by Jeff Landers, CDFA, Bedrock Divorce Advisors LLC, * LTD Contributor
Welcome to Divorce Dollars and Sense.
Most likely if you are reading this blog, you are a woman currently going through a divorce or thinking about it. Or perhaps you have a sister, daughter or friend who is dealing with the many issues related to ending their marriage. Either way, you’ve come to the right place.
First, I’d like to quickly introduce myself. I am the president and founder of Bedrock Divorce Advisors, LLC, a national divorce financial strategy firm that exclusively advises women who are going through, or may be going through, a financially complicated divorce. We provide financial analyses and projections, not legal services. As a Divorce Financial Strategist™, I will share with you information about the financial and other critical aspects of divorce.
Having successfully guided many women through divorce, I understand what’s important to you, and more importantly, I know what most women don’t know about divorce. There is so much misleading information about divorce out there that many women make decisions based on what their friends and family tell them rather than to consult with an experienced divorce specialist. It’s hard to know where to turn to get real, solid, practical help. You might think that your divorce attorney would be well versed in all of these matters. And when it comes to the legal issues, most of them are. Unfortunately, financial analyses and projections are not taught in law school and most attorneys do not have more than a very basic understanding of them. I can’t tell you how many divorce attorneys have told me that one of the reasons they went to law school was because they were lousy at math!! Our hope is that you consider this blog a resource in your journey to become fully educated about the financial, tax and other implications of your divorce.
Women in the midst of divorce are dealing with so many simultaneous challenges and demands (emotional, legal and financial), that they often don’t have a clue what tomorrow will bring, let alone the next 10 or 20 years.
One of the most common and critical mistakes you can make during your divorce is to accept the first settlement proposal in the hopes of getting this over with as quickly as possible. As tempting as this may be, you need to take your time with making these important decisions because, for the most part, there are no do-overs and you will have to live with your decisions for a very long time. This is one of the reasons why the tag line of my company is Think Financially, Not Emotionally®. Just because a proposal may initially seem reasonable and fair, doesn’t mean that it actually is. You need to understand both the short- and long-term financial and tax implications of each divorce settlement option in order to determine which one will best secure your financial future. You want to be absolutely certain that you and your children will be financially OK now and for many years to come. So please, before you sign anything, stop, take a deep breath, and turn to sources of high-quality information from reputable divorce professionals. I hope you will consider this blog to be such a resource.
My first suggestion for you is to lay out the following phases of divorce that you will be going through and plan for each of the financial issues that will come up.
Planning Phase – First and foremost, you need to gather all of your financial records (Click here to get our free Divorce Financial Checklist.) You’ll also need to develop a short- and long-term financial plan so that you can make sure that the decisions you make today won’t negatively impact your financial future.
Researching Phase – You will need a very detailed and comprehensive list of all of your assets, debts, income and expenses as well as an understanding of possible tax consequences.
Strategizing Phase – It is critical that you understand the immediate and long-term implications of each divorce settlement proposal.
Reviewing Phase – This is where you will review settlement proposals and compare alternative outcomes.
The goal of this blog is to educate and empower women to be able to confidently go through each phase and to understand the complex financial issues you will soon be facing. Some of the topics I plan to cover include:
- How to prepare for your divorce
- Serious financial mistakes that women make during divorce
- Tax Implications of divorce
- How to maintain your financial lifestyle post-divorce
- How divorce impacts your retirement
- Child Support and Alimony (maintenance)
- Issues for Women Business Owners who divorce
- Divorce-Proofing (for those with significant assets and/or own a business or a professional practice)
If there are particular topics regarding divorce financial issues that you would like to see covered in this blog, please leave a comment below and let me know.
I look forward to hearing from you.
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Jeffrey A. Landers, CDFA™ is a Divorce Financial Strategist™ and the founder of Bedrock Divorce Advisors, LLC (http://www.BedrockDivorce.com), a national divorce financial strategy firm that exclusively works with women, who are going through, or might be going through, a financially complicated divorce. He also advises women business owners on what steps they can take now to "divorce-proof" their business in the event of a future divorce. He can be reached at Landers@BedrockDivorce.com.
All articles/blog posts are for informational purposes only, and do not constitute legal advice. If you require legal advice, retain a lawyer licensed in your jurisdiction. The opinions expressed are solely those of the author, who is not an attorney.
Follow Jeffrey A. Landers on Twitter: www.twitter.com/Bedrock_Divorce