My Key to Co-Parenting Success Is Not "Putting My Children First"

That's right. I said it. My key to co-parenting success with my ex is not "putting my children first" as so many professionals recommend.

My first year co-parenting

I remember the first year of co-parenting well. I would describe it as a complete failure and excruciating. My youngest son was three years old. Every time he had to go between my home and my ex's, he would have a complete meltdown. I felt like my heart was being torn out of my chest.

My ex wanted to be the fun parent so he would sugar them up and let them stay up late. We have three kids. At the time, they were 3, 6 and 7. When they came home, they were exhausted and cranky from lack of sleep. Then I had to be the bad guy and send them to bed early.

To say that I was aggravated with my ex would be an understatement. In fairness, I wasn't innocent. He was pretty angry with me, too. I had recoupled very quickly after our divorce. He was hurt and uncomfortable with the situation and wanted to make sure I knew it.

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How to keep your house in a divorce

house in a divorce May 01, 2019

If you are wondering how to keep your house in a divorce, you're not alone. A lot of my clients have sentimental attachments to their homes. You've made memories there. It's where you raised your family. You may have close relationships with your neighbors or other strong ties to the community.

Even if you are not particularly sentimental, you may not want to think about moving amid all the other changes happening in your life. If you have read some of my other blogs, you probably already know my stance on keeping the house in a divorce. In a lot of cases, it does not make the most financial sense. Keeping that house when you cannot afford it is one of the most common financial mistakes that people make when going through a divorce. That said, if you are wondering how to keep your house (without sawing in two pieces!), here is some guidance.

how to keep your house in a divorce without dividing it in two

How to keep your house in a divorce 

First, take a look at your overall financial picture. If you are negotiating to keep the house and...

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What You Need to Know About a ROTH IRA in a Divorce

Written by Denise French, MAFF, CVA, CDFA, CRPC

Divorce itself is an emotionally charged, troubling process. Add major financial decisions to the mix and divorce can be a recipe for disaster. Litigants are forced to make life-altering financial decisions during a time of emotional turmoil. Anyone walking through a divorce knows this can feel like an insurmountable task. There is hope! You can do this!

Our next few articles will focus on different types of assets we see divided on a regular basis in divorce. We will discuss the different types of financial accounts, their tax benefits or consequences and their pros and cons.

The ROTH IRA in a Divorce

The ROTH IRA is a powerful financial tool which differs in many ways from a Traditional IRA or a Rollover IRA. The ROTH IRA can be used for a variety of needs sometimes without taxation or penalties. If you have a ROTH IRA to divide in your divorce you have potential access to a powerful financial tool.

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The Downside of DIY Divorce Document Prep

guest blogger Apr 22, 2019

Written by Nancy Hetrick of Smarter Divorce Solutions

With the increasing popularity of Pinterest, the concept of “do-it-yourself” or “DIY” projects have become enticing for many. I don’t consider myself to be the least bit crafty but have taken on daunting projects like painting kitchen cabinets (I swear, never again) all in the interest of saying, “Wow – look what I did! And I saved a lot of money!”

When DIY is the Only Option For Divorce

In some cases, however, DIY is necessary and the only option. Consider for example couples who are going through a divorce and simply don’t have the financial means to get professional assistance. They are reliant upon DIY divorce documents and are faced with navigating complicated legal issues reduced to fill-in-the-blank forms. It’s a means to an end, albeit less than ideal.

Then there are others who pursue DIY divorce documents simply as a way of saving money ...

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Clearing Up Misconceptions About Thrift Savings Plans & Divorce

Let's start with the basics. There are so many different types of retirement accounts out there - IRAs, ROTH IRAs, and 401(K)s just to name a few. While those are probably the most common, there are numerous others. For someone who is not dealing with them every day, it can be confusing. More importantly, not all retirement assets are the same nor should they be treated as if they are. Thus, we are dedicating this blog post to one of the less commonly known retirement plans. That is the Thrift Savings Plan, also known as a TSP for short.

What is a Thrift Savings Plan? If you have been working for the Federal government or the military for much of your career, you may already be very familiar. However, those in the private sector may not be. The Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) is a retirement plan. It is available to civilian Federal employees and members of the uniformed services. If you are familiar with a 401(K) in the private sector or a Deferred Compensation account for state...

