Planning for Divorce Checklist

preparing for divorce Nov 19, 2017

Are you planning to get a divorce? Here is a Planning for Divorce Checklist so you don't forget to tend to these important matters.

Change your passwords.

Update all of your passwords to something that your soon-to-be-ex will not be able to guess.

Establish your own email account.

It is not uncommon for married couples to share (formally or informally) an email address. As you move from a joint identity to a separate one, it's important for you to be able to use email freely. This is often a cost-effective method of communicating with your attorney.

Review your credit report.

Credit Karma is a free resource you can use to monitor your credit report. It also allows you to monitor your credit score. As you review your credit report, make sure there are no surprises. If there is anything that should not be in your report, you can dispute it with the creditor.

Open accounts in your name.

If you only have joint bank and/or credit card accounts, it is important that you...

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How to determine which assets to keep in a divorce

Most of the time, when I sit down with couples preparing to dissolve their marriage, individuals assume that each account will be divided in half. Did you know that's not always the case? In states like Ohio, where the law requires an equitable distribution of assets in a divorce, it's important to remember that equitable is not always equal. If you have options, how do you determine which assets to keep in a divorce? Rather than ramble on about all of the issues to consider, let's take a look at an example of a couple with whom I recently worked. I will refer to them as Michelle and James and have tweaked the details so as not to divulge their confidential information.

An Example of Dividing Assets in a Divorce

James and Michelle were married for the last 18 years. Michelle is a teacher who has worked in a local Ohio public school district for 23 years. James has a job in IT in the private sector and has worked at various companies throughout his career. He has been with his...

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4 Dissolution Tips All Teachers Need to Know

pensions strs teachers Oct 11, 2017

Teachers, if you are in the process of terminating your marriage, these dissolution tips are for you.

Teachers hold a special place in my heart for many reasons. For one, early in my career, I was a teacher. I earned my Master's in Education and have made quite a few teacher friends over the years. Additionally, I had the pleasure of having some fabulous teachers throughout my education. My children have also been blessed with some wonderful teachers who truly care about their success.

Often, when I meet with teachers who are faced with the end of their marriage, they realize that they do not have a complete understanding of the family finances and their retirement benefits, in particular.  Many do not even realize that they have options when it comes to their pensions. Teachers, you are not alone! It is my passion to provide the education you need to feel empowered as you go through your divorce.

Here are 4 dissolution tips every teacher should know:

Get a ...

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How to Survive Divorce as a Stay-at-Home Mom

preparing for divorce Oct 02, 2017

I find myself supporting quite a few stay-at-home moms with their divorces. I think that's because stay-at-home moms know with absolute certainty that they cannot afford to make costly financial mistakes in their divorce settlements. When you don't have your own income and your income is completely dependent on someone else, you can feel extremely vulnerable when going through a divorce.

Beyond simply being vulnerable, many stay-at-home moms feel real barriers to getting the advice they need when going through a divorce, especially those who do not have access to money of their own. Here are some professional tips for stay-at-home moms.

Tips on How to Survive Divorce as Stay-at-Home Mom from a Professional

  1. Do not allow fear to make your decisions for you. One of the biggest mistakes that I see stay-at-home moms make is racking up the legal bills out of fear. Here's the thing. There's only so much money to go around. The more you spend on legal bills, the less there will be to go...
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5 Tips to Improve Your Post-Divorce Budget

When going through a divorce, you are going to experience a lot of changes and many of those will have a financial impact. You will need to set up a new budget for your future.

If you’re on your own for the first time in a long time, you may not have given thought to how much rent will be or how much it truly costs to pay for health insurance or auto insurance and home or renter’s insurance. Everyday items that you never paid attention to – that cup of coffee at the drive-thru or lunches out with co-workers can add up and lead to a cash shortfall.

You need to budget for financial success after your divorce. Being suddenly single is a shock to your emotional and physical self. If you take steps to regain control of certain aspects of your life – your budget, for example – the transition will be easier and you will feel more in control.

