Divorce Family Law

Is 2019 Your Divorce Year?

For some couples the holidays can be even more stressful – they can also mean a divorce in the new year. As we round out 2018 and look towards 2019, you might be considering a divorce for your new year. Below we discuss why January has been nick-named “Divorce Month,” as well as what to do if your new year means “new divorce.”

Is 2019 Your Divorce Year?

According to James McLaren, president of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, divorce attorneys “see a significant increase in people seeking out divorce advice and, ultimately, filing. The number of filings is one-third more than normal. That begins in January and probably goes into early March.”

What is it about the new year that drives people to divorce? A lot of times, that divorce has been a long time coming, and not just the result of stressful holidays.

If you are considering divorce, you know it’s not a consideration taken lightly. Chances are you’ve been dealing with these emotions for a while now. Know that you are not alone. There are many reasons that people divorce. Here are a few of them:

Lack of communication. When you are unable to communicate with your partner, you create distance. This can be from lack of sharing feelings, or not keeping your partner in the loop about what’s happening with you emotionally. A successful relationship is one that has open lines of communication. Otherwise, it can feel like nothing is ever resolved, and as if you aren’t even talking about why things can’t be resolved. Additionally, chances are you both feel as if something is being left unsaid. These feelings can multiply over time and become much larger than they were at the beginning. You might consider working with a relationship therapist to learn how to communicate effectively.

Financial Issues. Money, and lack of it can lead to a lot of problems in relationships. Often times two people have very different mindsets when it comes to saving and spending. If you and your spouse are not in agreement when it comes to how to manage your money, it can cause a lot of problems. Sit down and have an open conversation about how you relate to money and what your goals are. You might find one spouse wants to save to buy a house or to go on a big vacation, while the other spouse would rather go out to dinner every night of the week and have a closet filled with amazing clothes. You might have different goals, and neither one is wrong. Try to find a middle ground. You might also want to speak with a financial adviser that can take a look at your financial situation and advise you on how to move forward based on your joint goals.

Feeling Held Back. When you first started dating your spouse you may have felt as if the sky was the limit, or maybe you felt like you needed to change yourself a little for him or her. Over the course of a marriage, things can change. You might feel now as if your spouse and marriage are holding you back from achieving goals and taking opportunities. If you don’t feel supported by your spouse you can begin to feel as if you are being held back from really accomplishing what you want to during your lifetime. Try to get a clear-headed assessment. Are you really being held back? Or maybe it’s just how you are perceiving the situation. An open conversation might be the best place to start.

Trust. Trust is one of the leading factors in having a successful relationship and marriage. It can be impossible to achieve anything if you do not trust each other. Ask yourself if there’s a reason for the lack of trust. Was there an infidelity or past infidelities? Or are you just reading into things? Try to get a clear head about why there is no trust in your relationship. Maybe working with a relationship therapist can help you both deal with any trust issues.

Expectations. If you expected one thing at the beginning of the relationship and you aren’t getting it now, or your expectations have changed, you might find that you aren’t as happy in your relationship as you could be.


Your spouse doesn’t understand or fulfill your needs and desires. We all have different needs and wants that need to be met by the significant other in our lives. If you have a partner that doesn’t acknowledge your interests and desires then they won’t do what they can to fulfill your needs and wants.

Sudden Life Change. New changes happen at every moment in our lives. This can be the birth of a child, death of a parent, sudden job loss, a new opportunity for a job across the country. You will both need to be adaptable and know how to be supportive of each other. Life is unplanned, but you should be able to plan that your spouse will be there to support you whether its a good change or a difficult one.

Domestic Violence If you’ve been in a situation, or are currently in a situation, where your partner has been abusive or controlling in any manner, you should consider seeking help. If need be, contact a trusted family, friend, or an attorney about this matter.

So, why January?

While there are numerous reasons for divorce, that still doesn’t explain why January is such a peak month.

What does explain it are the holidays, and what the holiday season can mean. Often couples just want to “get through the holidays.”