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What Everyone Ought to Know About Divorce and Retirement Accounts

Valuing and dividing retirement accounts is more complex than most divorcing couples expect. Below are five common questions we receive regarding divorce and retirement accounts.

1. Does a retirement account only belong to the person whose name is on it?

Imagine that only one spouse worked for most of the marriage while the other cared for the kids. If that's the case, most of the retirement assets are likely only in one spouse's name. It is common for clients who own retirement accounts to believe that they are entitled to the entire account since it's in their name. However, money earned during the marriage is a marital asset and subject to division in a divorce.

In contrast, retirement assets earned prior to the marriage are typically considered separate assets and not subject to division in the divorce. In addition, the growth on those separate assets during the marriage is considered separate property. For an accurate appraisal of what portion of a retirement account is...

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The Best Kept Secret of Mediation

mediation Mar 18, 2019

While often considered the kinder approach to divorce compared to traditional litigation, the benefits of mediation go far beyond those simply looking for a "nicer" approach. The best kept secret of mediation is that it is actually the couples with more conflict who can see the greatest benefit from mediation.

Those who are experiencing higher degrees of conflict will see the highest litigation-related expenses. The litigation process itself often heightens conflict. You do not have to be on the same page with respect to your settlement in order to try mediation. In fact, mediation is designed specifically to help you get on the same page. You do, however, have to share a commitment to the process.

Checklist: Is mediation right for you?

Here is a checklist to help you determine if mediation would be an appropriate process for settling the terms of your divorce. You and your spouse do not have to agree to everything on the list but if there are several items on the list that do not...

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Divorce and Your Mortgage

mortgage Mar 04, 2019

An interview with Amy Terrell, Senior Loan Officer & Certified Divorce Lending Specialist with US Lending Corp.

I find it important to develop a solid network of professionals who can support my divorcing clients. There are such a wide variety of issues that arise during the course of a divorce. One that frequently arises is refinancing the primary residence to remove one parties' name from the loan. I recently sat down with Amy Terrell, a Senior Loan Officer and Certified Divorce Lending Specialist with US Lending Corp. During our conversation, I realized there are some important issues that I wanted to make sure people are aware of when it comes to divorce and your mortgage. She was nice enough complete a brief interview over email to share the information.

What are some of the biggest mistakes people make when it comes to their credit score when they are trying to refinance?

Some of the biggest mistakes people make are:

  • Opening new accounts:  This can cause...
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Spousal Support in Ohio: A Look at Various Outcomes Achieved in Mediation

When I meet with someone for the first time regarding their divorce, I hear the same questions over and over - concerns that are keeping people up at night and adding to the stress of the divorce. They are questions such as, "Can I afford to keep the house?" and "How will I get health insurance?"

These are all common fears in divorce mediation in Ohio, and they all revolve around money. When it comes to negotiating the divorce settlement, one of the stickiest issues addressed is spousal support. (Spousal support is also known as alimony or spousal maintenance in some areas.)

Related post: How much spousal support will I get?

alimony Ohio

There is no spousal support calculator in Ohio. Thus, if awarded, the amount and/or the duration can all be somewhat subjective. That said, there are several considerations detailed in Ohio law. You can read about them here

Sometimes clients ask me what other people do when it comes to spousal support in Ohio. There truly is no one way to...

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5 Mediation Strategies to Get What You Want

mediation Jan 24, 2019

I strongly believe in the benefits of choosing mediation for your divorce but it's also important to understand the challenges and prepare for those. The decisions made in mediation can significantly impact your life for years to come. With that in mind, it can be easy to become overwhelmed during the session if you are not adequately prepared. Likewise, you can make agreements that may not be in your best interest if you are simply tired and worn out from the mediation. These simple mediation strategies can help you get what you want from your divorce settlement.

Keep these strategies in mind to make the most of your mediation

#1 Take Time to Reflect Ahead of Time

Spend some quiet time thinking about what you want and what you need.  Write your thoughts down on paper and read it aloud.  This process helps you organize your thoughts, identify your priorities and set realistic expectations.  Take this paper with you to mediation.  If you are...

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