Here are five tips for a better post-divorce budget:

1. Don't “set it and forget it.”

Your post-divorce...

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8 Tips for Financially Preparing For Divorce

preparing for divorce Jul 16, 2017

On television, it all seems to happen quickly - there's no time for preparing for divorce. One partner walks in the door and announces, “I want a divorce!” The other couple has a big fight and one of them says, “That’s it! I’m filing for divorce!”

In many “real life” instances, divorce is more of a slow burn. Sure there are those times when spouses angrily separate and one or the other moves out. However, in many cases you see it coming, sometimes years in advance.

Because of this, you want to take the time to be financially prepared – especially if you’re the one initiating the divorce from your spouse. 

Every divorce is unique, but there are certain documents and financial paperwork required when you’re filing, whether you’re using a divorce mediator or working with attorneys. It’s wise to get your financial house in order and gather required documentation before you reach out to...

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What is considered separate property in a divorce?

I often have clients come in who are misinformed about separate property and which assets should be divided in their divorce. Since I'm in Ohio, I will use that as my example. Ohio is an equitable division state. That means that a couples' marital assets are divided equitably in a divorce. It's important to note that equitable is not always equal but I will come back to that in another post. The question, however, is what constitutes a marital asset. All else would be considered separate property.

Pensions in Divorce

I hate gender stereotypes but I see this all the time so I think it is worth calling it out. I have never once had a man come into my office and say, "She can keep her pension, she earned it" while I frequently hear from female clients, "He can keep his pension, he earned it." I'm hoping others working in the divorce field have not had that same experience.

The pension is commonly the largest asset of the marriage.  If all or a portion of the pension was...

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3 Mindset Shifts to Make as You Prepare for Mediation

guest blogger mediation May 30, 2017

The following is a guest post written by Erica N. Reed, LCSW-C. Additional information about Erica can be found below.

As you planned the wedding ceremony and created your life together, the last thing you anticipated was scheduling a meeting to dissolve the marriage.  Whether the marriage had been in turmoil for a while, or you were caught off guard by the request for separation, women who are in the process of separation and divorce are on an emotional roller coaster and are simply trying to find stable footing.

Experiencing anger, sadness, hurt, fear, and resentment are to be expected during this time.   It’s very typical.  However, when entering mediation, these emotions can sabotage a successful outcome.

Here are three mindset shifts that are important for you to address as you prepare for mediation with your spouse.

Embrace Calm

Do you remember that emotional roller coaster I spoke about?  I’m sure you can...

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How much spousal support will I get?

alimony spousal support May 24, 2017

If your spouse is the primary earner, you're probably very concerned about how you're going to make ends meet after your divorce. Can you afford to stay in the house? Can you cover all of your bills? Will you have to get another job?

In fact, it's one of the most common questions I get - is there alimony in Ohio? Am I eligible? How much spousal support will I get? How long will I get it for?

It's also one of the most emotionally charged topics we deal with in divorce. For the one who needs alimony, they are depending on it to maintain their standard of living. On the flip side, do you really want to depend on your ex after your divorce is final?

If you are the primary earner, you're probably wondering if you'll have to pay spousal support. If so, how much and for how long? It would be easy to say, "The state provides a simple calculation." In Ohio, that isn't the case. Because there is no formula, it's a very gray area that is negotiated in every case.

First off, what is spousal...

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What is a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst?

Dealing with a divorce is a stress beyond compare for many people. When you add to that the emotional stress of complicated financial issues that arise during this time, means it is crucial to enlist professional help to assure your money questions are addressed during the divorce. One person who can take a weight off your shoulders is a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA).

Consider that nearly one million couples will divorce annually in the United States and during that time they will be faced with some of the most important financial decisions of their lives; this could be especially true for women who have not been involved in the family finances up until this point. Your divorce attorney will handle the legal aspects of the divorce, but you may find you will reap a great reward from working with a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst.

What does a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst do?

A CDFA is an experienced financial professional who helps...

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