Monthly Archives: April 2014

Two Ways Women Often Get Hurt in a Divorce

The biggest financial mistake I see divorcing women make is holding on to illiquid assets. (Men make plenty of mistakes too; I’m going to speak to us ladies in my answer since my wealth-management practice is focused on empowering women).

These illiquid assets tend to bubble up in one of two situations. The first is around the family home. Very, very often I see women want to keep the home–either so as not to disrupt the lives of children or for sentimental reasons. Alas, homes can be money pits at times. Without adequate thought being put into how much annual ongoing maintenance (mortgage payments, property tax, insurance, upkeeps, etc.) will run, it’s very easy to underestimate how difficult a burden the house will be to run on a post-divorce income.

The second area I see illiquid assets bubble up is around the area of splitting investments. In households where there has been enough wealth that venture capital, hedge funds and private equity has been part of the household portfolio, I have seen women get tripped up. With these asset classes it is particularly important to make sure you have a solid understanding of both valuation and liquidity.  If you receive a chunk of assets in a settlement that are locked up for a months–or years–you may find yourself in a very different financial situation than the “raw numbers” indicate. As such, particularly in high-net worth households, it’s important to put your settlement under a financial planning microscope–bring in your wealth manager or CPA to discuss.

P.S. Don’t forget to change your beneficiaries on investment accounts and to update your estate-planning documents post-divorce as well.  That’s another common mistake for both genders!

Original Article Source: http://blogs.wsj.com/experts/2014/04/15/two-ways-women-often-get-hurt-in-a-divorce/

Obtaining Personal Growth Throughout Your Divorce

For most women and men the divorce process is an unpleasant one.  Unfortunately divorce tends to play out in a very dreadful manner that leaves both parties at a loss and filled with heartache and sorrow. It also leaves both parties filled with wonderful opportunities that take time to fully discover.  For most people who end up going through a divorce the reason for the divorce is simple; they were simply incompatible and were not destined to continue with their marriage.  Many divorcees are decent people ready to move on to the next phase in their lives.  The question is how this can be accomplished while allowing the healing process to continue and providing protection to a fragile heart.

First things first don’t think that because many of your friends who have gone through a divorce and are now friends with their exes that this can easily be accomplished in your situation.  Give yourself time. You don’t need to be friends right now.  You need to conduct your relationship as you would a business for right now. You should set boundaries and rules that will allow you to continue to parent your children but that allow you to grow as individuals. If as time goes by a friendship occurs that is fine but don’t assume it needs to happen.

When it comes to preparing you for the actual legal separation find a solid divorce lawyer that has a reputation for settling through the meditation process.  Heading into a divorce considering it a war that will only be won through a deceitful, long battle is not the best option especially when children are involved. Finding a lawyer that works a well in mediation but that also has a winning record when faced with litigation is optimal.  Mediation is especially beneficial to both parties when a working relationship has been proven and similar goals are desired.  Couples that end their marriage through the mediation process often salvage a better working relationship once the divorce is finalized.

Parenting through a divorce is difficult especially in situations where parenting was a major issue of contentment in the marriage.  It is so important to remember that the only thing that matters is your children when dissolving your marriage.  Most parenting plans that work out the best are written in a format that lets the children know the plan is being written for them directly to them.  When developing a plan consider that one day this piece of paper could be shared with them.  You need to work as a team on their behalf to create a parenting plan that moves everyone in the forward direction working as one.

When it comes to parenting, the divorce and many matters that will come up in between filing and finalization it is vital that the two parties learn to agree to disagree.  You are getting a divorce for a specific reason.  There have been obvious disagreements; these may stem from finances, parenting, family issues or something else.  The reason is not important once you have decided to no longer be married to one another.  The issue still remains that you disagree.  Coming to terms with this and learning to let go and agree to disagree will help you move forward in the long run.

Longton DM, a subsidiary of Longton Law Offices is a divorce attorney specializing in Women/Mom’s in divorce.  For experienced representation throughout the divorce process in Michigan you can find more information at http://www.michigandivorcelawyerforwomen.com/afterdivorce.php.

 

Regaining Inner Power During Divorce

When going through a divorce it is hard not to feel powerless and out of your element.  The territory of divorce is usually one that is undiscovered for most couples.  When a divorce has been decided upon it becomes imperative that you understand your rights when it comes to everything from spousal support to child custody to the division of marital assets. Many people will give you advice to follow from filing for divorce to when the divorce is final.  This advice may apply to you or not.  As quick as advice comes in it can often be discarded.  What applies to you will stick.  Below you will find a list of survival tips.  Again, most of this may not apply to your situation but it is important that you hear it and apply what is needed.

Divorce is often fought like a war.  War as we have come to know it is a long, drawn out battle between two different sides.  Conflict arises from two parties and often spreads like wild fire.  When it comes to divorce families take sides and issues come about that were long forgiven while the marriage was intact.  If at all possible try to dissolve your marriage as privately as possible. Keep the information between the two of you as much as possible.  This will alleviate a lot of stress and will keep the possibilities open for an amicable divorce through mediation.  Mediation tends to save both sides time and money by providing a joint agreement without litigation in court.

Before you actually file or think you are going to be served with papers start preparing yourself financially as well as finding a trustworthy source of legal aide. Start meeting with several lawyers to determine whose advice, results and tactics are in line with how you are feeling you would like your divorce proceeding to move forward. This will save you time when you are feeling the most fragile and allow you to be one step ahead alleviating a stressful situation from elevating to a place of no return.

Don’t allow yourself to fall into a trap. Some spouses try to convince you will end up without the means to support yourself let alone keep your children.  Believing this will only allow them to be in a power position over you and your emotions.  Don’t give into this time of emotional abuse.  Through mediation or litigation the house, custody, child and spousal support and assets will be divided.  Your spouse is not in control of this process.  You both will decide, along with the support of your divorce attorney and legal team through mediation or litigation how your joint lives will be separated into two.

The thing about divorce that makes giving concrete advice difficult is that no two divorces like any two marriages.  Marriage and divorce are made of a complex combination of pieces that don’t always apply to every situation.  Weeding through the advice that applies to you will create an individualized guide to help you move forward in any given situation including your divorce.  Take the advice that applies and apply it; disregard anything and everything that doesn’t apply as not to create any resentment that isn’t needed.

Longton DM, a subsidiary of Longton Law Offices is a divorceattorney specializing in Women/Mom’s in divorce.  For experienced representation throughout the divorce process in Michigan you can find more information at http://www.michigandivorcelawyerforwomen.com/afterdivorce.php.