Divorce Mediation Facts and How To Prepare

Divorce Mediation Is Supposed To Be Different. I say supposed to be different, because what the legal system calls Alternative Dispute Resolution procedures can be very similar to litigation, or in some cases can be like blindly agreeing to just get it over with. Here are the details for those that are considered “The Latest and Greatest” divorce processes.   Collaborative Divorce with a Mediator Here’s the skinny on collaborative divorce. Husband and wife each hire an attorney. The attorneys try to negotiate a settlement. The major advantage is that this is an out of court process. This is best for those couples who have accumulated a large asset base and… Read More

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Tax Implications of Divorce Property Transfers

When property and financial assets are divided in divorce, certain assets or portions thereof are transferred from one spouse to the other. The most common are the marital home, financial accounts and jewelry. During the marriage, such transfers are considered to be gifts of a non-taxable nature. Transfers for purposes of divorce are subject to specific regulations in order to maintain the same non-taxable status. As per the Internal Revenue Service Publication 504, Divorced or Separated Individuals , the following are required:   Transfer Between Spouses Generally, no gain or loss is recognized on a transfer of property from you to (or in trust for the benefit of): Your spouse,… Read More

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Divorce Negotiation Persuasion

Key Divorce Strategy – Art of Negotiation Persuasion Components Needed For Negotiation Persuasion Persuasion is accomplished by using: fact-based narratives, physical evidence (which in many cases is deficient), and the key, the slight twist that’s formulated based upon who you are trying to persuade.                   Are You Ready For Negotiation Persuasion? Once a divorce begins, emotions generally take over and it’s hard to focus. If you can’t focus, you can’t persuade anyone of anything. Common techniques tend to be either temporary, or more of a distraction from your true need to focus on what you’re doing.            … Read More

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How the New 2018 Tax Law Impacts Alimony Payments

Alimony tax laws (for spousal support) are changing.   The Basics of Alimony Alimony payments are based on the earned income of the husband and wife individually. There is a formula that determines the amount the higher earner will pay the lower earner. It is an attempt to generally equalize earnings for both individuals and at the same time attempt to allow them both to continue to maintain a similar lifestyle to their pre-divorce situation. The key word is attempt. This is not always possible.   Pre-2018 Alimony Tax Laws Before and during the divorce process any support received is generally not considered alimony. Therefore it is not claimed as… Read More

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Four Tax Considerations For Divorcing Couples

Tax season is upon us, and many divorcing couples need to think about what to do now, and what they should know for the future. 1. Consider filing a joint tax return during your divorce. If you are married there are two choices – married filing jointly or married filing separately. However if your spouse is a bit “aggressive” with his or her deductions and you sign that return, you will also be liable for any future tax balances and penalties, so be cautious.  When filing separately the same income is subject to a higher tax, which is a penalty of sorts. Also certain deductions are disallowed. In the case… Read More

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Who Claims Tax Deductions For The Children

Question: Which parent claims the tax deduction for the children on their return? Answer: Dependent tax deduction for the children generally default to the parent who has primary custody. Even with shared custody, one of the parents has the children in their home more than the other. During a separation, there may not yet be a formal agreement on this issue. In that case, by counting these overnights on the schedule you can determine who actually had more overnights. The exemption also depends upon who pays more than 50% of the child’s living expenses. Even if you are receiving support, which is usually called Pendente Lite (during the penancy of… Read More

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Re-Discover Your Unique Self

LOOKING TO RE-DISCOVER YOUR UNIQUE SELF? “We are each gifted in a unique and important way. It is our privilege and our adventure to discover our own special light.” ~Mary Dunbar It’s a well known fact that 50% of all marriages currently end in divorce. Are you worried about becoming an “ex”? Does that word carry a stigma for you? No doubt you’ve heard all the nightmare stories told by others and perpetuated by the movies and television. You may even believe if you move forward you will likely become one of the divorce “wounded warriors”. This kind of thinking could lead you to  feel very insecure and lost. But it… Read More

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5 Divorce Mistakes That Can Cost You Lots of Money… and Sleep

