Why do we need a financial neutral in our Divorce?
The month of March is upon us, and many of us are looking forward to St. Patrick’s Day and celebrating all things Irish; however, did you know divorce in Ireland was not even legal until 1995? And if you’re struggling with the six-month waiting period in California, imagine waiting three years in Ireland where divorcing couples must live apart for two of the last three years before they can divorce.
How will a family potentially support two households both temporarily and in the long-term when finances are separate? How will an equitable settlement be achieved so the family can move forward amicably? These are only a few of the financial questions divorcing couples must consider.
In the collaborative process, the financial professional is there to help the couple address financial issues such as: 1) assisting with gathering financial documents, 2) preparing financial analyses, 3) presenting financial analyses to the collaborative team and the couple, and 4) assisting with financial planning for the future. The financial professional will help you plan for the agreements that you decide will work best … Read More “The Role of the Financial Professional… After 1995 If You Live in Ireland”
Intro:There are many considerations in divorce, but those experiencing military divorce have some additional things to think about. Here are five issues military spouses should be aware of.
Along with cooler weather and thoughts of Thanksgiving, November also brings Veterans Day, providing an opportunity to honor and thank those who have served in the United States Armed Forces. For many, that service has required personal sacrifices, from family challenges to the ultimate sacrifice. Whether during war or peacetime, events such as frequent moves, multiple deployments, isolation, stress of war, injuries, and returns to civilian life can all cause stress and anxiety for service members, spouses and their children. While the military branches offer programs to support relationships, divorce becomes a reality for many. Like their civilian counterparts, military spouses will need to determine a co-parenting plan, asset and debt division, and child/spousal support. However, those experiencing a military divorce need to be aware of some special rules.
All of the emotions that we see during the course of the breakdown of a marriage and the divorce process boil down to fear. I do not say that from my own expertise but from what I have heard over and over again from my colleagues in the mental health profession.
The first victim of any marriage that is going south is communication. As communication breaks down, people cannot solve problems together anymore. So, what they do is out of frustration and they start taking unilateral action. However, because we are in a relationship, what you do affects me. This is when the fear sets in. You lose control and you do not know what’s going to happen next and you don’t understand why your spouse is doing this to you.
This is when the fears arise and what it leads to is a tit for tat situation. It leads doing something that will make me feel like I am back in control of the situation. This back and forth starts to happen and it evolves. All of this happens before the client comes to us in the family law arena. This … Read More “Dealing with the Fear in a Divorce”
By Leslee Newman, Family Law Attorney, CDSOC Member
The pandemic of COVID-19 has swept us up and dramatically changed the way we live in just a matter of weeks. Our existence has become restricted, regulated, and different than we’ve ever known. We have all become isolated in our own homes. The freedom to come and go as we wish has been greatly altered. We cannot go to restaurants, to our offices and work sites, and to many public places. We cannot enter places of religious worship, attend lectures, professional meetings, go to the theater, to concerts, to movies, or even personally meet with friends. And our children cannot go to school. How traumatically sad for those students in the Class of 2020, graduating from high school and college.
With children now at home full-time, who cares for them, who teaches them, who keeps them busy, and prepares their meals? We are all prisoners of the Covid pandemic, isolating ourselves to avoid this terrible, and often deadly disease, especially for mature and older adults.
By Patrice Courteau, MA, LMFT and Paula J. Swensen, Esq.
The ending of a marriage can be a minefield of emotions and reactions. A “no drama” divorce helps to shift a mindset from pain and unrealistic expectations to one of managing emotions, learning better communication skills, and gathering information in order to reduce anxiety of divorcing spouses.
In our experience of working together in a co-mediation process, the goal is to reduce the drama by reducing fear, managing both spouse’s expectations, and setting a course for the couple to be able to successfully navigate. We cannot overstate the value to clients of using well-trained collaborative professionals to help them manage the fear and emotion in order to achieve their best family-centered outcome.
While the legal professional is educating on the legal process and the issues presented, the mental health professional (divorce coach or child specialist) is gathering information from the spouses regarding their urgent issues and concerns, including any communication challenges.
Those of us of a certain age remember the immortal words of a successful football coach after whom the Super Bowl trophy was long ago named.
Vince Lombardi famously opined, “Winning isn’t everything… it’s the only thing.” That’s a pithy and fitting philosophy for a coach to use to inspire his or her team to attain greater and greater success on the football field, but we collaborative divorce professionals know that it is not so useful when it is applied in the context of a divorcing couple.
It goes without saying that everybody wants to win. No one wants to lose, regardless of the undertaking or the endeavor in which one is engaged. We know intuitively from a very young age that winning is “good,” and that losing is “bad”. We all want our team to win, and we become frustrated and sometimes angry, when our team loses. We all know from following sports that when there is a winner, there is also a corresponding loser.
A recommended article written by Leslee J. Newman, Collaborative Attorney, Mediator, and Family Law Specialist
“A divorce with children who are not yet adults includes decisions regarding child support payment. In every state including California, there is a different formula to calculate child support. If divorcing parents go to court and request a judge to make the child support order, the statewide formula must be used to arrive at the amount of the support to be paid from one parent to the other. Find out how parents selecting an out-of-court process like collaborative divorce can create their own agreeable amount without going to court.”
A recommended article written by Diana L. Martinez, Collaborative Attorney, Mediator, Lecturer & Trainer
“As we enter the holidays, many divorcing couples choose to put their divorce on hold, preferring to focus on more enjoyable aspects of the season. Unfortunately, this can make for a horror movie later on. Before you slow things down, understand the potential nightmare lurking behind delays in your divorce, and how you can create a safer way to give yourself a much needed respite this holiday season.”
Do I need a financial specialist as well as a lawyer for my divorce? Won’t I be paying twice the money for two professionals to be doing the same work? As in all questions relating to divorce, the answer is, “It depends.” If the marital estate consists of assets such as a residence, retirement accounts, investments, and or credit card debts, you should consider hiring someone to assist you in fully understanding all the financial issues relating to the marital estate.
Misinformation and misconceptions about the divorce process can be detrimental. Many have false expectations that they will be able to secure a divorce settlement allowing them to continue with their accustomed style of living. Financial divorce analysis helps to ensure a good, stable economic future and prevents long-term regret with financial decisions made during the divorce process.
The financial work provided by a lawyer is not the same as that provided by a trained financial professional specializing in the divorce process. In addition, being a CPA or a CFP does not mean that individual has specific training in family law financial matters.
by Diana L. Martinez Collaborative Lawyer and Mediator, West Coast Law & Mediation, APC
As a family law lawyer, I really look forward to my time on duty to volunteer at Riverside County Superior Court for VSC (Voluntary Settlement Conference) day. It is offered two Fridays per month and is THE most successful mediation program in the nation with an over 90 percent success rate!
Why? Because, in order to be a mediator on this panel, you must have the highest training and qualifications as both a family law lawyer and as a mediator. Not only do we donate our time, we must be in practice at least 10 years and have hundreds of hours of mediation training and practice under our belts. Other family law mediation programs that either do not have a structured program with high mediator qualifications, or that pay retired judges to do this work, enjoy a success rate below 60 percent.
Judges have an incredibly difficult job. It takes very specific skill sets to be a good judge. But being a talented judge does not, in and of itself, make you a good mediator.