Divorce and alimony are two topics that are highly emotional. Attorneys tell me the two most important factors considered when determining alimony are what the wife needs and the husband is able to pay. The wife must prove her need by explaining her expenses and ability to earn income. The emotional stress of divorce is quite intense. It is likely both spouses will have a hard time thinking clearly enough to sort out their expenses. If this is the case, I recommend they find an Accredited Financial Counselor to assist them at www.AFPCE.org. Do not rely on your divorce attorney … Continue reading

Confidence In Financial Decisions During Divorce

A divorce client in my Brentwood, TN office said she wanted to retain my services because she did not have confidence that her attorney could really give her meaningful financial advice. She asked her attorney, “Should we pay off the house or should we keep the extra cash? If we pay off the house, my monthly bills will be lower and I won’t need as much alimony. But then, we won’t have emergency money. What do you recommend?” Her attorney acknowledged she really needed to talk with a financial professional to get those answers and referred her to me. I … Continue reading

What is QDRO?

A QDRO (Qualified Domestic Relations Order) is a legal document necessary when dividing a qualified retirement plan such as a 401(K) or 403(b). It is not required when dividing an IRA. A QDRO is typically prepared by the divorce attorney and costs about $1,200. If you are dividing retirement funds, you may want to consider minimizing legal fees by dividing an IRA rather than the 401(K). Here’s an example: If you have a 401(K) with $50,000 and and IRA with $100,000 your total retirement funds are $150,000. If the assets will be divided 50/50 then each spouse should receive $75,000. … Continue reading

Understanding Stock Options

If in the midst of divorce and your marital estate includes stock options, it is important to understand the details. Stock options cannot typically be transferred to the other spouse. For example, if your spouse receives the stock options from their employer, they are assigned to that person and cannot be transferred to you. Your spouse will have to exercise the options, pay the taxes and the net proceeds can be transferred to you. This transfer will not have tax consequences if the transfer occurs within 12 months from the date of divorce. Regardless if you live in Nashville, Brentwood, … Continue reading

Get a Financially Smart Divorce and Secure Your Future

People get divorced everyday. Getting a financially smart divorce… not so much. Clients need to think about not only what they need today but, tomorrow. Inflation makes dollars worth less in the future. You should not accept an offer without considering inflation, the fact that as kids grow, their clothes get more expensive and the HVAC unit you’ll need to replace next year. Yes, divorce is a miserable experience and most people just want to get it over with and stop the pain… However, you’ll live with the effects of the settlement for the rest of your life. Take the … Continue reading

Customize Your Divorce Settlement To Meet the Needs of Your Family

If couples hope to achieve a fair divorce settlement that is acceptable to both spouses, thinking outside the box is essential. I’ve never had the exact same settlement for any of my Nashville clients because each family is unique and so are the solutions to their problems. A settlement that I am currently crafting with a couple is a good example. They own a home. The husband has moved out and the wife and child are living in the marital home. He cannot afford to buy out the wife’s share of the equity in the house. She can’t afford to … Continue reading

Executive Compensation and Divorce

Executive compensation poses unique challenges during divorce. Does your spouse have stock options? If so , what was the issuing price? Can those options be assigned to you? Are you sure? Common stock and restricted stock can be tied to performance and therefore many times is not fully vested at the time of divorce. What about a pension? Do you know the current value and understand the restrictions placed by the benefits administrator? If you are not well versed in executive compensation, you can walk away from the divorce leaving quite a bit of money on the table and think … Continue reading

Alimony Issues

This 7 letter word paralyses men with fear. How much will I have to pay? For how long? It also paralyses women. Can I receive it? How much can I receive? How long will it last? I understand why this is such an emotional issue. However, emotions aside, it really comes down to numbers. Attorneys tell me that TN divorce laws discuss 16 factors that are considered for alimony. However, need and ability to pay are the 2 factors that get the most attention. As the wife and husband, your job is to prove what you need and what you … Continue reading