The Smart Divorce® Weblog

Move forward with focus, hope, and confidence.


1 Comment

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


3 Comments

My Money Mindset – Finances During Divorce

Now posted on The Smart Divorce on Divorce Source Radio

One of the biggest fears post-divorce are finances.  Trusting yourself to make financial choices is a big issue, especially when it comes to your divorce settlement.  Our guest, Dr. Deborah Nixon, helps us to understand what we need to do.  Dr. Nixon is an entrepreneur, professor, executive, consultant, and community volunteer; she has identified a common need in today’s cautious working environment for trusting professional relationships. Economic instability has undercut our readiness to trust one another – and this is especially hard in divorce.  We’re gong to relate this all to your post-divorce life.

Dr. Nixon helps us understand the importance of building and maintaining trust in ourselves when making financial decisions – especially when it’s post-divorce, and the worry is “what about my future?”   She has developed the MyMoneyMindset and Trust Intelligence Program and shares her work, to help us with financial decision-making. We discuss the intangibles of trust, reputation and integrity to make them tangible and practical.

To understand how these goals are met in reasonable manner we explore:

  • Defining Moments as a pivot point for deeper understanding of financial decision-making
  • How assessments, coaching and consulting have helped clients learn to take charge of their money while helping professionals learn what their clients need from them.
  • Helping to develop Financial Wellness
  • The 10 Minute Survey
  • The importance of feeling strong so that you can manage your money

My Money Mindset will help you make better and more informed decisions about your money. Tackle those hard issues. A raise, the family budget, a financial plan, your relationship with your financial professional. Don’t you owe it to yourself! Isn’t your peace of mind worth it? This interview will surely help you understand what trust means, trust breaches and trust repair. Fascinating stuff.

To find out more, contact Dr. Nixon at Deborah@mymoneymindset.com, or call 416-986-7049

Don’t forget, Like us on our Facebook pagesThe Smart Divorce and Divorce Source Radio.  Join the community!

To listen tune in here


2 Comments

Divorce Proofing the Family Business

Breakups can taken an emotional and financial toll on the extended family 

Divorce or the breakdown of a relationship is an extremely emotional process. People are often confused, filled with fear and unsure of how to navigate the process. Their world is turned upside down, triggering unsettling and distressful emotions. The effects of the emotional distress and the impact on extended family can be devastating.

Close to 50 per cent of marriages in North America end in divorce. The divorce rate rises to a staggering 60 per cent and higher for subsequent divorces by these same individuals. Clearly, we need to employ strategies that will get everyone, including those caught in the middle — often the children — off the “divorce-go-round” and on to a better life. We need to encourage healthy new beginnings, even when divorce looks like an end.

While divorce is often seen as a personal matter, when a Family Business is involved, divorce suddenly becomes everyone’s business. It is not uncommon for the effect of divorce to bog down the extended family unit, creating complications, reduced productivity, distress and even dissention amongst family members. And, while you might have many high net worth clients whose family businesses might be affected, a Family Business does not have to be a multimillion-dollar enterprise to be a concern to family members.  There are numerous family business that generate a more modest income, yet support a number of families within the extended family unit.

For most people going through divorce, the largest assets are usually the marital home, perhaps an RRSP, pension and some investments.  However, when there is a Family Business – that business is usually one of the largest and most significant (marital) assets.  And, it’s an issue whatever the position of the soon to be divorcee  — whether an employee, partner, participant, Board member, shareholder, or beneficiary.   It is not uncommon for a family’s wealth, net worth and income to be tied together, and the principal asset for all family members.

Click on the link to view the whole article Divorce Proofing the Family Business


Leave a comment

The Family Support Expo is coming to Toronto!

Don’t miss out on the 1st annual Family Support Expo  — Raising Awareness, Reducing Stigma Separation and Divorce The Toronto International Centre will be the home of the Family Support Expo on October 20 -21, 2012

Supporting families in transition, from pregnancy through adolescence and beyond!

The first North American expo bringing together all of the resources needed to support families dealing with Separation & Divorce, Medical, Mental Health, and other lifestyle issues.

The Family Support Expo is for parents, grandparents, caregivers, children and professionals.  The Expo provides information to help build and support a healthy family.

Exhibitors will showcase a variety of services and products and will offer access to community resources, organizations and experts in the industry.

All families experience challenges. Whether it is a child struggling with a medical issue or special need, a senior suffering from an illness, a family on the heels of divorce or separation, or another serious challenge – you are not alone and help is available.

The Expo seeks to revolutionize how families deal with these challenges.

The 3 general areas of focus for the Expo are:

Within these three areas there are many sub-categories.

