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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: December, 2017
Dec 21, 2017
In the previous episode, we discussed the initial things you should do when you get your divorce settlement. You will need to study your settlement in-depth and create a calendar of all the dates and deadlines that will be coming. It will be important to stay on top of everything, even as your divorce is wrapping up, because there are a lot of small things to handle. It’s not quite time to rest yet. Listen to the previous episode for more details.
 
This episode will be about setting up your new life. You may not realize all of the things that you will need to take care of. Many of these things are tedious and boring. However, they’re very important.
 
  1. Check your credit report.
  2. Set up new financial accounts.
  3. Update your will and estate planning documents.
  4. Check your beneficiary on all your accounts.
  5. Speak to a financial advisor.
  6. Speak to an accountant.
 
When you have finally gotten divorced, you will need to make changes to a lot of financial accounts. Regardless of your level of income, you should check your credit report. Look for any joint account that is still active, and close it or freeze it. Usually to close an account, you must have a zero balance. If you do not have a zero balance, you can freeze it to ensure there’s no additional spending on that card. You will still be liable for any account that is left open that has your name on it. You could face a difficult situation down the road if you don’t handle it now.
 
Change all of your accounts so that your spouse will not have any information about your account, such as the account number. If you have any joint bank accounts that are still open, split them up and close them. Don’t make it possible for your ex-spouse to take more than their fair share, even if you doubt that they would do such a thing. Also, change all of your passwords and security questions. It’s best to protect yourself.
 
Estate planning documents will outline what will happen to you when you pass away or are incapacitated. If you already have these documents, it is likely that your ex-spouse is listed on them. Update your will and other documents with an estate planning attorney. You will have to think about who will take care of your children, how your assets will be divided, and what will happen to you if you are incapacitated.
 
Your bank account, investment accounts, pension plans and insurance policies all have a beneficiary who will receive the funds if something happens to you. When you are married, your spouse is often the beneficiary by default. Update these appropriately.
 
It can be difficult to make a budget after a divorce that takes your goals into account. You will likely need to plan for your next house, your next car, or your retirement. If you don’t have a good financial plan, it is time to build one. Find a financial planner. Many will help you for free. We’ve talked about post-divorce financial planning in a prior series of episodes. A financial planner will help you achieve your goals.
 
Many of you are financially savvy. Even so, it’s advisable to consult an accountant the year after you get divorced. They will help you get all the right deductions and minimize your year-end tax bill.
 
Before you go, visit divorceandyourmoney.com:
1) Sign up for the email list to get exclusive tips you won’t find anywhere else.
2) To get access to the best divorce resources in the United States, check out the store here.
3) Get personalized help. Learn about coaching services here.
 
Thank you for listening!
Dec 13, 2017
Right now, a lot of divorce cases are rushing to a close. Most people want to finalize their divorce before December 31. The year that you are officially divorced is the first year you file taxes on your own. However, just because your divorce is wrapping up, it does not mean that the process is over.
 
In this episode and the next, we will cover what to do after your divorce is over. Your post-divorce tasks fall into two categories. You need to ensure you receive everything you agreed to (and that you give up everything that you agreed to). You also need to update all of the documents in your life to reflect your new situation. This episode will be about the first category.
 
Once you have the settlement in hand, you need to sit and study it, line-by-line. You want to find time when you will not have distractions. Take notes as well. Set up your notes with a column for what you need to do, what your spouse needs to do, and optionally, anything that your attorneys need to handle. As you go through the settlement, make notes of whatever you need to do. Do you need to transfer money from your bank account, or make sure that your spouse does? Do you need to set up a parenting schedule? Go through each line to make a list of everything that you need to do. There will be a lot of little things that need to happen.
 
Once you are very familiar with your settlement, and you have that list, you will need to create a calendar. This is a complicated step. Your calendar will have a lot of different dates on it. In some cases, you may have to start the process far ahead of the deadline. For example, if you are transferring a 401k, that process can take a few months.
 
Other dates will be routine and repeating. If you have a custody schedule, you will have to map out every date that the kids are supposed to be in one place or another, for years. Your life will revolve around those dates, so they are important to have in your calendar, even if the dates are far in the future.
 
