28 Mar Your Housing Options after Divorce Just improved

Major banks in Canada recently announced a reduction to their fixed rate mortgages. It seems bank executives are more confident about the housing market and the likelihood of a major correction in housing prices.

This should provide good news for people who are separating and making decisions of how they split their assets, in particular, the matrimonial home. For many, keeping the house is important for couples with children and keeping a stable environment for them. For older couples, whether they choose to buy a partner out and remain in the matrimonial home or sell and each purchase a new home, lower interest rates allow for more flexibility when it comes to possible settlement options.

Managing two households costs more than maintaining one household. With late in life divorce, retirement plans are greatly affected by housing costs.

Many people finance equalization payments owing to spouses through refinancing existing mortgages, so lower mortgage rates in those situation helps.

If selling the matrimonial home is part of a settlement plan, lower mortgage rates make home buying more attractive. If keeping the matrimonial home is an option, managing cash flow is easier with lower monthly mortgage payments.

The home you want to keep or the home you want to buy after divorce may
now be a real possibility.

20 Nov Exciting News about “Grey Divorce” book

Announcing  the upcoming  publication of our book  “  When Harry Left Sally – Finding your way through Grey Divorce” .   It will be available in a couple of weeks.  I’ll keep you updated to let you know when it will be available to order from online retailers and dedicated website for “When Harry Left Sally”.

Co-authored by Marion Korn, a well known senior family lawyer and mediator, and Eva Sachs, a skilled Financial Planner, specializing in divorce, the book shines a light on the growing numbers of grey divorcees and their unique concerns and goals.  Through stories collected in their years of practice together, Marion and Eva challenge the reader to change the way they approach their divorce. This book is the roadmap every divorcing grey couple needs.

Here’s a preview look!

Finding your way through Grey Divorce

17 Sep Divorce Costs

According to a recent AVVO divorce study, couples are most concerned about the costs of divorce.  People today have more choice in how they will proceed with their divorce..from  doing it themselves , mediation, collaborative practice,  lawyer negotiations to court.  The survey  indicated that a majority of people  (58%)  site the cost of divorce as a major factor/concern  in moving forward with the divorce.  When reviewing what approach may work best for  a family, making the right choice in terms of professional fit , control, timing are all  things that need to be considered. However, the reality of the total  expense for the family appears  to be a big  part of the decision.

It’s important to establish from the beginning some sort of “divorce budget”and understanding the value proposition of any process  you ultimately choose.  Being quoted the hourly rate or first retainer  is not enough information. Getting the answer .. “it depends” to the question “How much will this cost”  may not be good enough anymore.  Understanding that other professionals are part of a divorce team and learning  what they all do in the process, what they charge, what their involvement may be , and  what couples can do on their own, helps  in understanding what the  ultimate  costs may be .

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11 Mar Even billionaires are concerned about the “costs” of divorce

Billionaire T. Boone Pickens was recently divorced from his 4th wife and chose collaborative practice to settle his divorce.

For the whole story, go to http://www.bizjournals.com/dallas/blog/2013/03/t-boone-pickens-on-how-to-save.html?ana=e_abd&u=rk2Eh9uif4Sgj7UM9KhZGpj2jD7&goback=%2Egde_2936590_member_219548098

“The collaborative approach saves both money and emotional wear and tear on families.” Pickens said.

Should non billionaire couples consider the costs of divorce before choosing how they divorce?  Couples should do their research about different processes and the costs of each process.

Creating a  separation agreement with the help of a mediator means you share the cost of one mediator.   If you are choosing the collaborative law approach, you are each working with your own lawyers however,  much of the work can be taken on with the help of  other collaborative team members.

If you have a family professional, rather than your own lawyers,  they help to create and draft a parenting plan.  This is  a shared cost (usually at a lower hourly rate than lawyers).  If you use the assistance of a divorce financial professional, like a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (also usually at a lower hourly rate than lawyers) to help with gathering the financial information, you’re sharing that cost (and the work too as there is usually one spouse that has handled all the family finances and is better at accessing all the financial statements and documents).

Billionaires become billionaires not only because they make millions… they also recognize when they have the opportunity to save a million or two.

15 May Financial stability is top of mind in grey divorce

From Marion Korn’s blog http://marionkorn.com/index.php/financial-stability-is-top-of-mind-in-grey-divorce/

At the time in life when incomes start to shrink and retirement is approaching, divorce costs are likely not in the budget.  A lifetime of planning for the future can be deeply undermined if emotions get the better of good sense.

Divorce among couples in their 50’s and 60’s is on the rise.  Whatever the cause, the effect is that a new strategic financial plan is needed.  Additional living costs will be a certain result.  And postponed retirement may be another.

Luckily there are good options that can control the cost of settling all the details in a “late in life” divorce.  Gone are the days when divorce meant court and the delays and expense that entailed.

Collaborative Practice (also called Collaborative Law) is a popular choice among separating couples who want to work out their futures with respect for one another.  They also recognize that preservation of their assets is key in ensuring that they can both look forward to financial stability.

The collaborative process is about management.  The well trained lawyers manage the negotiations by making sure their clients are well informed and that they have the time they need to fully understand the effect of the choices they make.

