Divorce is anything but easy. Some emotional or financial issues will be more challenging to overcome than others, yet every challenge has a solution.
As you work your way through a checklist of items to deal with during the divorce process, you'll have lots to consider, from who gets what to your new living arrangements and custody of minor children. You'll also be working through some financial planning for life after divorce.
A critical piece of your new financial plan is your estate plan. Whether you already have a will, trust, and other legal estate paperwork, or only a bank account and no estate planning documents at all, we'll walk you through the essential items you need to address at the end of your marriage.
Note: Before finalizing any estate planning documents, ensure you are not violating any terms of your divorce judgment, i.e., property settlement agreement or life insurance policy requirements.
Estate planning is vital...
To ensure a smooth divorce process, some people think you need to have the best lawyer, a negotiation coach, or for your ex to give you everything you asked for without question. And while those things will make the divorce process easier and more pleasant, they only come after having this one thing under control.
When I work with couples, the most successful clients are organized clients. They are on top of their paperwork, they have all of their documents prepared and ready to go, and they have double-checked that they have everything they need.
If you aren’t organized, a whole host of headaches could pop up. You could be treated to additional back-and-forth with your lawyers (which means more billable hours used), delays, or even possibly having to go back to court to have your separation agreement revised. What’s more: if it isn’t corrected, you wouldn't get your retirement settlement. It isn’t as simple as just knowing an account number: you have to be...
When I look at divorce settlement proposals for clients as part of my Strategy Sessions, there’s one thing I consider above everything else. I’d encourage you to do the same. In evaluating your divorce settlement, think of this first and foremost: Are you able to uphold this agreement?
Oftentimes, people want the maximum child and/or spousal support possible — and I get that. However, if someone is making a promise they can’t uphold yet they’re signing a legal, binding document saying they will, it could land everyone in hot water (or, at the very least, lead to unnecessary drama and possible post-decree issues).
It’s important for you and the other person signing the divorce agreement not to make promises you can’t keep. Consider these three things when evaluating your divorce settlement to ensure you're not forgetting the cardinal rule of “don’t make promises you can’t keep.”
Like I wrote in Refinance...
There are many factors to consider when putting together a financial settlement agreement, but one of the things that’s come up recently among my clients has been refinancing your house as part of your divorce financial settlement. (Enough so that I did a Facebook Live on the topic.)
There are two main things to consider when agreeing to anything, but especially when agreeing to a financial settlement that has pretty serious consequences if you’re no longer able to uphold your end of the deal.
First thing’s first… You have to make sure it’s actually realistic and that you A) can refinance on your own and B) are able to do so within the terms of the agreement.
Some of the language I’m seeing lately has been around the time limit for refinancing. In some cases, there are some pretty serious consequences if you aren’t able to — in some cases, I’m seeing as little as 30 days for refinancing. So,...
Divorce can be a bit like a special club that you never anticipated having access to. That time before divorce is confusing, hurtful, and a host of other emotions. Once you’re on the other side, you truly can see clearly again.
So, if you’re in the fog and not sure what to expect, you’re not alone. Trust me, even with the best of advice and resources, every person who’s going through a divorce is unique and has some level of anxiety about it.
While I don’t recommend listening to just any old advice about divorce, I do recommend seeking out people who have experience with it to guide you, both when speaking candidly with others and when seeking expert support (like a mediator, financial advisor, and so on).
As such, I asked a group of divorced and soon-to-be divorced women, “What do you wish you knew before your divorce?” I got so many responses, I couldn’t fit them into one (or even two!) blog posts!
(Both of my previous posts...
“Divorce coaching, is that something I really need, and is it worth the expense?” asked a mom in a Facebook group I joined several months ago.
The group moderator, a divorced mom who is not a divorce professional and who never worked with a divorce coach, answered. “Divorce coaches are only for high conflict high net worth cases”. In her opinion, divorce coaches are:
Feeling overwhelmed by emotion (something I warn my clients about daily), I could not remain silent. Offering to chat with anyone who wanted to learn more about divorce coaching. I explained that a divorce coach
In my haste to set the record straight, I overstepped a boundary. ...
I have worked with a lot of women and couples through the years as a divorce financial planner and mediator, and I truly believe that you can thrive after divorce. I have seen it first hand, both watching the people I’ve worked with and having been through it myself!
If there’s one thing that’s a common factor between all successful mediations and divorce cases, it’s this: you have to cut through the noise to reach your own internal guidance system and build up your confidence in yourself.
Before, during, and even after a divorce, we get so overwhelmed with input from so many places that we lose touch with our intuition. The reality is that no one knows what you’re going through except for you. There are people who are more trained and qualified to offer assistance, but only you know what’s right for you.
How do you cut through the noise to hear yourself again? These three tips will help you prepare yourself well so you can once more trust in...
Your first Christmas or holiday after your divorce is going to be different. I still remember my first Christmas. I struggled to keep my routines as close to “normal” as possible, especially for my then-toddler. It’s a special circle of emotions that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy.
So, my friend, if you’re going through this, I really feel for you right now. It will get better (I know, it doesn’t feel like it, but I will) and hopefully these resources for getting through your first holiday after divorce will help.
Being kind to yourself can be so hard right now. Lots of “failures” are playing on repeat, so it’s easy to sit with that all day long and think that you yourself are one of them. I promise, you are not. If you need to show yourself some self-care right now, here are 4 ways to be kind to yourself when dealing with a breakup.
I turn to journaling when...
Your first set of holidays after your divorce will be weird, scary, and painful - but they’ll also be happy, joyful, and unexpectedly fun if you let them. The key, I think, is to feel your feelings. It’s okay if you’re having a day that isn’t holly and jolly. It’s alright if you sit down to write in your gratitude journal and struggle to come up with anything aside from Well, I changed out of my PJs today.
I don’t mean to downplay the feelings you may be going through right now as you approach your first holiday after divorce. It is one of the most traumatic events you can go through in your adult life. Here are 21 quotes to remind yourself that you are loved, you are brilliant, and you will move through this season with your head up and deep breaths in your lungs.
“Your dream doesn’t have an expiration date. Take a deep breath and try again.” — KT Witten
“Letting go doesn’t mean that you...
You might already be familiar with open enrollment, but let’s take a moment to talk about what it really means in the context of divorce and life changes, since those things will make an impact on how you select insurance plans during this period!
While the timing of open enrollment can vary with different employers, open enrollment is generally the period between November and mid-December where you are able to make changes to your health insurance plans. During this period, you can choose to renew your participation in your company's current insurance plans, switch to a different one, or drop your existing plan.
Because of the flexibility in choosing next year’s coverage, this is a good time to take a step back and take a look at where your employee benefits fit into everything else you’re doing. There could be connections you’re missing, or not aware of, that may save you money (or cost you big) over the course of the next year. Here are a few things...