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7 Ways to Ready Your Finances for Divorce

By Elizabeth Renter
For some couples, no amount of marriage counseling is enough to avoid a divorce. It’s a tough process emotionally and financially.

Untangling two people’s money is messy. Long before spousal or child support is awarded or your post-divorce budget is in place, you’ll need to prepare your finances for the work ahead.

Because each divorce is unique, specific advice can only come from experts familiar with your case. However, the following tips should point you in the right direction.

1. Be wary of well-meaning advice
Divorce laws vary by state, so be cautious of advice that seems to be a one-size-fits-all solution — whether you read it online or received it from a friend. If you’re unsure whether you should move money, change accounts or make any other financial moves pre-divorce, consult with an attorney licensed in your state.

2. Track expenses — and anticipate future ones
As soon as you know divorce is inevitable, begin tracking your household income and expenses. This will not only help build a budget post-divorce, but it is also crucial for your attorney and later the judge in deciding how to split assets and debts, and whether to award spousal or child support.

If you’ve already been tracking as part of your budget, even better: You have a record of past months and years. If not, start now, and include household bills, food, clothing, entertainment, home maintenance, transportation, child care and anything else that you spend money on. Use your bank and credit card statements to estimate spending from past years. Next, project future expenses.

“Look beyond the normal monthly expenses and include things like your holiday trips, vacations and seemingly ‘one-time’ expenses like replacing the dishwasher,” says Avani Ramnani, a certified divorce financial advisor with Francis Financial in New York City. Use previous years as a guide, but remember, circumstances change. For example, if you have children, you’ll transition from spending on child care to spending on after-school activities and eventually car insurance and college tuition.

Read the Full Article: NerdWallet.com

5 Pieces Of Parenting Advice To Help Children Adjust Post-Divorce

By Joshua Stern
Now that you’re divorced, you may be wondering how your role as a parent must change. The truth is it doesn’t need to change much if at all. Instead, you now need to consider your parental role in light of the new relationship you have with your ex as co-parents, and how each of you can make your children’s adjustment to your divorce as seamless as possible. It may mean not fixing what’s not broken and, on the flip side, fixing what may be very broken, like the way in which you relate to your former spouse.

As a divorce and family law attorney who has counseled hundreds of clients through their divorces, I am comfortable sharing a few pieces of wisdom I have gleaned about how to create an easier transition for children of divorce when the dust does finally settle. Whether you were involved in an amicable or high-conflict split, as parents it is incumbent upon you to see your children through this difficult time with as little disruption as possible. Here’s how.

1. Be consistent. Creating stability post-divorce is critical. As children begin traveling back and forth between two houses, it is important for them to know what you expect of them. Establishing a unified set of rules, such as a curfew, bedtime, and time allotted for playing video games will go a long way toward easing insecurities that may arise when one household splits into two. Children crave structure and will strive to meet your expectations—as long as they know what they are.

2. Don’t disparage. You may think your spouse is evil but to your children, your ex is someone they love. As children grow up and become independent, they struggle to reconcile their identity with where they came from and what qualities they have inherited from their parents, physical or otherwise. Do your best to keep such conversations at bay, remembering that when you criticize a parent, you are inadvertently criticizing the child.

Read the Full Article: Huffingtonpost.com

Divorce mediator wants to help Hill

source: politico.com

By PATRICK GAVIN

divorce-mediator-pamphlet-congress-courtesy

Strange solutions have been proposed before to get members of Congress to get along , but this time, a divorce mediator thinks she could help.

Carol Bailey has handled family disputes for decades in her work as a lawyer at Seattle’s Integrative Family Law, and she’s applying her vocation to ease Washington’s gridlock. In her pamphlet, “Easing Congressional Gridlock: A Divorce Mediator’s Guide for the union that can’t dissolve,” Bailey applies reconciliation principles to politicians.

“Because I spend my days helping couples communicate to solve real life problems, I can’t avoid seeing the hallmarks of a dysfunctional marriage in the current Congress: tiresome bickering while neglecting the needs of the family,” Bailey writes. “Let’s not fall back into this pattern.”

She organizes her advice into 10 categories, which include, “Know your purpose and don’t get distracted,” “Discipline yourself to avoid negative accusations,” “Generate a desire to listen and hear. You don’t learn anything new when you are talking” and “Resist the culture of negativity and lead through inspiring others.”

Read the full article: politico.com

Cameron Crowe, Nancy Wilson Divorcing

Director Cameron Crowe and his wife, Nancy Wilson, filed divorce papers this week in Los Angeles. Wilson, a member of the rock band Heart since 1974, technically filed the divorce petition (available at TMZ.com) but it appears to be a collaborative divorce in which both parties have worked together to settle all related matters prior to filing in court.

Wilson, a singer and songwriter from the rock band Heart, filed divorce papers Thursday in L.A. County Superior Court, citing irreconcilable differences. She lists June 15, 2008, as the date of their separation.

Crowe and Wilson first met in 1982. That same year, she made a brief appearance in Fast Times at Ridgemont High, a film written by Crowe. (Crowe went on to write and direct movies like Say Anything, Singles, Jerry Maguire, and Almost Famous.) They married on July 23, 1986.

The couple have 10-year-old twin boys, William and Curtis. Crowe and Wilson have apparently agreed to joint physical and legal custody of the children. It also appears that they have agreed that Crowe will pay Wilson spousal support.

California’s Family Code, Section 2013 provides:

(a) If a written agreement is entered into by the parties, the parties may utilize a collaborative law process to resolve any matter governed by this code over which the court is granted jurisdiction.

(b) “Collaborative law process” means the process in which the parties and any professionals engaged by the parties to assist them agree in writing to use their best efforts and to make a good faith attempt to resolve disputes related to the family law matters as referenced in subdivision (a) on an agreed basis without resorting to adversary judicial intervention.

Our guess is that Wilson and Crowe, quite admirably and maturely, were able to spend the time since their separation discussing and mediating how best to handle the custody of their children and division of their substantial marital assets.

Almost all of Crowe’s film successes came after the couple was married – thus, making the proceeds of those efforts community property. Heart had tremendous success in the late ’70s, prior to the marriage. It is unknown though how the proceeds of early Heart hits compare to those that came in the late ’80s (during the marriage). Heart has continued to record and tour until today (they actually just released a new album which debuted at #10 on the Billboard album chart). Wilson also wrote and scored for the soundtracks to several of Crowe’s films.

All of that is to say that division of the couple’s marital assets could not have been a simple process. Kudos to them for engaging in the collaborative process and keeping it away from trial and out of the tabloids.

Library Topics: divorce, collaborative divorce, custody, spousal support, distribution of assets, marital property, community property, California family law

Article source: myfamilylaw.com