The financial outcomes are also managed by the financial professionals who can translate the clients’ thoughts and choices about their futures into numbers that illustrate the realities.

Managing the costs of separation is the first step in re-establishing a plan for the future.

Call Marion Korn at  416-915-7000 for more information about Collaborative Practice and how this approach is well suited for late in life divorce.

09 May Grey Divorce and the Current Economy

As the ups and downs of  the economy continues, so does the stress on couples considering separation after long term marriage and  facing retirement.

Couples now have to deal with financial issues  that are unique at this stage of their lives.

  • How to pay the bills if both of you are retired ?
  • How to cope with the primary bread winner working less, or not at all?
  • What if your spouse is spending more time at home?
  • How to accept a change in who is the primary earner in the marriage? (Wives making more than husbands is a fast growing trend because more men are being laid off than women).
  • How do you deal with downsizing  to a new home?
  • How to handle the added tension when grown children move back into the home due to their being laid off or not finding a job?

Dealing with these financial realities in an adversarial process doesn’t help anyone in the long run, especially at this time of your life.  Working in a mediation or collaborative setting can help create customized solutions that may ease these financial realities and help everyone transition to a secure future.

23 Apr DIVORCE AFTER 50- THE BENEFITS OF MEDIATION

The closer retirement, the more important it is to manage resources.  It takes a lifetime of planning for the years when more monies will go out than will be earned.

For most couples, their plans for retirement are meshed.  When kids are young, there are often dreams about what an empty nest will feel like.  When it finally comes, thoughts often move ahead to the time when leisure will dominate.

No couple plans for a divorce.  They are too busy working, saving, managing the household and just living life.  But recent statistics show that separation and divorce is growing more quickly among mature couples.  There are many theories, including the one that says the “baby boomers” are a generation that feels a strong entitlement to their lifestyle choices.  This is the generation that is now spiking divorce rates.

The math is simple the closer you are to retirement.  There is less time to save and a longer time to spend.  Preserving the nest egg means splitting it up in a way that will bring the most benefit to each person.  And spending it on a fight means less for everyone.

Mediation is a very useful process when maintaining resources is paramount.  Here are some good reasons for engaging a good mediator to help you work out your separation agreement:

  • It is better for your kids (imagine how hard it is for grown kids to see their family change)
  • It is your process and you can control cost and timelines
  • It is confidential
  • It gives you the chance to leave the process with an ongoing relationship to maintain a healthy family
  • The mediator along with a financial partner will make sure you understand what your financial future looks like and will offer you the opportunity to make market adjustments as necessary
  • You will be given the opportunity to work on your future, not to fight about your past
  • Mediation has been around for decades and has a proven track record of success
  • It is something you can both agree on

10 Apr Grey Divorce

In 2009, people ages 50 and older were twice as likely to divorce as their counterparts in 1990. Researchers have just begun to explore why. They know that, for many boomer couples, the kids are out of the house and it’s time to face reality. Who gets to keep what is  even more stressful at this age when  you have to consider the financial impact  this will have on the rest  of your life.

If you or someone you know is facing divorce in their 50’s, this is a  reminder that we are hosting “Late in Life” Divorce Talks on Thurs Apr 12th. Join us to hear about the what the financial  effects might be depending on whether you’re the dumper or the dumpee.

To register click here  http://www.eventbrite.com/event/2544127554

12 Mar LIVE Divorce Talks… April 12th at 6:30pm

If you are considering a divorce, join Marion and myself for a conversation about the things that matter the most when thinking about separation and divorce – kids, finances and your future.  Our goal is to give you the answers you need in a safe and comfortable setting.  If you or someone you know is contemplating separation, join us to learn how to move from where you are today to a plan that works best for you and your family

Our next Divorce Talks session will take place on Thursday April 12th, 2012 6:30 to 8pm.

Fee: $25 (inclusive of HST)

Location: 79 Shuter St. Toronto, ON M5B 1B3

Refreshments will be served. 

For more information or to register please contact us at 647-341-9040 or   by e-mail at info@mutualsolutions.ca

Please register by Friday April 6th, 2012 at http://www.eventbrite.com/event/2544127554

21 Feb Divorce and the New Financial Reality

As  the  ups and downs of in the economy  increase,  so does the stress on married people to deal with the  inevitable pressure points that develop in the relationship.

Couples now have to deal with financial problems that are new to their relationship.

  • How to pay the bills if both of you are unemployed?
  • How to cope with the primary bread winner working less, or not at all
  • What if your spouse is spending more time at home?
  • How to accept a change in who is the primary earner in the marriage? (Wives making more than husbands is a fast growing trend because more men are being laid off than women).
  • How to live with the threat, or the reality, of being forced to move due to a mortgage foreclosure or rental eviction?
  • How to handle the added tension when grown children move back into the home due to their being laid off or not finding a job?

Dealing with these financial realities in an adversarial process doesn’t help anyone in the long run.   Working in a mediation or collaborative setting can help both spouses and families work through options and solutions that may ease these financial realities and help everyone transition to a secure future.