Bohm Wildish: Divorce Advice – Here’s a taboo topic for women. You’ve been with the same man for five, ten, or thirty years and now you’re divorced. You’ll most likely start dating again. Depending on how quickly you want to take things, you’ll eventually start having sex again… most likely. You’ve only slept with one person for many years (probably) and this might make things a little difficult in the beginning, right? [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…]
Domestic violence has many forms, including physical violence, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, intimidation and economic deprivation. The FBI reported that domestic violence claims the lives of more than four women each day. As attorneys, we are grateful to have the opportunity to help women leave these horrific situations.
Due to shame and fear, many women fail to report domestic violence attacks. Still, in Washington DC, 49% of the violent crime calls received by the police department in 2000 were for domestic violence incidents. California Women’s Law Center (CWLC) is a valuable resource for women in California suffering from domestic violence or spousal abuse. CWLC is creating innovative programs to help bring awareness, justice and expanded services to victims of domestic violence. For example, CWLC’s “Murder At Home” project is helping ensure that the media and the criminal justice community take domestic and intimate violence cases seriously. Visit their website for other helpful resources and for more information.
Regardless of gender, there are many types of domestic violence and spousal abuse, and you don’t have to stay in a relationship where this takes place. If you find yourself in any of these situations, get help right away. Call the National Domestic Violence Helpline at 1-800-799-7233. Divorce is not the solution to every couples’ problems, but if you are a victim of spousal abuse, please seek help right away. There are resources, attorneys, doctors and communities available to you and we are all eager to help you get back on your feet.
Read More: Restraining Orders and Domestic Violence
Reasons For Divorce: Popular love and divorce blog Love Counsellor recently reported on why women divorce men. In this century, there are fewer women willing to stick to a lousy marriage because of an underlying sense of insecurity and fear of loneliness. Women are much more likely now to initiate a divorce. Love Counsellor reports that most women choose to divorce their husbands because of the following: [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
You’ve heard the nightmarish divorce stories from your women friends. You already feel hurt and alone and you aren’t interested in any more arguing. And, you aren’t certain if your husband would be willing to consider a stress-free divorce via mediation.
Here’s advice from a family law expert on how to avoid a divorce battle, save money and retain your dignity at the same time.
The most important thing to remember, however, is to hire a qualified family law attorney. This is especially true if you and your husband have high income and diverse assets such as several properties.
Why? A great divorce attorney — who only specializes in family law — usually has specialized education and experience in mediation and can steer you in the right direction.
Mediation, which is commonly used in civil cases, is increasingly being used in divorce disputes for several reasons. Firstly, mediation is a private matter. All negotiations within the mediation framework are discreet as the court is not involved until the final agreement is settled. For wealthy individuals perhaps with complex business and property arrangements, the privacy aspect of mediation can be reason enough to do it.
Secondly, mediation may seem to cost more money up front, but in the end, this most civil of discussions usually leads to a smaller bill when it comes to lawyer’s fees. This is because mediation is more informal and can be a relatively quick process when compared to going through the normal family court channels.
“Mediation does not work if you have two totally different points of view”
Mediation works best when both parties choose to NOT fight, but to come to resolutions amicably. With the help of lawyers and an arbiter (normally a retired family law judge), the couple can “bridge the gap” and come to resolutions quickly.
“It’s about exploring rather than intimidating”
So, can you really talk your husband into mediation?
Spouses may be swayed. Arm yourself with mediation information and by hiring a divorce attorney who specializes in mediation.
Through divorce mediation,we act as neutrals, work as a team and mediate conflicts so it doesn’t reach the litigation stages for such issues as property division, custody matters, legal separations and estate issues.
Remember, the goal of mediation is to successfully settle disagreements before they become exorbitantly expensive and/or emotionally toxic. Mediations have the potential to stop the damage of divorce, to save money (by speeding up the usually long divorce process) and to keep your divorce for your eyes only. How can a stress-free divorce not be enticing to any husband?
Still don’t understand the difference between Mediation vs. Litigation? Check out this cool infographic for the differences between having little control over your divorce in court and taking control of your own divorce through mediation.
Most women don’t want to face the facts when they discover their husband is cheating. What do you do first? And how do you not make a big mistake when you are in the middle of an emotionally-traumatic time? These divorce tips could pave the way to a smart divorce for those women who unfortunately end up with cheating husbands.
First, it is important to hire a qualified attorney who specializes in family law. A divorce lawyer can keep you on the right track even when your emotions are going up and down and around again. In fact, hiring the wrong attorney (or no attorney at all) can lead to many years of psychological, emotional and financial stress.
This is the time to be smart and not to let your emotions run your world. And information is key. Learn how to protect yourself by studying up about the divorce process (see links below). You may also want to considering keeping track of dates, times, documents and any unusual spousal behaviors in a daily journal. [Read more…]
Are women doing better at getting their share of the financial divorce pie in the 21st century? Yes, so says a recent Pew Charitable Trust story. Part of Pew’s Economic Mobility Project (EMP), the study is encouraging for women when it comes to income levels after a divorce.
The EMP report shows income increased by 25 percent or more by 20 percent of all divorced women across the political spectrum. This compares with just 11 percent of women in the 1970s.
One way women can ensure more income equality when it comes to divorce is to hire a support team, including a reputable family law lawyer, financial planner and tax accountant. Unfortunately, the study also shows that 50 percent of spouses come out of a divorce in a worse financial situation than when they started. [Read more…]
Women undergoing a divorce are under tremendous stress dealing with emotional, legal and financial demands not to mention the challenges of a career and children. With all these pressures, many women make bad financial decisions such as not obtaining an excellent lawyer or too quickly accepting the first settlement proposal.
Remember, whatever financial consideration decisions you make will possibly last a lifetime so it’s best to take your time and get the best advice possible from reputable divorce professionals.
First off, gather all your financial records together in one place. Create a detailed list of income, expenses, assets and debts. Make copies of everything including records such as bank and brokerage account statements, pension plans, IRAs and insurance policies.
Next, start developing a short- and a long-term financial plan. It’s also important to research and understand the potential tax consequences for divorcing couples.
Your research into the financial implications of divorce – along with advice from your divorce attorney – will help you strategize when it comes to understanding the financial implications in each settlement proposal.
What about bank accounts?
In consultation with your attorney, carefully begin to separate joint bank accounts and open new individual accounts. This will be important for your future financial independence.
The same goes for credit cards. Ask your lawyer about closing joint credit card accounts and opening new credit card accounts in your name only. To avoid problems with any credit charges, remember to place fraud protection alerts on any joint credit cards accounts.
What if you own a business?
Unfortunately, a divorce can lead to the ruination of your business. Why? If your business increased in value during the marriage, a judge can be obligated to award half the increased value to your spouse. And if your business cannot come up with this owed amount, you may be forced to sell your business quickly and at a rock bottom price.
What if your husband is your business partner? He may be entitled to ownership interest. But be forewarned. If your spouse retains part ownership, his future wife may eventually become your business partner too. To get your husband out of your business completely, ask for a “unilateral right to buy” your husband’s part of the business. To do this, however, you may need to use monies from your share of the marital assets or devise an ongoing payment plan.
The #1 divorce tip: How do you avoid these scenarios altogether? Savvy business women can take years to “divorce proof” their business with the help of a qualified financial planning and divorce attorney team.