According to McLaren, “It doesn’t look very good to sue your spouse for divorce on Christmas Eve.” Additionally, courts are not necessarily open during the holiday season like they are during the rest of the year. “You do not want to file a divorce case and be faced with the inability to get into court.”

Other couples decide to wait till January so that kids are able to spend one more holiday season altogether. In some ways, couples view it as “the last Christmas.”

And according to Abby Rodman, a psychotherapist based in Boston, there really is no perfect time to get divorced. “Most marriages aren’t all bad, all the time,” she says.

Legal Separation

While divorce might seem like the only option, remember that legal separation is also available. Legal separation allows couples to live apart and take a “break” from each other, while also ensuring that each spouse’s legal rights are protected via a legal separation agreement. Legal separations can also be called: “judicial separation”, “separate maintenance”, “divorce a mensa et thoro“, or “divorce from bed-and-board.” All these terms refer to the legal process by which a married couple formalizes a de facto separation while remaining legally married.

Steps to Follow for Legal Separation

Here are the steps you will take to acquire a legal separation:

  • Consider working with a family law attorney that can advise you on all the necessary steps of your legal separation.
  • You and your spouse will need to decide on grounds for the separation
  • Fill out a Form FL-100 Petition. This form includes options for divorce (dissolution of marriage) or legal separation.
  • If you have children under 18, you will need to complete Form FL-105/GC-120 which provides information to the court regarding children.
  • File Form FL-100 at your local county court. Pay any necessary fees. If you receive public benefits or have low income, you might be eligible for a fee waiver.
  • Serve your spouse with a copy of the court papers if they were not filed together. There will need to be proof of the serving, which can be done through various means such as a process server. A family law attorney can advise you on how to obtain this proof.

Sign a Formal Legal Separation Agreement


It’s always advised that you sign a formal legal separation agreement. This agreement outlines child support and visitation, property division, and any other aspect of a marriage.  An attorney will be able to prepare this legal and binding document. This will offer you legal protection should your spouse fail to live up to his or her obligations and will also also hold up in court.

The following should be included in the legal separation agreement:

Spousal Support

Benefits – With legal separation spouses are able to retain certain benefits that were available during the marriage, such as health insurance.

Home Residency – If a couple shares a home, it should be decided at this time what will happen to the residency during the separation. The agreement should include information regarding who is able to live in the home, who is responsible for maintaining the home, and who is financially handling the home.

Joint Accounts – A legal separation agreement outlines who has access to those joint accounts such as joint checking, savings, and credit accounts. It’s often advised to close or freeze these accounts during the separation. Each spouse will then need to obtain their own personal accounts.

Protection from Acquired Debt – A legal separation agreement will shield you from being responsible for debt acquired during the time of the legal separation.

Deciding on Divorce

If following your legal separation, or if you just decide after the holidays that you want to divorce, it’s always advised that you consider working with a family law attorney. They will be able to advise you on any number of issues, including: child support, spousal support, marital property division, child visitation, etc… A lawyer from the expert law firm of Divorce Law LA will be able to guide you through the divorce process. The Divorce & Family Law Offices of Divorce Law LA will provide you with the highest level of expertise and professionalism from our skilled attorneys. Our Divorce and Family Law Practice spans a wide spectrum of areas that include: divorce, high net-worth divorce, marital property division, child custody and visitation, and child support.

Divorce Law LA

33 S. Catalina Ave. Ste. 202

Pasadena, Ca. 91106

(626) 478-3550


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New Tax Laws and Your Divorce

If you’re planning to get divorced this year, you might want to act fast. New tax laws will be taking effect soon.

What New Tax Laws Mean for Your Divorce

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will effect divorces that happen after December 31, 2018. Under this new law, a taxpayer will no longer be able to deduct the alimony payments that are made to an ex-spouse. And the alimony recipient will no longer pay taxes on that income.

At the beginning of 2018, it was predicted that this new law would cause a big rush on divorces, due to the fact that people would try to get the divorce in before the tax law went into effect. Turns out, that big rush hasn’t quite happened.