Separation & Divorce

  • Help finding a professional (Family Mediator, Family Lawyer, Accountant, Real Estate Agent, mortgage broker, etc.)
  • Education and resources to help your family moving forward

Please stop by my booth, Deborah Moskovitch – The Smart Divorce and Divorce Coach, where I will be speaking and selling my resources helping individuals through their divorce  — maintaining their sanity, cutting down on legal costs, and helping to manage the divorce process in a healthier and happier way.

I will also be participating in a panel discussion with Toronto’s leading divorce professionals and moderated by Breakfast Television’s very own Kevin Frankish.

Don’t miss out on this new and unique event.  While the Expo cannot guarantee solutions to all areas of challenge, it stands to provide families with actionable advice and support that will leave them hopeful and optimistic moving forward.

For more information visit: http://familysupportexpo.com


Leave a comment

The Smart Divorce Audio Series Now Available

Get through your divorce as you save time, money – and your sanity! One low price gives you the complete Smart Divorce ToolKit –audios and Smart Guides – a cost-effective way to reduce stress as you help clients and manage the divorce process.

Endorsed by judges, lawyers and mental health professionals, The Smart Divorce ToolKit provides 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. This one smart package makes it uncomplicated and effortless to understand.

Reassuring, informative and easy to listen to, The Smart Divorce  Smart Audios offer more than 2.5 hours of presentations, full of insightful tips and strategies to help you navigate this difficult time.

Deborah Moskovitch educates listeners about the divorce process and provides practical information on getting through it with focus, hope and confidence. She teams with psychologist Dr. Robert Simon , an expert on divorce, relationships and families – with a special focus on children of divorce and custody conflicts.

Audio 1 – The Emotional Divorce

Understand that every divorce has two sides: legal and emotional. The Smart Divorce Audio 1 gives you strategies and tips for coping in healthy ways with your emotions, so you can make clear-headed decisions for your children and yourself. (37.24 minutes)

Audio 2 – The Legal Divorce

Empower yourself by knowing what’s ahead. The Smart Divorce Audio 2 helps you understand how to organize, prepare and work towards a realistic, favorable outcome for you and your family. From selecting the right legal advocate to exploring other divorce options, The Legal Divorce helps you manage the practicalities and take charge of the process. (45.24 minutes)

Audio 3 – Smart Co-Parenting: Putting Your Children’s Best Interests First

Help your kids think of themselves as regular kids, not the children of divorce. The Smart Divorce Audio 3 helps you understand what they are going through, and talk to your children about the divorce. Learn the challenges and issues of co-parenting, and how to make it work. Move forward, maintaining positive connections with your children. (40.61 minutes)

Audio 4 – Rebuilding Your Life Post Divorce

Divorce is a hugely emotional time. But it’s also an opportunity to reevaluate your life and make it better than it was before your divorce. The Smart Divorce Audio 4 helps you embrace an uncertain future, and move forward with focus, hope and confidence. It gives you coping strategies for dealing with your former partner, and ways to develop your most important and lasting relationship: with yourself. (33.66 minutes)

For more information and to buy these informative videos click on the link:

http://www.cdbaby.com/Artist/DeborahMoskovitchAndRobertASim

If you would like to learn more about this unique and innovative program, and how it may help you, please contact Deborah Moskovitch at The Smart Divorce by emailing info@thesmartdivorce.com, or call 905.695.0270.


3 Comments

The Finances of the Grey Divorce

I’m Divorced, Now How Am I Going to Retire?

The Smart Divorce on Divorce Source RadioFor the new generation of empty-nesters, divorce is becoming more common.  Moreover, among people ages 50 and older, the divorce rate has doubled over the past 20 years.  It used to be that as people got aged, the chances of divorce declined – but this is no longer the case.  Given that the aging population is living longer and healthier, retiring post divorce is an issue for the grey divorce segment.

Eva Sachs on Divorce Source Radio

On this episode of The Smart Divorce with Deborah Moskovitch, our guest is Eva Sachs, a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst and founder of Women in Divorce Financial http://www.WomenInDivorce.ca discusses the many concerns, considerations and consequences of financial planning post divorce for the older divorcee.

What do you need to think about, is a question many ponder. We answer that question and explore more:

  • Creative solutions for a financially prudent separation agreement
  • Adjusting to lifestyle differences post divorce
  • Managing debt with less
  • Medical/health benefits
  • Retirement plans for the divorced
  • The home as a burden or asset

Find out how to protect yourself and develop a list of questions, as you work through your finances for a financially secure retirement.

http://www.divorcesourceradio.com/im-divorced-now-how-am-i-going-to-retire/


Leave a comment

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 info@thesmartdivorce.com 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 – http://wp.me/pbONe-gF

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.

http://www.divorcesourceradio.com/save-time-money-and-your-sanity-when-going-through-divorce/


Leave a comment

The Financial Realities of Divorce

The Finances of Divorce

A client came into my office the other day in tears. She was just about to sign papers to purchase her new home, but was now feeling unsure of her decision. My client was in the middle of negotiating her financial agreement and wanted to prepare herself for the fresh start she desired once her divorce became final.

