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Considering divorce? Good reasons to wait for January

By Geoff Williams

Fri Dec 21, 2012 11:43am EST

(Reuters) – Going through a divorce during the holidays can be emotionally wrenching, which is why many people don’t do it – they put it off until January.

“People don’t want to upset the apple cart over the holidays, and they want a peaceful Christmas, Hanukkah or New Year’s. And then, because they don’t want to spend another damned year with that spouse of theirs, as soon as the holidays are over they pull the plug and file,” says Alton Abramowitz, president of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers.

While there are no hard numbers on how many divorces are filed in January, Abramowitz says it’s undoubtedly a popular time to act, rivaled only by September, when marriages break up after the summer holidays. Yet waiting for the holidays to pass doesn’t all come down to simply wanting a harmonious holiday season. There are sound financial reasons to wait until January.

1. Waiting for the bonus

A husband or wife who waits until January is likely to be entitled to any year-end windfall that might come from a spouse’s job.

“In New York, at least, once you file for divorce and you set the cut-off date, anything you obtain afterward is separate property,” says Steven Goldfeder, a matrimonial attorney in New York City who acknowledges that year-end bonuses are often fought over, even if a spouse declares he or she wants a divorce in January. “Someone could claim the bonus isn’t really for that particular year, but a payment to entice someone to stay at the firm for the future.”

2. Cool your emotions

The holidays are a time when emotions run high. “If your spouse always has it in her mind that Christmas was ruined, she or he may not be so eager to settle with you,” says Goldfeder. “Your divorce might drag out for months or years longer than it would have.”

Once, shortly before Christmas, Goldfeder received a call from a client who said a co-worker had had a baby they both believed was his. The client, married and the father of three, planned to tell his wife and assumed she would leave him. Goldfeder talked him into first getting a paternity test. The client’s family had a nice Christmas, and the day after, the client learned he wasn’t the father.

Not exactly a warm holiday tale, but by cooling your emotions, you may save your family a lot of stress.

3. Avoid disastrous shopping

December is the shopping season, and that can spell disaster if an angry spouse is set loose with a credit card. “The spouse served with divorce papers may feel that they deserve some kind of emotional gift because of this horrible thing their spouse did to them,” says Kevin Worthley, a certified divorce financial analyst and certified financial planner in Warwick, Rhode Island.

An angry spouse may also be more inclined to want to drain the bank accounts and run up the credit cards. “That’s a danger any time, but past the holidays, when everything’s been bought, there’s likely less inclination to buy a big-ticket item out of revenge,” says Worthley.

4. Think about April

At year-end, taxes come to mind. “Obviously, the better records you have, the better position you’re going to be in,” says Andrew Katzenstein, a Los Angeles lawyer, referring to paperwork that you might want to start collecting now.

Katzenstein, who specializes in assisting high-net-worth individuals, businesses and charities, says that in the past there haven’t been many tax advantages to filing for a divorce in January rather than December. Filling for divorce is just a beginning step, after all. Many couples end up filing their taxes jointly until the divorce is completed.

But tax brackets may go up in 2013, depending on whether the U.S. budget dispute is resolved. So going forward, the calculus may be different. “The person who pays alimony will get more bang for their deduction buck, and the person receiving the payments will pay more taxes,” he says.

5. More time to plan

If you’ve made up your mind that a divorce is going to be one of your New Year’s resolutions, there are things you can do now. Whatever side you end up on — paying alimony or receiving it — you need to start preparing.

“You should start collecting all of your end-of-the-year statements,” says Worthley. “You really need to know everything — your household budget, your assets, what’s in your checking account, how much you’re paying for the mortgage, all of your debts and your credit card balances. It’s important to get all of that.”

Your financial records will be needed to determine how much spousal support will be paid out, and how the finances will be divided. “The more information you get, the less complicated it’ll be when you’re negotiating and working things out with a financial mediator, attorney or judge,” says Deborah Moskovitch, a divorce coach in Toronto who counts January as her busiest month for new clients.

To read the whole article click here

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Save Time, Money and Your Sanity When Going Through Divorce

Want to learn more about The Smart Divorce Resource ToolKit, listen in as Steve Peck and I talk about how to have The Smart Divorce.

The very word “divorce” conjures up fear, sadness, anger, confusion and, for some, relief.  But the reality of what divorce really looks like and means with all of its implications are not always clear.  With close to 50% of marriages ending in divorce, we need to better employ strategies that will keep everyone, including those caught in the middle – often the children – moving towards a better life. Divorce can be a beginning even if it looks like an end.