According to divorce attorney Malcolm Taub, of Davidoff Hutcher & Citron in New York, “It is a drastic change, but it seems like people are living with it.”

Despite the fact that people aren’t in as big a rush, these new tax laws will mean big changes to how your financial picture after divorce will look. As always, it’s advised to work with a divorce attorney that knows the new laws.

Financial Tips for Your Divorce

Finances can be hard to manage in general, but if you are going through a divorce, they can feel almost impossible. There are a number of things to consider: will you be receiving alimony or paying it? Child support? What will your “single life budget” be? You’ll want to address these questions as soon as possible. Below we offer some financial tips for your divorce.

Build a Team

“Don’t go it alone,” says Mike Lynch, vice president of strategic markets at Hartford Funds. “Build a team today – a qualified team of legal, tax and investment professionals. Maybe it’s your current investment professional, or you may seek a new one that understands your situation better.”

But not just a team of legal and financial professionals – you’ll also want to build a team of “emotional professionals,” such as friends or a therapist that can help you deal with any emotional pain that you are experiencing.


There are some additional things you can do to help your emotional well-being, including:

  • Waking up and getting out of bed each morning
  • Get yourself in the “moving forward” zone
  • Eat well
  • Get inspired
  • Get perspective
  • Do something that will propel you forward instead of just dwelling

These can feel very hard to do following divorce, but if you can place one foot in front of the other, and just try to keep moving forward, it can help a great deal in not feeling overwhelmed by the experience.

Be Civil When Dealing with Your Ex

When it comes to working out aspects of a divorce, including marital property division, alimony, and child custody and visitation, you’re going to want to at least try to be civil with your ex. This might mean working with a relationship therapist that will advise the both of you on how to find a common ground. At the very least, you need to find a way to communicate with each other without having it end in a shouting match. Sometimes email is the best – where people can state the facts. Texts can also work. If you feel comfortable talking with your ex, just remember to record your interactions and what was discussed. Senior vice president of David A. Noyes & Co., Linda M. Conti knows divorce first-hand.  “My parents went through a bitter divorce,” she says. “They separated when I was 3 and the divorce was final when I was 6. I grew up living through ‘what not to do to your kids during a divorce.’ I wish someone could have counseled my parents better through all aspects of the divorce.” You have to remember that staying calm is the best way to resolve the financial aspects of a divorce.

Property Division

Marital property division can be one of the most contentious aspects to be decided during a divorce. State laws govern how the marital property will be divided. You will need to check with an attorney to see if you live in an equitable distribution state or a community property state.

There are four other steps that need to be considered when diving marital property:

  1. Identify the assets owned by you and your spouse
  2. Categorize all assets as marital or non-marital property
  3. A value will need to be assigned to the assets
  4. Devise a plan for the division of assets that is in accordance with state laws

Consider Selling Shared Property

It’s always advised that you sell the primary home instead of having one spouse keep it. Retaining ownership of a home – or the question of who will retain ownership – can often lead to issues. Questions such as: who will take care of maintenance and who will take the utility bills need to be answered. It’s often advised that a couple sells their home and split the proceed of the sale. That way, both sides receive an equal amount.

When it comes to a secondary home, “It’s much more effective to sell the house and distribute the proceeds to the children,” says Ric Edelman, chairman and CEO of Edelman Financial Services. “You get into the issue of fights amongst the kids – issues of maintenance, repairs and upkeep.”

Work with a Divorce Financial Analyst

You might consider working with a divorce financial analyst that can help with your settlement by:

  • Locating assets. This also includes hidden assets.
  • Ensuring information about family finances is accurate and complete.
  • Developing a long-term forecast of how your divorce will affect your finances when it comes to retirement needs, tax liabilities, and benefits.
  • Developing a realistic household budget so that you know where you stand in terms of life insurance, health insurance, and cost-of-living increases.
  • Appraising and/or valuing assets.
  • Preparing financial affidavits that describe your financial and tax implications when it comes to various divorce settlement options.
  • Mediating a financial agreement between you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse.