After a few more tears and 30 minutes of talking, she began to understand how the “emotional divorce” could impact “the legal divorce.” What this means is that there are two sides of divorce to wade through — the emotional and the legal. Divorce is upper-case Emotional, and if not managed properly, it can wreak havoc on the legal process and financial outcomes. While it would be really nice if the two elements could be handled one after the other — you could spend a few years dealing with the emotional issues, and then, heart and head clear, go through the legal process — but the truth is that emotions and legal processes cannot be clinically separated, and usually have to be managed at the same time.

To read the rest of my article which appeared on The Huffington Post, click on the link

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/deborah-moskovitch/the-finances-of-divorce_b_1214050.html


2 Comments

How You Can Divorce With Focus, Hope and Confidence

The Smart Divorce®  ToolKit

Get Through Your Divorce While Saving Time, Money – and Your Sanity!

Get through your divorce as you save time, money – and your sanity! One low price gives you the complete Smart Divorce ToolKit – Smart Audios and Smart Guides – a cost-effective way to reduce stress as you  manage the divorce process.
Whatever your frame of mind or situation at this stage of your divorce, The Smart Divorce ToolKit is a one-of-a-kind tool that will help you gain clarity, perspective and a smarter next step. This valuable resource provides education, tools and strategies to help you be smart about your divorce while moving on to a happier, healthier future.

Information is Knowledge and Knowledge is Power

Endorsed by judges, lawyers and mental health professionals, The Smart Divorce ToolKit provides 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. This one smart package makes it uncomplicated and effortless to understand.

The Smart Divorce Audios

As an introduction to The Smart Divorce approach in an easy to absorb format, The Smart Divorce Audios provide the reassuring, insightful and non-judgmental information you need when you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed.  Almost 3 hours of information!
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

The Smart Divorce Smart Guides

The Smart Guides offer you easy-to-use tip sheets put together in one smart book that guides you through divorce specifics, covering a myriad of helpful topics. Empower yourself with information and knowledge. The Smart Guides offer quick summaries, checklists and memory ticklers to help keep you on track.

Smart Guides:

  • Planning for a Smart Divorce
  • Coping with the Stress of the Emotional Divorce
  • How to Increase Your Ability to Cope When Divorcing
  • The Power of Setting Realistic Expectations
  • Understanding Your Divorce Options
  • Finding a Good Divorce Lawyer
  • Understanding Marital Property Laws
  • Getting Your Finances Organized for Divorce
  • Financial Information Checklist
  • Important Financial Steps Required to Prepare for Divorce
  • Smart Co-Parenting
  • Living Separate and Apart
  • Strengthening the Blended Family Bonds

 

Buy just the topics you need, or get the whole ToolKit.  Prices start at the low price of $9.49!

Yes! I want to order The Smart Divorce®ToolKit. Available in hard copy or downloadable format at http://tinyurl.com/thesmartdivorceaudios or you may purchase only The Smart Divorce Smart Guides paperback or downloadable version at http://tinyurl.com/thesmartdivorcesmartguides  If you would like to learn more about this unique and innovative program, and how it may help you, please contact Deborah Moskovitch at The Smart Divorce by emailing info@thesmartdivorce.com, or call 905.695.0270.


Leave a comment

Ten Pre-Divorce Money Mistakes that can make a Big Difference in Your Post Divorce Future

Our guest, Lisa Decker (www.DivorceMoneyMatters.com) who is referred to as Miss Money Matters ® – is the CEO and founder of Divorce Money Matters®. Ms. Decker is an expert in divorce financial matters, and a discreet problem-solver who guides her clients to “Divorce Your Spouse, Not Your Money®.”  She has been interviewed by CNN, Good Morning America, NY Times, Business Week, CreditCards.com, ForbesWomen.com, and Oprah magazine.

The finances of divorce and how they are managed and worked through during the divorce process can significantly impact your post divorce future.  Tune in to understand the most common mistakes and what you can do to avoid them.

Topics in this program include:

  • How to make decisions based on facts, not emotions
  • How to create a realistic post-divorce budget
  • The impact of joint debts
  • Protecting your income streams
  • Considering the long-term consequences of your choices
  • Developing your dream divorce team
To listen in click on the link: