Credit After Divorce

One of the biggest financial concerns for many people going through a divorce or separation is the way it will affect their credit. Your financial situation is an extremely important consideration throughout all divorce processes. The good news is that there are ways to limit the amount of damage a divorce will have on your credit score. Whatever debt you and...

Credit Ratings

Although credit ratings do not change because of a divorce, if you are not careful, what you don’t do during the divorce can negatively affect your credit. Anytime both names are on a contract you and your spouse together are responsible for those debts. It’s imperative that you take steps to separate your finances. One way to accomplish this is to refinance...

Financial Planning Right After Your Divorce

A top priority after divorce is a stable financial plan.  The separation should urge couples to do some “financial housekeeping” to protect all personal finances.  There are crucial measurements that need to be met in order to disassociate from a previous marriage. Identification (e.g., social security card, driver’s license, passports) and personal...

Blending Families and Finances

There are many challenges you will face when being in a relationship.  It is even more challenging  to keep a balance between your past relationship with your new relationship when either relationship includes children.  When there are multiple commitments to family members, dealing with finances can be a sticky situation.  Finances are more often than not a...

What You Should Know About QDROs

A Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) is a legal document that directs the administrator of a pension plan to give a certain amount of an employee’s pension to his/her non-employee ex-spouse after the divorce is final. Here are the top four mistakes people make when it comes to QDROs. Consider this scenario: husband and wife happily sign the divorce...

The Money Trap

How can two nice people — who used to be a nice couple — suddenly turn into two gladiators trying to destroy each other? If you’re just getting started in the divorce process, you’ve probably gotten plenty of free advice from well-meaning friends, families and neighbors. They may have said something like the following: “Hey, sorry...

Changing Your Name After Divorce

Question When I was divorced, I didn’t change my name, but now I want to resume my former name and drop my ex-husband’s name. Is it too late to do this without an expensive attorney? Answer Janet Bateman, M.S., is the developer and facilitator for END MENDERS, a divorce recovery program for both men and women. We asked Janet to share with you some of...

Estate Planning Will Never Die

Even if the government allows us to exclude over 10 million dollars of our estate for tax purposes, estate planning is still important to a lot of people. Although, one day there may be no taxes due when we die, we still have the legal system to contend with.  Any person who dies who has assets over $100,000, this includes cash, personal property and real...

Planning to Sell Your Home?

Many of us find ourselves selling our homes and in these times of huge changes in property values in California, we may need to look at the tax affects of this. For years prior to 1997, taxpayers had to reinvest the proceeds in order to avoid paying taxes on this gain. With the passage of the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997, Congress passed a law to simplify this...

Divorce Planning Tips If You Own Your Home

With passage of the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997, Congress enacted sweeping tax reduction legislation last August. For those contemplating divorce, it alters dramatically some of the tax problems and benefits. This article discusses the major changes in taxes as it effects the sale of your home No More Tax on the Sale of Your Home Courtesy of the Taxpayer Relief...

Taxing Questions: Things you’ll probably need help with

Special facts which you should know and upon which you will need to obtain further advice from your accountant or attorney are: If spousal support is paid to one party by Court order or written agreement, such amounts are taxable income to that party and the amount of such payments are deductible for tax purposes from the income of the paying party. It is...

New Definition for “Child” for Choosing Your Filing Status

For many years, single parents and single taxpayers who take care of their parents, have been able to utilize the lowest tax rates by filing as Head of Household. Effective January 1, 2005, there are new requirements to determine if you can file as Head of Household. Here are the new rules for a qualifying child for Head of Household purposes: Gross income...

Prince Charming Doesn’t Live Here Anymore

“Some day, my Prince will come” goes the song. But what if he came – and went — and took half of everything with him? That’s the dilemma of the woman on her own again. And once bitten, twice shy, she may not want to rush into a new marriage. Most women can expect to spend at least a third of their adult lives on their own. That means they...

Getting Your Financial Life Back on Track After Divorce

Question I have just been through a divorce, and I feel as though I’ve been through the wringer. I have a great therapist who is helping me through the emotional aftermath, but I don’t know where to begin to get my financial life back on track. Answer Unfortunately, “splitting the sheets” also means splitting the assets and splitting the income....

Is There Credit After Divorce?

Question I am thinking of divorce, and I don’t know what to do about my credit cards. Will I be able to get credit after I divorce, or will I have to start over? Answer If you are considering divorce, it is important to get your credit facilities firmly in place as soon as you can. Make sure that your bank cards and department store cards are in your own name,...

A Five Step Blueprint to Growing Your Money

Mutual funds are supposed to make inventing easy, but picking and managing mutual funds is bewildering for most novice investors. Fortunately, you don’t have to know a great deal about investments to make money in mutual funds. All you need is a reasonable knowledge of your own financial situation and goals, and some basic guidelines for picking the right...

Keeping Custody of Your Pocketbook

Keeping Custody of Your Pocketbook

Each year, more than one million U.S. marriages end in divorce.  Many people forget to plan for the financial impact of a divorce prior to filing. There are many financial decisions that you must think about during divorce in order to minimize the financial impacts of a divorce, and few people give thought to these decisions prior to starting the divorce...

Top Five Financial Decisions to Make After Divorce

Failed relationships are an unfortunate though sometimes necessary part of life. With all of the emotional and legal aspects to deal with, the financial realities are sometimes placed on the back burner. This is a mistake. According to a study from the 1999 Statistical Abstract of the United States, four times as many divorced women with children fall under the...