Update Your Beneficiaries and Your Will
Emily McBurney, attorney and qualified domestic relations orders (QDRO) expert, advises you update your beneficiary that is listed on your life insurance and retirement accounts. It might not make sense now if your primary beneficiary is your ex spouse.

When You Might Consider a Lawyer for Personal Injury Claims

“Review all of your accounts and insurance policies and change the beneficiaries. A divorce does not automatically terminate your former spouse’s rights to be the beneficiary on your retirement plans, bank accounts, and life insurance policies –- even though your divorce decree might say that your former spouse has waived all rights to the benefits,” says McBurney. “You will need to formally submit a change of beneficiary form to each financial institution. Otherwise, the benefit will be paid to whoever is listed on their forms at the time of your death — regardless of your divorce.”

You’ll also want to do this for your will.

According to certified divorce financial analyst Donna Cheswick, “Meet with an estate planning attorney to discuss your state’s laws regarding possible updates to your will, power of attorney and advanced directives. You want to be sure that your former spouse is no longer entitled to any distribution in the event of your death. And if your settlement agreement requires one party to maintain life insurance on the other, then there needs to be a method in place to be sure this is actually occurring. Just because the former spouse says they will do something, doesn’t mean that they are following through.”

Have a “Single” Financial Plan

When you were married, chances are you had a second income coming in to help with things like child care, the mortgage, and other utilities. You might now be receiving or paying spousal support or child support. You also may not be receiving any kind of support. Whatever your new financial picture is, you’ll need to know how to budget according to your new income amount. Putting this together before entering the divorce process will help you understand your needs following the divorce so you can come to a settlement that works.

Make sure you plan for college tuition, child care, children’s lessons, sports and activities, and your own retirement, taxes, transportation and housing. It’s hard to plan for the unknown future, but try to get an idea of what your 1 year, 5 year, and 10 year financial needs will be.

Financial Future

Considering your financial situation after your divorce can feel daunting and overwhelming, but if you take the right steps, you can be sure to set yourself up for financial freedom. It might take some tweaks but consider the fact that you are now completely in charge and able to make your own decisions regarding how your money will be spent. Embrace it, and embrace the freedom you now have.

A Family Law Attorney

When it comes to the actual legal process of a divorce, you’ll want to work with a skilled family law attorney There are a number of things that need to be considered during a divorce: child support, spousal support, marital property division, and other things. Working with a skilled attorney can help ensure you get a fair case.  For advice on divorce, child custody determinations, setting up a co-parenting agreement, dividing marital property, and spousal support you need the expert law firm of Divorce Law LA. Schedule a consultation today.

Divorce Law LA

33 S. Catalina Ave. Ste. 202

Pasadena, Ca. 91106

(626) 478-3550

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Eliminate the Stress of Holiday Child Visitation

With Christmas just peeking ’round the corner, you might be facing the dilemma that comes with coordinating child visitation during this holiday season.

Eliminate the Stress of Holiday Child Visitation


There’s no reason why coordinating your child visitation schedule should add stress to the holiday season. There are some critical steps that need to be taken to ensure a stress-free custody situation. Before the season kicks off, reflect on which holiday is most important – whether it be Kwanza, Christmas, or Thanksgiving, 4th of July, or Easter. There will have to be some form of give-and-take, but if you can prioritize the holidays for yourself you might find you’re willing to negotiate a little easier. If both you and your co-parent value the same holiday the same amount, you should consider trading off the years. If you live close enough, and it’s not going to cause any drama, you might even want to split the day.

Get the Child Visitation Schedule in Writing Ahead of Time

Like most things with the holidays, managing a child visitation schedule closer to the actual holiday can add to the stress. Your child will also want to know where they are spending which holiday. Putting a plan in place far ahead of time, and putting it in writing will ensure that you aren’t deciding, or negotiating, on child visitation right up until the day before. Keep a record of the schedule, especially if you are trading off years for holidays. Having a plan in writing makes it impossible to forget how the holidays were split up the year prior. That way you can put your energy into actually celebrating the holiday, rather than stressing about who will be where.

