Bohm Wildish: Divorce Business Ownership – Divorce finance is complicated as it is, but trying to divide a business makes it extremely vital to know the process before making business decisions. The business is typically an asset and a source of income for the couple. [Read more…]
Bohm Wildish – Divorce and Taxes: Tax season is here– everyone’s favorite time of year. (Not.) Most people are currently thinking about their finances, their taxes, their credit score, etc. More than 75% of California marriages end in divorce, so many of our clients from Orange County and Los Angeles are especially worried about finances this time of year if they’ve been recently divorced. RoadFish recently released a few observations about how a divorce can affect one’s credit, and we thought we would share them with you. [Read more…]
Bohm Wildish – Divorce and Taxes: Congress passed the American Taxpayer Relief Act (ATRA) at the beginning of this year to prohibit tax increases to the middle class and spending cuts in motion if no action were taken, and to avoid the “fiscal cliff.” But if you were in the middle of a divorce settlement, the new tax laws may impact your outcome. [Read more…]
The economy is quick to burn a hole in California’s judicial system. With a $652 million cut, there will be 56 court rooms closing – 24 criminal courts, 24 civil courts, four juvenile delinquency courts, three family courts, one probate court, and all 13 informal traffic courts for youth. But it’s not just the courts affected by the budget cuts. Los Angeles is a prime example of a court system that needs the economy to rise.
Since there are fewer courts to hold hearings, more and more cases are being backed up and receiving little to no attention. There are people who have to wait up to one year to get a court date, and even up to three years to finalize a divorce. Judges are estimated to take only a few minutes to review a case and make a decision that will affect a person or family’s life forever.
The time pressure is especially high in family law matters, when dealing with foster children, child custody, and children with special needs. Parents with a hold on their case are increasingly uneasy about how to approach their issue. In Los Angeles, some attorneys are representing up to 240 children, where the recommended caseload is only 160 children. Furthermore, attorneys have a hard time turning down a case, which continues to impede the hearing process. From the shortage of courtrooms to the employees laid off, it is evident how the budget cuts have influenced the judicial system. We continue to do our best to ensure that we give each and every family the attention they deserve. We hope the economy rises faster than is expected and families are given the time they need and deserve in the Los Angeles court system.
A recent article in Reuters points to a few trends relating to divorcing couples and how the split affects their parents. According to the article, the AARP reported that a quarter of grandparents spend more than $1,000 a year on their grandchildren, and 37 percent help cover daily living expenses. However, grandparents’ rights to spend time with their grandchildren have become increasingly smaller since 2000 when the U.S. supreme court ruled in Troxel v. Granville. The court struck down a Washington state law that allowed courts to order visitation rights for grandparents in the child’s “best interest.” Many states since then have followed suit and struck down similar laws. [Read more…]
Divorce Advice: Jeff Landers recently wrote an article in Forbes outlining seven steps for women to achieve financial stability post-divorce. If you’re a woman who has recently gone through a divorce, your life has probably drastically been changing. You may have experienced an emotional roller coaster, and now you’re in full control of your finances. Paying bills, planning for your children’s future, saving and investing all take a considerable amount of effort and planning. Your ex-husband may have been the one to handle all of that, but post-separation or divorce, it’s all up to you. Once your divorce settlement is finalized, Landers recommends these seven financial steps:
- Update accounts: If you changed your name, you’ll need a new Social Security Card, driver’s license, passport and credit cards. Notify your bank, insurance companies, utilities, the DMV, etc. about any address or name change. You may also want to update beneficiaries on your life insurance, 401k, pensions and IRA accounts.
- Develop a financial plan: Make sure you have a firm understanding of your income: any full-time pay, part-time pay, child support, spousal support, etc. Calculate a realistic expectation of what you will spend daily/weekly/monthly. Then think about anything and everything you’ll need to save for. Be realistic. Set budgets and stick to them to avoid sudden crises or stressful situations.
- Build good credit: This is underrated divorce advice and an important step to protecting your financial future. Get a copy of your credit report, use your credit cards and pay them off in a timely manner. That’s the simple way. It’s much harder for women who are not employed full-time and who don’t already have decent credit. If that’s your situation, prepare yourself for the reality that securing credit may be time-consuming and require more than simply filling out an application or making a phone call.
- Seek help from a financial advisor: Try to find an advisor who is experienced in working with women post-divorce. All the components of a financial plan should be approved by a financial advisor. Don’t risk being wrong about your financial situation/budgeting and put your financial future in jeopardy.
- Add other professionals to your divorce team: Many recently divorced women struggle with a lot of the same things, and experienced professionals can truly help with sound advice. An estate-planning attorney, a therapist and a vocational counselor are great options for many women starting their new life.
- To-do items: Obtain a copy of your certified divorce decree. Close any joint credit accounts. Remove your ex’s name/address on all remaining accounts. Research your new health insurance options. Open a new credit/bank account. Disinherit your ex (new 401K, pension, will, medical directives, etc.) Establish a system to track child/spousal support.
- Enjoy your new life: You’ve set your goals and planned for the future. You’re starting a new chapter in your life, so make the most of it and enjoy life to the fullest.
Find more divorce advice articles in the Divorce Guide
The following tips will help keep you on track and your divorce in order.
Tip #1 – Look at Your Current Financial Situation
Now that you’ve decided to divorce, it’s time to sort through your financials. But before you separate, pay for as many joint expenses using joint funds as you can. For example, pay for home repairs and new school clothes for the children using your joint account. After you split funds it becomes more complicated to track who pays for what expenses. [Read more…]