Some asset transfers are slow, especially with large, illiquid assets. The most common one is a house. It will take time to sell a house, often 6 months to a year, before you will see the proceeds. In some situations, you may be transferring ownership of the house, but this can present complications. There was one case where a condo was being transferred. It took 8 months and nearly $500,000 in legal fees because of the complexity of the transfer. It was important to keep the deadline in mind, even though there was a complicated process going on.
 
Likewise, if you are selling a house, you will need to start preparing the house for sale early, so that you have ample time to sell the house and receive the highest price possible. Otherwise you may be forced to do something that is financially unwise.
 
For the calendar dates that will take time, you can create milestones for each issue. For example, if you are splitting up a 401k, you will need a QDRO – which can take months to obtain. The first milestone would likely be finding a QDRO attorney. Your second milestone could be to submit documentation to that attorney. The third would be obtaining pre-approval, and so on. Creating milestones for large tasks will help you stay on track to meet your deadlines. Many of the tasks on your list will need to be broken down into milestones, so your calendar will be complex.
 
If you aren’t a very organized person, you may want help breaking your task list into manageable parts. Ask a friend or hire a personal assistant to help you set up your system. If you choose to hire a professional organizer, you may work with them for a few days in the beginning, and then just once per month to keep you on track.
 
In the next episode, we will discuss what you need to do to set up your new life – setting up financial accounts, checking your credit report, and updating important documents.
 
Before you go, visit divorceandyourmoney.com:
1) Sign up for the email list to get exclusive tips you won’t find anywhere else.
2) To get access to the best divorce resources in the United States, check out the store here.
3) Get personalized help. Learn about coaching services here.
 
Thank you for listening!
Dec 6, 2017
In this episode, we’ll discuss different types of divorce attorneys. Divorce financial analysts often work with a wide range of attorneys. They all have different styles. Many attorneys are excellent. In some cases, you may encounter an attorney that is not so good.
 
The goal of the divorce attorney or family law attorney is to have the best possible outcome in your divorce. What that outcome looks like will depend on your situation, but you want an attorney who will put you in the best position possible, whether it’s in terms of assets, support or child custody.
 
A bad attorney will hurt your chances of getting anywhere near what you deserve.
 
The attorney will be the most important person on your divorce team, other than you. They have the biggest effect on how smoothly your divorce goes. There are no hard-and-fast rules, but here are five types of attorneys you may want to avoid.
  1. The most expensive attorney.
  2. The “therapist” attorney (also known as the “best friend” attorney).
  3. The pit bull attorney.
  4. The too-cool-for-you attorney.
  5. The inexperienced attorney.
This is the attorney that likes to have a lot of billable hours, which can add up over time. These attorneys have the nicest offices, cars and clothes. Their staff is often picture-perfect, and they have an air of exclusivity. These attorneys aren’t bad attorneys. They are just expensive.
 
This attorney spends a lot of time discussing how you feel, and not enough time working on your case. An actual therapist is a great person to discuss your feelings with, but your attorney should be there to guide you through the legal process of your divorce. You could be paying $400 an hour or more for your attorney’s time, rather than a therapist for $120 an hour (with better results).
 
This attorney is extremely aggressive. They want you to fight on ever issue in the divorce, under the cover of being “tough.” That approach can be counter-productive. In episode 152, we discussed why you don’t want the most aggressive divorce attorney. In short, the aggressive attorney ultimately causes more harm than good. Aggressive does not equal effective. 
 
This attorney probably seems like a good choice on the initial meeting. Then, after you pay your retainer, they disappear. They don’t return your emails or phone calls. It seems like your case is just not that important to them. This is surprisingly common, and it can be very frustrating.
 
Your attorney should have experience practicing family law. If an attorney has experience in another area, that does not mean their skills will translate well. Family law has its own set of rules, regulations and guidelines. You should ask how much of their practice is dedicated to family law, how long they have been practicing family law, and how many cases they deal with per year. You should ask similar questions if you interview a divorce financial analyst.
 
If you find that you have a sub-optimal attorney, it does not necessarily mean it will be the end of the world. You can still get a good resolution to your case. Just be aware that if you have a bad relationship with your attorney now, the relationship will probably not magically get better. You will find yourself complaining about these same things months (or even years) down the line.
 
Before you go, visit divorceandyourmoney.com:
1) Sign up for the email list to get exclusive tips you won’t find anywhere else.
2) To get access to the best divorce resources in the United States, check out the store here.
3) Get personalized help. Learn about coaching services here.
 
Thank you for listening!
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