  • If abuse, substantial anger, or other problematic emotions are involved, an unfair settlement could result.

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 1, 2017

This article was originally published on Divorce and Your Money here.

Amicable divorces often sound like an elusive fantasy. But when discussing the breakdown of a marriage, most people can agree that an amicable divorce is far more beneficial for everyone involved, including your children. The emotional toll that it can take on you is significantly lessened, as well as the financial commitment that it may cost you. When you can develop a settlement without over-the-top feuding, your divorce will be less time-consuming and, as a result, less expensive.

What do you need to know in order to have an amicable divorce? Here are the four must-know secrets that every couple should keep in mind to keep things civil:

1) Take care of yourself.

There will not be anything left for you to give to your spouse or children if taking care of yourself is not your top priority. You must meet your own emotional needs if your ultimate goal is to respond to those around you with kindness. Much as flight attendants instruct prior to a flight, you must put on your own oxygen mask before you can assist others.

Taking care of yourself will look different for each individual, but it will almost always involve finding an outlet for your feelings. To give yourself a safe space to process through your divorce, schedule an appointment to see a therapist or counselor. Some individuals may prefer to schedule time with empathetic friends for coffee or lunch. They can support you during this time and understand what you may be going through.

If neither of those options is available to you, you may consider using anonymous online support through pages like Reddit Divorce. If those around you are not considered trustworthy, it is a great place to emotionally vent when you need to.

2) Refrain from assigning blame.

It can be a great challenge to respond to your spouse with kindness when you are solely focused on who to blame. When it comes to divorce, you should be focused on the bigger picture, including the long-term implications of your developing settlement. Focusing on blame can create a situation that involves spiting the other person, sparking arguments, and confronting each other during the negotiation process.

In order to keep from assigning blame during every interaction, remind yourself of the bigger picture: your marriage is ending, and you both need to create an equitable settlement that will ensure your future, as well as that of any children involved. Keep your attention on the issues at hand, not on the ones that led up to this moment.

3) Prioritize your children.

Children see and soak up everything around them, including any hostility you are expressing toward your soon-to-be ex-spouse. Remember that your settlement is supposed to be a long-term plan that gives both of you space to create a fulfilling childhood for them. Part of that childhood should include being raised in a healthy environment, not surrounded by the toxicity of your relationship with your spouse.

Remind yourself that speaking negatively about the other parent is not good for them to experience. Keep their needs at the forefront of your mind, rather than your own.

4) Opt for mediation over litigation.

It may go without saying, but mediation can be significantly friendlier than litigation. Opting for a less drastic method of divorce like mediation gives you plenty of opportunities to openly communicate with one another. As you divide your finances and assets, you will have the ability to share your reasoning about specific desires or demands. When done properly, this sharing can help both parties reach reasonable conclusions about what is most important to them.

The conversations that ensue during mediation can begin to set the stage for future encounters and communications. You gain the ability to have perspective and understand both sides of the argument.

Because an amicable mediation is typically less time-consuming than litigation, the financial obligation could be significantly lower. If the cost of divorce is a major concern, this method of divorce should be highly considered. It allows you to have a more amicable divorce and set the stage for future communication with each other, and you can both save substantial amounts on your final bills.

Creating a Healthy Environment during Divorce

No one wants to live in the toxicity of a dramatic relationship, filled with bitter arguments and snide comments. An amicable divorce is the perfect solution for most couples, who want to set the stage for a future relationship with each other—even if it is only for the sake of the children involved. There are many benefits to creating this type of environment.

You can experience greater emotional well-being and fewer financial obligations, and your children will be raised with an example of open communication, even when facing difficult circumstances. Consider what you and your spouse could do to promote a more amicable divorce moving 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.

 

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

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