Whoosh! That’s the sound of money from divorce mistakes flying out of your wallet. You chase after it, but never seem to catch up… You’re doing everything you think you’re supposed to, but nothing is working. Your accounts seem to become self-draining, and you can’t seem to stop the leaks. You wonder what you’re doing wrong…  and why this has become so complicated. Chasing your money, running from meeting to meeting… And your emotions are all over the place, like your money. You’re frantic about your future because it seems everything is unknown. Then… suddenly at 3 am… in a panic… you wake up. It was all a bad dream…… Read More

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Grounds for Divorce Demystified

You’ve likely heard the term “Grounds For Divorce.” In the old world of divorce you had to have a reason for the divorce, and it couldn’t just be that you don’t get along anymore, or you’ve fallen out of love. As an example, here’s the list that was applicable in New Jersey: As per New Jersey Rules of Court: 2A:34-2 Causes for divorce from bond of matrimony.  a. Adultery… b. Willful and continued desertion for the term of 12 or more months… c. Extreme cruelty, which is defined as including any physical or mental cruelty which endangers the safety or health of the plaintiff or makes it improper or unreasonable to… Read More

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The Simple Answer To Overcoming Your Divorce Fears

For 15 years I have spoken with many women who have been facing divorce fears – all ages, and with varied income levels and family sizes. Throughout it all there has been one common denominator. In some cases it related to finances, in others it related to children, and of course many related to the emotional aspects of the divorce itself. I say related, because this one common denominator was not related to the divorce process itself. Almost every single individual had major concerns that circled the question “How am I going to survive AFTER the divorce?” This is not “rocket science.” You see it every day with men as… Read More

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Ins and Outs of Staying Married for the Kids

So the love light has gone out. For whatever the reason you and your spouse are going in different directions. But you’re doing that while you’re staying together. Why? You’re staying married for the kids is a common answer. While you think this is a noble deed and you’re putting you kids first, you’re actually not doing them any favors. You may be making them just plain miserable. If this is where you are, take a good hard look at your children and see what they’re really going through. Don’t keep them in the middle. Before going any further, please understand that I would never attempt to influence anyone to… Read More

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Reduce Stress and Relax

DISCOVER YOUR IDEAL DIVORCE MINDSET   Did you know that both the financial and lifestyle outcome of your divorce and your resulting frame of mind is all based on your divorce mindset, and your emotions during the process? If not handled properly, it can break you to a point where you experience both the financial and the emotional divorce devastation for a long time after it’s all over. From what I’ve seen, most people don’t realize that there are actually two ways to approach divorce. One will break you, and the other will bring you smoothly to the life that awaits you. You have choices, but because you likely feel somewhat… Read More

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Don’t Let Divorce Wreck Your Thanksgiving

With Thanksgiving coming up in a few short weeks, many of us can’t help but focus on the negatives that we may be facing right after the holidays and further into the future, especially when considering divorce. There is no doubt that all of us, no matter the circumstances, will have bumps in the road. So how can you get past these dark thoughts, at least for now? Every year at this time for the past 10 or 12 years my daughter and I have spent a few hours helping out at our local food pantry. We help them prepare for both Thanksgiving and Christmas.   It’s an overall massive… Read More

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How To Avoid Major Divorce Planning Mistakes

Over the past two weeks I have read three financial planning articles on the web, and you might say I was strongly compelled to write about it. Apparently some estate planners have been recommending that after your divorce you should change your will, living will, medical directive and power of attorney. From a practical standpoint, the last thing you want to do is to wait until after your divorce is final to change your Last Will and the associated legal documents. You should seriously review and consider making changes before you even begin to plan for your divorce. In many states attorneys may tell you that once initial papers are… Read More

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Cut Through The Divorce Noise

You’re facing divorce noise, and you need answers. Who do you call for advice? Do you leave home or ask your husband to leave? What about the money?  Who’s going to get the house? How are you going to be able to pay for it? Will you have anything left for retirement? What will your friends and family think? How will the children be able to adjust? Will your spouse make you miserable? How can you possibly get through all this? Take a step back and start planning your Exit Strategy! There are answers to your questions and solutions for your unknowns. And you CAN cut through that proverbial divorce noise.… Read More

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Become Confident As You Prepare For Divorce

What Does it Mean to be C-O-N-F-I-D-E-N-T? Confidence comes from feelings of well-being, acceptance of your body and mind (self-esteem), and belief in your own ability, skills and experience. People who are confident share the following important characteristics: C – CAPABLE Confident people are capable.   They know they are good enough, competent, and can handle life’s situations. Admitting you are capable also means knowing that if you cannot handle a situation completely on your own, you can find out where to get the necessary help, information, or skill. Knowing you are your greatest resource protects you from stress. Believing you are capable means that whatever the task, you will handle… Read More

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Alimony Income and Mortgages

Question:  IS ALIMONY INCOME FOR MORTGAGES PURPOSES? Below is a recent question from a current client. It is a two-pronged questions involving alimony qualifying for mortgage income and her husband’s lucrative business. “I have a question about going for a loan. If I was able to keep our home and had to refinance, will the lender accept maintenance (alimony) as part of my income? I make very little money now as I have been a stay at home mom for the past 15 years and my husband has his own business which he nets about $200,000 per year. One of our agreements is that I keep the house and don’t… Read More

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Tax Filing Status During Divorce

Question: If we do not use the married filing jointly filing status before the divorce, what are the tax ramifications? Whenever possible it is typically advantageous to file a joint tax return. This generally insures savings for you both. For each filing status the Internal Revenue Service applies tax rates from varied charts. The alternative, married filing separately, has a much higher tax rate. For couples who can not tolerate being together in the same room to have a joint tax return prepared, an alternative is to agree on one tax preparer and separate appointments. Is Your Tax Filing Status Situation An Exception? Having comparison returns prepared with the filing… Read More

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Divorce Financial Planning-Disaster Prevention

Like many people, on Sunday mornings I like to read financial news articles while I have the two cups of coffee to get me going for the day. And I usually skim through and like many of us, half read the articles. However today I began reading and became entrenched in a Huffington Post blog article about divorce settlements and planning. It was written by a divorce attorney who has obtained a Master’s degree in counseling and psychology. Interesting I thought, so I read on. Review Divorce Financial Advice Cautiously She spoke about a number of accurate topics regarding settlement agreements and how many women end up with a lifestyle… Read More

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Is Support Taxable During Your Divorce?

Here’s the short answer: Before and during the divorce process any support received is generally not considered alimony. Therefore it is not claimed as income by the recipient or as a deduction by the payor. As with all tax laws, there are exceptions but these are very specific and they are not so common. In many states payments to you can be termed unallocated support or “Pendente Lite” support (Latin for during the pendency of the divorce). Whatever the name, it is not a tax consideration until after there is a written agreement or Court order, typically at the time the final divorce is entered with the Court. Federal tax… Read More

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Holiday Divorce Emotions and Hasty Decisions

When the holiday season is past us, there will be no more planning, no more shopping, and no more preparing for holiday dinners and guests. Life becomes less flustering and frantic. On the emotional side comes the big let down.  You’ve been trying for quite a while to ignore your feelings. You’ve especially been putting those dreaded thoughts of divorce on a back burner. But they are now bubbling up to the surface and rapidly boiling over the top…   Hasty Post Holiday Decisions Can Bring Costly Mistakes After New Year’s Eve, knowing you will never get back what you had in years past, the post holiday sadness sets in… Read More

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12 Tips for Divorcing Parents During the Holidays

  No matter what stage of divorce you’re in, getting through the holidays with your kids could potentially be the toughest time of year. But it doesn’t have to be a time of sadness and despair. It should be a time to celebrate with friends and family, but during or after a divorce you may feel anything but merry. If you’re feeling that way, your kids will feel it twice as much, unless you prepare yourself in advance and plan for the best. So, to help you and your kids enjoy this holiday season instead of dreading it, here are 12 tips you can use today to survive your divorce… Read More

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