Divorce Newsletters

Focus on the Future

November 1, 2016

Even in the best of circumstances, divorce is stressful. Rarely do we engage with a couple who agree on getting divorced, bear no ill feelings toward each other, and work together to make sound financial decisions (in which case you can’t help but wonder, why are they getting divorced?) Most of the time there is fighting and a mutual desire to “punish” one another. In such a state of heightened emotion, stress factors prevail and the ability to think rationally and make good decisions for the long-term are compromised. That’s where a divorce financial planner can help.

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What is the house REALLY worth?

October 1, 2016

After being involved with many divorce cases I find that the one issue often overlooked by attorneys is the cost basis in the house. This number is very important – it can turn an asset into a liability. Here’s an example:

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Dividing Up The Tax Return

September 1, 2016

As a divorce attorney or mediator you are familiar with the process of dividing assets, which typically include real estate, bank and investment accounts and personal property. But did you know some aspects of the tax return are divided too?

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Show me the money!

August 1, 2016

After a divorce is completed one or both of the parties may have an immediate need for cash. There are various reasons for this, including:

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The Importance of the Credit Score

June 1, 2016

In most of our divorce cases the assets include real estate. One of the first questions you may want to ask your divorce client is, “What’s your credit score?”

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Reverse Mortgages May Help In A Divorce

May 1, 2016

I think it is fair to say we have all had clients who, for emotional reasons, want to stay in the marital home yet can’t afford the mortgage payment or cost of maintaining the house. Emotions are taking precedence over good financial decisions, and this client could be jeopardizing their future. In some situations there may be a way to solve this problem, satisfying the client’s wish to remain in the home and yet relieve him or her of some of the financial burden. This tool is the reverse mortgage.

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The Value of a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst

April 1, 2016

There is an old saying, “If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” It is meant to imply that if you are familiar with a single, certain subject you may have a confirmation bias to believe it is the answer to any problem.  Could it be applied to Certified Divorce Financial Professionals? We do believe we have important knowledge and can be helpful in any divorce case. Are we the answer to every problem? Probably not. But here is a sample of questions I have been asked by divorce attorneys in the past, illustrating the importance of good financial advice in any divorce case:

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Withdrawing Money from a Qualified Plan Without the 10% Penalty - Part 2

March 1, 2016

In January my newsletter focused on a little known strategy that allows alternate payees to withdraw money from a qualified retirement plan before normal retirement age without paying a penalty. This can be very helpful when cash is needed but the only place to get it is a 401(k) or 403(b).

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Protecting Alimony and Child Support Payments

February 1, 2016

When alimony and child support are awarded in a divorce, it is strongly recommended that these payments be secured. If the payor becomes disabled or dies, the ability to continue payments could be in jeopardy. The need for payments would not go away but the ability to pay would – a situation you don’t want your client to experience.

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Withdrawing Money from a Qualified Plan Without the 10% Penalty

January 1, 2016

Normally, distributions made from a 401(k) or 403(b) or other qualified plans before the participant attains age 59-1/2 are called “early distributions” and are subject to income tax as well as a 10% penalty tax.  That means a distribution taken could incur taxes equaling 50% or more depending on the individual’s federal and state tax bracket.

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