No matter who you are, what your finances look like, whether you have children or working through issues, divorce can be complex and complicated, but it doesn’t need to be.  Almost all of us have questions, deal with problems and are faced with the myriad of concerns as we navigate the maze of divorce.

Hear Deborah Moskovitch and Steve Peck discuss the concerns and questions most of us have through divorce and the importance of making smart decisions – all with the help of The Smart Divorce Resource ToolKit.

Topics include:

  • The emotional, legal and finances of divorce
  • Smart Co-Parenting
  • Rebuilding your life to build a better future
  • Coping with divorce in the workplace
  • Understanding workplace stress
  • How organizations can help employees  stay mindful on the job

“Like” Divorce Source Radio on Facebook between February 8-15 to enter your name in a draw to win a copy of The Smart Divorce Resource ToolKit. 

But, even if you don’t win the free ToolKit, it’s still a win, email to place an order and mention you heard about it on Divorce Source Radio to receive a 10% discount! To preview the program click on the link –

Click on the link to listen to this most valuable interview ad learn how you can save time, money and your sanity on the way to a Smart Divorce.

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Getting through divorce while saving time, money – and your sanity.

Introducing The Smart® Divorce Resource Toolkit

The Smart Divorce® Resource Tool Kit is now available, order yours today– one easy phone call or email, to get this valuable resource.  It’s one of the  most comprehensive programs providing a full overview of the divorce process — and endorsed by judges, lawyers, and mental health professionals.  The Smart Divorce Resource Toolkit will help you make smart decisions for you and your family – taking you through the entire divorce process, removing the mystery and misconceptions about the outcomes of divorce, how to cut down on your legal bills and so much more.

This comprehensive resource  provides an understanding of all aspects of the divorce process; helping you understand the two sides to your divorce – the “emotional divorce” and the “legal divorce”

Move through your divorce with focus, hope and confidence.

The Smart Divorce Resource Toolkit makes the divorce process easy to understand, helping you to be strategic while making sound, smart decisions.  After all, information is knowledge and knowledge is power.

   Call 905 695 0270 or email to get your copy of The Smart Divorce Resource Toolkit. 

Included in The Smart Divorce Toolkit are tips, strategies and ideas, packaged as never seen before.  This smart toolkit comes with:

The Smart Divorce Resource Toolkit is designed specifically to meet your needs — to help reduce stress, educate and inform you about the divorce process in a cost effective, easy to understand way. Guidance and information from leading family law lawyers, mental health professionals, and parenting experts well versed on the needs of those in the divorce process are included.  And, it’s put together in one smart package, making it uncomplicated, and effortless to understand.

The Tool Kit contains 4 CDs covering the myriad of issues, concerns and questions most people have about divorce – removing the mystery, complexity, and confusion about divorce.  Also included are Smart Guides which add another layer of detail to The Smart Divorce Audios, and provide a step by step plan for going through the divorce process.

The Smart Divorce Audios. 

These unique and informative CDs provide tips and strategies to help navigate this difficult time, educate listeners about the divorce process and provide practical information on getting through it with focus, hope and confidence.

  • Audio 1 – The Emotional  Divorce
  • Audio 2– The Legal Divorce
  • Audio 3 – Smart Co-Parenting: Putting Your Children’s Best Interests First
  • Audio 4 – Rebuilding Your Life Post Divorce

Smart Guides.

Tip sheets that support the information in the audios providing detail and understanding of the specific topic.

Smart Guides:

  • Planning for a Smart Divorce
  • Getting Your Finances Organized for Divorce
  • Coping with the Stress of the Emotional Divorce
  • Coping with Stress in a High Stress Environment
  • Understanding Your Divorce Options
  • Finding a Good Divorce Lawyer
  • Smart Co-Parenting
  • Living Separate and Apart
  • Strengthening the Blended Family Bonds
  • Divorce Financial Check List
  • Understanding Marital Property Laws
  • Important Financial Steps Required to Prepare for Divorce

Don’t delay, order your kit today

Call 905 695 0270 or email to get your copy of The Smart Divorce Resource Toolkit.

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How Women Can Avoid Making Serious Financial Mistakes Before, During and After Divorce

Tune into the Smart Divorce on Divorce Source Radio to hear this very informative interview with financial strategist, Jeff Landers.  Although Jeff’s clients are women, the information contained in this interview is helpful for men as well.

Our guest, Jeffery Landers advocates for women. Jeff is a Divorce Financial Strategist and the founder of Bedrock Divorce Advisors, LLC, a divorce financial strategy firm that exclusively works with women, who are going through, or might be going through, a financially complicated divorce.  Jeff reviews the Top 6 Serious Financial Mistakes Women Make.  But, men can learn some valuable lessons here as well.  Jeff advises “put your emotions on the side and think financially.”