Budgeting for the Future: Taking Inventory

The ultimate goal of financial planning is to ensure that there are funds available for you and your family to enjoy the best quality of life possible in the present and in the future. A divorce complicates this process by changing the original financial structure of the family. Incomes become altered, and therefore, new budgets must be created in order to...

Budgeting for the Future: Cash Flow

Money comes in and goes out every month. Where it comes from and where it goes we refer to as your cash flow. This information is important to document in order to make you aware of all of your sources of income, your spending habits and to show where money may be saved. Use the following worksheet to illustrate your cash flow: Where it Comes From Where It...

Make Your Cash Work Harder

Make Your Cash Work Harder Have today’s low interest rates got you down? Are you searching for an investment that combines safety while offering a better rate of return? Consider some of these options to help get the most out of your liquid investments. Buy Bonds Bonds can help you achieve a number of complementary objectives. Among the most important are:...

Dividing Debt in Divorce

Dividing Debt in Divorce

Question I know that California says that I get half of the property my husband and I have accumulated during our marriage. But what we have is mostly debts. What’s the best way to deal with them? Answer Unfortunately, its not unusual for couples these days to have more debts than assets. The general rule is that debts incurred during the marriage are the...

Where to Search for Hidden Asset During Divorce

Where to Search for Hidden Asset During Divorce

Question My husband just told me he wants a divorce, and he says he’s been thinking about it for quite a while. I’m afraid that he’s taken steps to hide money so that I won’t receive a fair share of our property. Answer It’s smart of your to be suspicious. Although by and large people are pretty honest while going through divorce, too many women trust...

Don’t Overlook Important Assets in Your Divorce

Question My husband and I have drawn up a list of what we own and we have tentatively agreed on how to split everything. I’m afraid we might have missed listing something. Can you help? Answer As a financial divorce consultant, I often review final property settlements to determine additional tax and financial considerations that should be addressed. Here...

The Benefits of Being Married Ten Years

Question My nine-year marriage has been rocky for quite some time, and my husband and I periodically talk about divorce. A friend told me I should stick it out a while longer since there are benefits to being married ten years or longer. What are those benefits? Answer In some states, such as California, in a marriage of ten years or longer the court retains he...

Unreported Income and Hidden Assets

Unreported Income and Hidden Assets

Unreported income and hidden assets are often alleged in divorce proceedings, with the spouse who is not running the business claiming that unreported income should increase both the spousal support award and the valuation of the family business. In civil litigation, it is often a partner or shareholder that is alleging that someone in his business is hiding...

Common Errors in Business Valuations

Common Errors in Business Valuations

Business valuations are prepared by a variety of professionals, including business appraisers, business brokers, financial analysts, certified public accountants and economists. On occasion, the background of the evaluator preparing the valuation may predispose that individual to serious errors in the valuation of the business. This article will explore some of...

Employee Stock Options: Valuation, Apportionment, Tax and Other Strategic Issues

Employee or Executive Stock Options are becoming increasingly more popular forms of compensation in the work place. Understanding how to value and transfer Stock Options are particularly important when dividing marital property. Under California Law, assets acquired during the marriage are community property. Consequently, stock options, to the extent that they...

The “A” Team: Financial Professionals

Divorce is a complex process that affects just about every aspect of your life — from financial to emotional, physical to legal. Unless you’ve been married for only a short time — and have no property, assets, or children — you’ll probably need some professional help to get you on track to a healthy, happy post-divorce future. The...

Keeping Your Head Above Water

Keeping Your Head Above Water

How To Make it Through Your Divorce Without Going Broke.  One of the great myths of separating and divorcing couples is that it is cheaper to live as a single than as a couple. Here’s the fallacy in that thinking: presently, you both contribute to your lifestyle. And if you’re like most couples, you struggle each month to make the paychecks stretch...

Debt and Divorce

If you’re getting a divorce, how will you and your spouse divide your debts? And what happens if your soon-to-be ex can’t pay his or her share? The liabilities and debts you and your spouse accumulated during the marriage should all be assigned, paid, or handled in some manner as part of your divorce settlement. The debts should include all credit...

Ten Ways To Keep From Screwing Up Your Divorce

The only thing worse than a bad marriage is a bad divorce. Unfortunately, many people going through divorce torpedo their future financial well-being. Don’t let that happen to you. Here are ten things you can do to keep from screwing up your divorce. Get Professional Help It may appear cheaper to settle your divorce without attorneys, but the expensive...

25 Ways to Save Taxes Through Life’s Transitions

Taxes are, unfortunately, a part of every financial decision. Like it or not, Uncle Sam’s greedy fingers reach into your pocket with every paycheck and each dollar of investment earnings. The booklet includes tax tips for eight major life events, including going to school, beginning a job, becoming a family, business ownership, divorce, and retirement, plus...

25 Ways to Divorce Without Going Broke

25 Ways to Divorce Without Going Broke

Divorce is the largest single financial transaction of most people’s lives, raising important questions that demand immediate answers. This booklet contains helpful tips on every aspect of divorce, including: before the divorce, gathering records, alimony, tax returns, navigating the divorce, accumulating cash, hiring an attorney, child support, property...

Innocent Spouse and the IRS

During your marriage you will probably have filed a joint tax return.  Upon your divorce or even years later you may regret having signed a joint tax return when the IRS audits your joint returns. When you filed a joint federal tax return jointly the law says that you are both liable for any taxes due along with any interest or penalties. That means the IRS can...

How CPAs Analyze Financial Statements in Dissolution Cases

What do forensic accountants look for when they review financial statements of a business provided to them by counsel? What are the signs that there are irregularities taking place? What are the typical types of financial statements? There are three standards and three types of financial statements. The three standards are audits, reviews and compilations. The...