Child Visitation

Often times, as part of a child custody ruling, a court will rule one parent has “supervised child visitation” rights. Here’s a little more information on what it means for visitation to be “supervised.”

Why “Supervised Child Visitation”?

California’s public policy on child custody is to protect the best interest of a child. And sometimes, based on what has been presented in court, a judge will rule the child only have contact with a parent when a neutral third party is present. Thus, the visitation rights are “supervised.” Reasons Behind Ruling

A judge may rule for supervised visitation for many reasons, such as:

  • To allow the visiting parent an opportunity to address specific issues;
  • In the case of reintroducing a parent and child after a long absence;
  • In the case of introducing a parent to a child;
  • A parent has a history of domestic violence, child abuse and neglect, or substance abuse;
  • When there are concerns of mental illness; or
  • If there is a parental threat of abduction.

A court will order specific times and durations for the visits. The court might also specify who will provide the supervision during these visits.

Supervised Child Visitation Providers

A supervised visitation provider’s main responsibility is to keep the child or children safe during the visit. The provider might be a family member, a friend, or a paid professional. A provider must be present at all times during the visit. Additionally, they are required to listen to what is being said, while paying close attention to the childs ‘s or children’s behavior. If the provider deems it necessary, they may interrupt or end a visit. And legally, all providers must report suspected child abuse.

Types of providers

According to law, there are 2 types of supervised visitation providers:

  • Nonprofessional providers – usually family or friend who is not paid to provide their supervision
  • Professional providers – trained and experienced with providing supervision. They charge a fee for the service, and are also required to follow a uniform standards of practice.

The court order will declare which type of provider you will be required to have during these visits.

Reasons for Ruling for Supervision

A judge may decide on supervised visitation for many reasons. These can include, but are not limited to the following:

  • A visiting parent might need an opportunity to address a specific issue.
  • When a parent and child are reintroduced after a long period of absence.
  • When a parent is first being introduced to a child
  • When a parent has a history of domestic violence, child abuse and neglect, or substance abuse.
  • When concerns about mental illness have been expressed
  • When there is a potential abduction threat.

In addition to a “supervised” ruling, the court will also order specific times and durations for the meetings. The court will also specify what type of supervision will be required during the visits: either professional or non-professional.

Professional and Non-Professional Supervision

There are two types of supervision: professional and non-professional. Non-professional providers are usually family members or friends. A professional provider is trained and experienced in child visitation visits. For a fee or service, they attend the visits. They also follow a standard uniform of practice.

A provider’s main purpose for attendance is to keep the child or children safe during the visit. They must not only be present the entire time, but are also required to listen to what is being said, while also closely monitoring the child’s or children’s behavior. If the supervisor deems it necessary, they are able to interrupt or end a visit. They are required by law to report suspected child abuse.



Though co-parenting can be difficult, it’s always advised that parents try to work out a co-parenting relationship. Co-parenting is a crucial part of your child’s life. You will not be able to raise a child successfully if you do not get a handle on this. No child wants to see their parents fighting, or feel as if they are being tugged between two sides of a war.

You might need to consult a therapist or lawyer to get some groundwork laid for this new relationship. Bottom line: just try to be adults. You might have to dig deep to find that “adult” in there, and you might not want to, but you have to, for your child’s sake. Find an approach that will work for you (for the both of you) and then start from that point.

Kids Interests First

Putting your child’s best interests above your own are the only way to build a successful co-parenting situation while creating an amicable relationship with your ex. You two don’t need to be best friends that talk a million times a day. You just need to find a way to make this work, kind of like being assigned to a lab partner in high school that you just couldn’t stand. You had to work together to get through the assignment and to get the A+ grade that you wanted. If you could make that work in high school, you can make this relationship work as an adult.

