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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401K in Divorce: A Tip That Can Save You Thousands

Unfortunately, going through a divorce leads many people completely cash-strapped. While not ideal, if you have not built up enough liquid savings, you might be considering a withdrawal from a 401K. Here is an important tip you need to know about a 401K in divorce. This only works if you are awarded all or part of your spouse's 401K. It does not work on your own.

401K and divorce

Your Spouse's 401K in Divorce

When you file the Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) to have all or part of your former spouse’s 401K distributed to you, you have an opportunity to take cash out of the account without paying the IRS’s 10% penalty (on funds withdrawn before age 59.5). To take advantage of this, when dividing a 401K in divorce, have the portion you need, paid directly from the account to you.

Related post: QDRO: I need a what??

Related post: Should I leave my Ex's retirement as is?

It does not need to be the full amount that you are receiving.  Do not roll it into an IRA and...

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How To Calculate Ohio Child Support

UPDATE: OHIO IMPLEMENTED NEW CHILD SUPPORT GUIDELINES ON MARCH 28, 2019. THE RESOURCES BELOW REFLECT THESE CHANGES.

For those who have minor children at the time of a divorce, one party or the other will likely be paying child support (unless they genuinely share parenting 50/50 and make about the same amount of money). Child support is paid until the child reaches age 18 or graduates from high school, whichever happens last. There is some gray area when it comes to how to calculate child support in Ohio.

Why Calculating Ohio Child Support is Not Black and White

Many people think that Child Support calculations are black and white. In some cases, that may be. However, there are many cases in which the calculation can be a little more complicated. The State of Ohio offers worksheets as well as a manual for how to determine the appropriate inputs for the calculations. Links to the resources are below.

At the most basic level, child support is calculated based on the combined...

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QDRO: I need a what??

what does QDRO stand for anyway?

QDRO stands for Qualified Domestic Relations Order. If part of your divorce settlement includes a division of retirement assets held with a current or former employer, you may need a QDRO (Qualified Domestic Relations Order) or similar document, depending on the retirement plan. A QDRO is a document that gets filed with the plan administrator that tells the plan how the account will be divided.

A Costly Mistake

One of the mistakes that I see people make when dividing assets, is simply dividing each account down the middle. Seems like it would be fair, right? While it might be fair, it may also cause you to incur more costs than you would, if you were a little more creative about your settlement.

There are a couple of costs to consider. There is a cost to having someone draft the QDRO, which generally ranges from $450-$1000. Additionally, each plan charges an administrative fee on their side as well. That fee generally...

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Valuing a Pension for Divorce is a Wise Investment

Are you losing thousands of dollars because of your financial fears during your dissolution or divorce?

The cost of the divorce itself is one of the biggest fears I hear from clients. There is no question. It will generally take longer and cost more than you expected. However, that does not mean it's a good idea to cut corners.

Valuing a pension for divorce: Don't cut corners

One frequent corner cut is a pension valuation. Pension valuations do not take a lot of time. However, they do require you to work with someone other than your attorney. Thus, even when recommended by their attorneys, many clients choose not to have them done.

It is not even necessary to meet with your valuation expert in person. All required information can be provided via phone/email. In some cases, the attorney can even provide all of the relevant information. I recognize that it can feel stressful and overwhelming to work with yet another professional and have yet another bill to pay. However, it could...

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