Topics in this program include:

  • The top 6 serious financial mistakes made during divorce
  • The important steps to organize your finances and maintain control
  • Preparing for your financial future
  • Financial considerations to ensure long term financial stability
  • How to avoid divorce settlement mistakes
  • Divorce proofing your business

Click on the link to hear Jeff share help you through the finances of divorce:

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The Smart Divorce Seminar





Saturday, November 21, 2009 Time: 10:00 am – 1:00 pm

Location: Fairview Library, Room 2 – Lower Level

Registration Fee: $65.00, including G.S.T.

Speakers include: Deborah Moskovitch, Divorce Consultant and author of The Smart Divorce, and recently retired Family Law Lawyer Marilynne Cass, with Featured Guest Speaker: Mr. Justice Harvey Brownstone of the Ontario Family Court and author of the bestselling book Tug of War

If you are either contemplating or currently going through a divorce, this seminar offers you strategies and tips for successfully navigating the divorce process. You will learn about the differences between the “emotional divorce” and the “legal divorce”, emphasizing the scope and limitations of the legal process. You will also hear what you can and should be doing to better move your own case towards resolution. Your will learn how to avoid the emotional pitfalls, anticipate the financial hurdles and understand the litigation limitations. You will be better prepared to move forward with focus, hope and confidence while saving time and money –and your sanity!

Topics that will be discussed:

• Understanding Divorce: Exploring the “emotional divorce” versus the “legal divorce” and how to effectively manage the process.

• Working with Your Lawyer: It’s a job for both you and your lawyer. What you should be doing to make the process most cost effective.

• Getting Your Life in Order for the Divorce Process: How to organize your paperwork to cut down on legal expenses.

• Parenting throughout divorce: Exploring the “emotional divorce” versus the “legal, what children are going through; and putting your children’s best interest first.

• Moving from Mom’s house to Dad’s house – Understanding custody and co-parenting arrangements; developing a parenting plan; and parenting after divorce.

• The legal process and dispute resolutions. What this means and how to develop realistic expectation to manage the divorce process more cost effectively.

• Understanding how child and spousal support are determined. The financial paperwork you need to prepare, and the issues to consider regarding the matrimonial home and much more.

• Finally, you will have the unique opportunity to learn from a judge: how rulings are decided, the importance of using a lawyer, what happens to the self represented litigant

and, putting your children’s best interests first. You will gain valuable insight into what really goes on in the family court room.

To reserve your spot:

Call Deborah Moskovitch at 905-695-0270,

Marilynne Cass at 647-200-7318

or email


The Smart Divorce Workshop Series – Space Still Available

The Smart Divorce® Workshop Series


These workshops are appropriate for individuals contemplating or already experiencing a divorce. Strategies for reducing financial costs and personal turmoil will be presented. Participants will learn what to expect legally and emotionally, and so be able to move through the process with confidence and focus while saving time and money. A subsequent session will address parenting issues, how to work with parenting experts more effectively, and available resources. Feedback from therapists and lawyers has indicated that The Smart Divorce Workshops have helped to prepare individuals for the process and make them better clients.


I have added two new workshops to the series called – Taking Control of Your Finances – with guest speakers Atsuko Hiroaka and Aaron Nimon, both Investment Advisors of BMO Nesbit Burns. The focus of these sessions is to help manage and effectively deal with your financial concerns; how to overcome your fears and understand the financial considerations as you work through the divorce process and postdivorce concerns.


Click on the link for more information: the-smart-divorce-workshop-f09-2-finr1


Program details:


The Smart Divorce: Learning the Basics – February 4, 2009


The Smart Divorce: Taking Control of Your Finances – February 11, 2009

with Guest Speaker, Investment Advisor – Aaron Nimon of BMO Nesbit Burns


The Smart Divorce: Parenting Through Divorce – February 18, 2009 2008


The Smart Divorce: Taking Control of Your Finances – February 25, 2009

with Guest Speaker, Investment Advisor – Atsuko Hiroaka of BMO Nesbit Burns

“Your seminar game the confidence I needed to start my divorce. I know what to do now and feel I’m not alone.” Dave C. Toronto

“I met a client who took your seminar today. An educated client makes this work so much easier!” Jacqueline Vanbetlehem, Mediator and Family Therapist in Oakville

Location: 12 Lawton Boulevard, Toronto (Yonge and St. Clair)

Registration Fee: $25 per workshop

Call The Smart Divorce at 905 695 0270 or email