This can be done in a number of ways:

  • Work out a method of communication. This can be done through email or text. Being able to write it down helps to create a “paper trail” should there be disputes. But this is also a great way to just remove the emotions and stick to the fact.
  • Remove the emotion during interaction – either in person or via communication
  • Schedule it out. This means weekly routines as well as vacation and other important events.
  • Be flexible
  • Commit to being cooperative. This might be a stretch, but you will need to cooperate.

This is not always an easy process, but once you have these basic things under your belt, it will be easier.

Working with a Family Law Attorney

If you’re having trouble working with your co-parent on putting together a child visitation schedule, you might want to consider working with a family law attorney that works with child custody issues. Having a go-between can help ease any tension surrounding negotiations, especially when the negotiations revolve around important family moments like the holiday season.

For advice on child visitation, you need the expert law firm of Divorce Law LA. Schedule a consultation today.

Divorce Law LA, Esq.

Divorce Law LA

33 S. Catalina Ave. Ste. 202

Pasadena, Ca. 91106

(626) 478-3550

Divorce Family Law Marital Property Division

Facing Your New Financial Picture After Divorce

Divorce is difficult. You are both figuring out what your new lives will be once the divorce agreement is signed. One of the hardest aspects to resolve during divorce is just how to face your new financial picture.

Facing Your New Financial Picture After Divorce

Mark Zandi, a chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, who has researched divorce and corresponding demographic trends has found, “Divorce generally results in a significant financial setback for all those involved.”

What used to feel like a joint effort between two people can turn into an all out war. Because of the potential to start World War III, there are things that you can do to prepare yourself for at least the financial aspect of the end of your marriage. Careful planning in advance can help you avoid getting to the battlegrounds unarmed.

Preparing Your Finances for Divorce

The first thing you want to do is create an inventory of all of your assets. This includes your debts too. You need to understand your families assets and liabilities. Have copies or at least access to tax returns, statements from all accounts, household bills and any other important records. Additionally, put together a list of valuable property that includes shared real estate, collectibles, furniture, and antiques or pieces of artwork.

You will want to put everything in writing, in a qualified domestic relations order, or QDRO. This is a legal document that spells out how you and your spouse have decided to divide certain retirement assets such as 401(k) accounts, says Page Harty, a financial planner at wealth-management firm SignatureFD.

It’s crucial that you do not overlook anything valuable. This could cost you significant amounts of money when it comes time to divide marital assets. There are often cases when a spouse will hide an asset from the other in an attempt to get more money or retain ownership of something they hold valuable. Sometimes this cannot be avoided, but sitting down, finding a clear head, and making a list of every asset you are aware of can help prevent this from happening to you (unless of course your spouse has never made you aware of the asset he or she is hiding).

Your shared debts are important too. Just because the marriage is ending, that does not mean that the debt will just go away. Try to pay these debts off before the divorce is finalized. If that’s not possible, make sure you have a clear agreement on which spouse will pay which debt.



The House

It’s tempting to want to keep the house. This is especially true for couples that have school-aged children. It can already feel as if you’re destroying their lives, let alone forcing them to move out of the house they used to feel so safe in. But remember that a house is a big expense and one that might not be worth fighting for. It’s often advised that splitting couples sell the house and split the proceeds. This way, both parties share in the risk and cost that is associated with a selling a home, says financial planner, Matt Mikula.

Mikula shares this example of a client of his. The mother of four had been awarded custody of the couple’s four children in addition to the family’s $1.5 million home and $500,000 in other assets. Not wanting to disrupt her children’s lifestyle, she wanted to keep the house.

But taxes, utilities, maintenance, and other expenses amounted to about $50,000 a year. The client had little other means, in terms of assets and income to cover those costs. As a result, according to Mikula, “she was going to run out of money.”

In the end, the client decided to sell the house. This was six years after the divorce, and due to economic reasons, she received 20% less than what it had been valued at during the time of the divorce.

Additional Expenses

Housing is a huge expense, but it’s not the only one. Other expenses will need to be taken care of, including how much your family spends on food, clothes, and other essentials, like health insurance, which according to financial planners, can be steep.

There are also the unknown expenses. Ms. Church, a financial adviser at Raymond James Financial shared this story. After her divorce, her daughter was invited to play on a volleyball team that traveled extensively. Suddenly she needed to come up with about $400 to $500 a month to cover the hotel rooms, meals and other expenses associated with her daughter playing on this team. Ms. Church says, “there will be unforeseen expenses.” Because of this, she advises her clients to be aggressive when they sit down and figure out their post-divorce cost of living. This is especially true if there are children involved. She also advises to include the impact of inflation.

Stop Seeking Revenge

It’s obvious from almost every tabloid story on divorce that divorce can get ugly when it comes to finances.

One key reminder to keep in mind: The less you spend, the more you keep.

What that translates to is: the more you argue about petty things, the more time you will spend, which automatically translates to the more money you will spend.

Regardless of how terrible the reason is for your divorce, try to remember that the more money that gets put towards divorce is less money that will be available for the settlement.

Financial planner Rose Swanger has this example to share: Her client was married for more than 20 years to a surgeon that earned a seven-figure income. He had cheated on her, and as a result, the two were divorcing. The woman was seeking $300,000 a year in alimony. According to Swanger, the amount she sought was unrealistic due to the fact that the couple owned two heavily mortgaged houses in affluent neighborhoods, and were also paying private-school tuition for their children.

The woman had already worked with two lawyers, running up tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees by the time she consulted Ms. Swanger, who ultimately dropped her as a client. As a result of the ever-increasing legal bills, the woman’s credit score suffered a large hit.

“I don’t blame her for trying to retaliate, but I warned her that a calm divorce is the best divorce,” Ms. Swanger says.

Every dollar spent during the divorce process is a dollar that cannot be split 50-50. It’s advised that you look at your divorce as a way to strike a favorable business deal rather than a chance to seek revenge.

Taxes and Divorcemoney and divorce

Before the divorce paperwork is signed you need to make sure you review what your agreement will mean around tax time. There are different tax laws regarding alimony and child support, depending on what side of the agreement you are on. Be sure that your lawyer or financial adviser explains this before you finalize the financial aspects of your divorce. An agreement that looks equal on the surface might be completely unfair when it comes to tax time.

Financial planner Monica Garver, worked on a case where the husband proposed a division of assets that worked out to be roughly an even split at face value. He proposed keeping $2 million from after-tax investment account and giving his soon-to-be ex-wife $2 million in tax-deferred retirement accounts.

“Each and every dollar [in the retirement accounts] had to pass through the hands of the taxman before the spouse could put it in her pocket,” says Ms. Garver. She encouraged that her client seek more of the couple’s assets to compensate for the money lost to the taxman.

Don’t Forget!

Before you can consider yourself free from your spouse there are some other financial matters that might not seem obvious.

Be sure to update your will, says Ms. Vasileff, a financial planner. Not doing this can put your intended heirs in a difficult situation, she says. She advises you will also need to update a health-care proxy or a power of attorney that names your former spouse.

Lastly, transfer any titles for any real estate, cars, investment accounts or other assets that were held jointly into your name, says Harty of SignatureFD. She also advises a big thing: change the passwords on your accounts, too.

Also, if there was something agreed to in your divorce, like a requirement that your former spouse purchase a life-insurance policy and name you as the beneficiary, you should make sure that the premiums are being paid and that you remain the beneficiary, Ms. Harty says. One option to ensure this is being done: Ask for periodic confirmation from the insurance company.

A Family Law Attorney

There are a number of things that need to be considered during a divorce. You and your spouse will need to come to an agreement that settles every aspect of your marriage.  Child support, spousal support, marital property division can all be agreed to through the process of mediation. Working with a skilled mediation attorney can help ensure you get a fair case.  For advice on divorce, child custody determinations, setting up a co-parenting agreement, dividing marital property, and spousal support you need the expert law firm of Divorce Law LA. Schedule a consultation today.

Divorce Law LA, Esq.

Divorce Law LA

33 S. Catalina Ave. Ste. 202

Pasadena, Ca. 91106

(626) 478-3550