Mediation and collaborative law are adaptable to any situation — even if the parties can’t be in the same room as each other.
The Association of Divorce Financial Planners held their annual conference this past October. One of the keynote speakers was Mary Beth Franklin, CFP, who is a contributing editor for Investment News. She spoke about the new Social Security rules and how to maximize benefits. Here is part of her talk relating to divorce:
One of the things I have learned over the years is that we cannot be a Jack-of-all-trades and a master-of-none. In today’s ever-changing world, we need to have connections with professionals in other disciplines and specialities. This is especially true working in the divorce area.
I think it is important that we do the same thing and have our own list of specialists. The article below is by Scott Evans, CCIM, CRMS of the Family Mortgage Team, LeaderOne Financial Corporation in Marietta, Georgia.
Mediation begins when couples make the decision to divorce, then choose a mediator. Mediation has several advantages, including the fact that divorcing couples remain in control of their own fate, giving them the power to make important decisions concerning their children and their property. Mediation is also:
In Georgia, teachers’ retirement benefits through the TRS (Teachers Retirement System) are not divisible by law. Divorce decrees have no impact on your TRS account, and the TRS is not subject to Qualified Domestic Relation Orders, or QDROs. TRS funds are also exempt from levy, garnishment, or catchment, and a member of the TRS cannot assign his or her benefits, according to law (Georgia Law – O.C.G.A § 47-3-28).
When we were young we thought our parents were indestructible. They played with us in the yard and on the floor. They climbed ladders and would clean out the gutters every fall. As we grew older, we became more indestructible and watched as our parents became more cautious and careful. Then we started having our families and children (their grandchildren), and we started realizing we were not so indestructible either.
Then the time came to have the serious talk with our siblings about our parents’ health. I remember when my brother, who is younger than me, called to say my father had a TIA (stroke). My world seemed to stop. I had to gather my thoughts and take a deep breath so I could continue on with our conversation and get all of the data. My concern was: How was he, and how was mom? After getting the data, making plans to go home, and realizing that all would be okay, I could start to relax.
Thank you to Melody Richardson of Richardson, Bloom and Lines, LLC of Atlanta, for our first book review. The book being discussed is Dr. Howard Drutman’s book “Divorce: The Art of Screwing Up Your Children.”
Dr. Drutman’s sardonic new book, “Divorce: The Art of Screwing Up Your Children”, is a “how-to” book for parents who have become so embroiled in the battle with their children’s other parent that they have become blind to how that battle is screwing up their children. This book is also for parents who are self-aware enough that they do not want to screw up their children. Dr. Drutman, a psychologist in suburban Atlanta who specializes in clinical and forensic psychology in family law cases, draws upon his real-life experiences to create examples of the best way to harm your children during and after a divorce.
On December 18, 2015, the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015was enacted. It extended permanently more than 20 key tax provisions. As well, some of the tax provisions that expired at the end of 2014 were extended for five years. Here are just a few of the extensions:
Taxes are one of those unavoidable things that we have to deal with every year. The deadline stays relatively the same, but many of us nonetheless find ourselves scrambling to gather our documents. The reasons for this are as varied as the taxpayers themselves, but many times it simply comes down to being disorganized and lacking time management skills. If you are in no way ready to file your taxes, it may be time to file an extension.
Though I typically discuss issues related to divorce, elder financial abuse affects families of all types and should be guarded against.
Elder financial abuse is on the rise. Many seniors, regardless of their income bracket, are at risk as people over age 50 control over 70% of the nation’s wealth. The definition of financial exploitation varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction but is broadly defined as the illegal or improper use of the property, assets or funds of people 60 and older. This can include:
If you got divorced in 2015 or are preparing to divorce in 2016, a budget can become a road map for your financial well-being. Here are some tips to makes budgeting easier:
It has long been known that the first Monday of January is considered “Divorce Day.” The Christmas tree comes down, and so does the hammer, although the seed is often planted by one of the spouses before the holidays. According to some estimates, divorce inquiries rise by 300% during the month of January.
Research on 500 divorcees commissioned by a family law provider showed that men are marginally more likely than women to hold off on proceeding with a divorce until after a family occasion. Overall, women are more likely to begin a conversation about seperating than men. Some of the most common reasons include adultery, falling out of love, and arguing more frequently.
If you are one of these couples, or you know a couple beginning the divorce process, be aware that there are many ways to get divorced other than going to court, like:
Any type of alternative dispute resolution can make the whole process of divorce easier because it allows the couple to design their own roadmap, rather than living by the court calendar. The road map will also allow the couple to take whatever pace they choose in order to finalize the divorce. Another advantage is that alternative dispute resolution is completely confidential and there is no airing of dirty laundry into the public record.
Note: Georgia has a 31 day wait, meaning from the time somebody files in court they have to wait 31 days before the court can act.
Rome wasn’t built in a day – why would you expect to get divorced in a day?
Penalty for the uninsured:
Under the Affordable Care Act, individuals who choose not to get health insurance through government exchanges or through their employers have to pay an additional tax. If, in 2015, you didn’t have health insurance, you’re going to pay the higher of these two amounts:
These costs have more than tripled since 2014 when the penalty was only 1% or $95.
If you divorce in 2015, there are a few important things to be aware of in order to avoid potential hassles. Use this quick cheat sheet well in advance of the filing deadline: