17 Apr How working with CDFA makes a difference in Divorce

I believe one of the most important roles I have, as a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA)  is  providing a reality check for my clients before , during and after divorce. I am pragmatic and not judgmental. I take the words in settlement agreements and turn them into numbers.  .

Firstly,  I do this  by having a systematic approach  for  pulling together the financial numbers  and information that  they need to start separation discussions whether the are working in mediation, collaboration or traditional negotiations.

Secondly,  I’m focused on finding solutions that work in both the short and long term.  I create projections based on clients goals and possible settlement options , whether that be proceeds from sale of their house , impact of  varies duration and levels of support, impact of future income and savings. These projections  educate and show clients  the  future implications of  what is being proposed. They also show the  the impact of  other decisions clients  have control .

I had a client who was the main breadwinner of the family. She went back to school to upgrade her skills when her husband was downsized from  his corporate job. She found a very well paying position and  has had a number of promotions since starting at  her company. Her husband  found it difficult to get back into the workforce in his previous role. Discouraged, he  started a small consulting practice  but wasn’t having much success in getting clients.  When they decided to separate, her income was substantially more than his. She was very resentful of having to make Spousal Support payments to her husband.  This looked like it was going to stall the settlement negotiations.  I worked with her to understand her current & future spending, her future income   and have her see the impact of various levels of support. I helped her set priorities going forward.  Once  she could see into her financial future,  she agreed to a spousal support payment schedule she  and her spouse could live with  as she now  felt confident about her own financial future.

05 Apr We don’t want to go to court!!

For  couples contemplating separation or divorce at later stage of life, the costs of   prolonged negotiations that may erode assets that they’ ve set aside for their retirement  is not what they want to see happen. There are viable alternatives to costly litigation  that  allows the couple, rather than the court, to decide what is best for them.

If you or someone you know is facing divorce, join us on Apr 12  at “Late in Life” Divorce Talks.
Learn how our mediation process works and how it differs from litigation.  To register CLICK HERE

14 Oct Being a “material girl” may be hard on your marriage

In a  recent study, researchers found that materialism was harmful to marriage.  Authors of the study said being “materialistic”   could lead some people to spend more than they can afford, creating debt and financial stress.   The study had couples complete a questionnaire that included a  self report on how much he or she values “having money and lots of things.”  The study said that couples which both reported not caring about money (about 14%) scored 10 -15% higher on marriage stability.

There may be truth in this study.. many  of my clients  say the main reason  for their decision to separate is based   not on how much or how little money they have but differing attitudes about money and what money means to them.
When considering separation,  do you think about what  money means to you?

19 Apr Money Fights

“People are not really fighting over money, they’re fighting over an allocation of money” says Professor Betsy Stevenson, an economics professor at the University of Pennsylvania when asked about her economic views of consumerism, coupling and conflict.

In other words, it’s not the act of buying that concerns couples, but what’s being bought, and the opportunity costs of that purchase. Money-related fights aren’t about whether one person is a cheapskate or a spender; it’s about withholding spending on something that someone else sees as important, or freely spending on something that someone else sees as less important.

Is this what leads to divorce?