7 Steps to determine if you should keep the house in your divorce

house in a divorce Jun 04, 2019

I stayed in my house when I got divorced. At the time, the housing market had declined so much that we had negative equity in our home. Selling our house would have put us in a worse financial situation than keeping it and we had three young children. Keeping them in the house gave them some stability during a difficult time for our family.

That said, maintaining the house that I had with my ex has had its ups and downs. I'm glad we were able to stay put but the maintenance was a lot of work for me at first. I've since gotten remarried and now my kids are a little older so they can help more. Still, when I was on my own, to say I was overwhelmed would barely scratch the surface of how I was feeling.

I've also had some huge home-related expenses since my divorce that set me back significantly. At the time, the decision to stay in the house was a no-brainer. However, looking back, I have to wonder if the stress of being responsible for the house hasn't been more difficult than if...

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What's a Divorce Coach and do you need one?

divorce coach May 26, 2019

When I was going through my own divorce, everything seemed overwhelming. Honestly, I wouldn't have been able to imagine engaging with more than one professional during that time. I was worried about spending money because I knew the divorce itself would be expensive. Going from a two-income household to one income was even scarier. I never would have considered hiring a divorce coach. I did not know what one was but I was also extremely reluctant to spend money. Since then, I have had the opportunity to interact with some pretty amazing divorce coaches so I wanted to share a little about what they do.

What is a Divorce Coach?

Up until the last few years, I had no idea how expansive the coaching industry was. I knew there were a lot of coaches out there but I didn't really understand how they differed from one and other. I was introduced to the idea of a Divorce Coach when I completed my collaborative divorce training in 2013. It was clear to me what a valuable resource a...

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Beauty from the Ashes: A Story of Healing After an Affair

guest blogger infidelity May 22, 2019

It is my absolute pleasure to welcome guest blogger, Melissa Davis. Melissa’s story is so inspiring for anyone who is working to heal after an affair.

Related post: Healing from Infidelity

I thought we had a good life

I was in my closet (my go-to place when things get hard for me), curled up in a ball, sobbing. Not just sobbing, it was this sound I didn’t know I could even make. I was wailing - I lost all control of my thoughts, emotions, and my physical body. One word raced through my mind, tormenting me, “Why?”

I had a good life. My oldest just turned three and I had just given birth to my second daughter. I loved being their Mama! I was the kind of woman that gave everything for her family and put myself last or just completely ignored my own needs. Cook three meals a day, clean, walk the dog, set up playdates, teach ABCs, encourage my husband, listen to Kidz Bop and enjoy it more than the kids, full-time mom and wife. I loved it, my whole day was...

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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.

What...

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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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