Divorce Financial Planning Services
Divorce planning works a little different than typical financial planning. We are legally limited that if we work with you during your actual divorce planning then we cannot work with you after your divorce is complete. This means we would not be able to advise your future investment and retirement planning. It is our preference that you seek us after your divorce is finalized so we can have a longer working relationship. At that point we can help you transfer assets, open accounts and set up your complete financial plan. Either way, we can help you in this life transition.
Many of our divorced clients have been referred to us by family law attorneys or other professionals in our network. In our humble experience, we’ve seen that when a couple has good financial standing and the same goals for their children’s education, retirement goals, expenses and savings, they tend to exhibit a happy secure marriage. Therefore, we hope to help your family develop a solid financial planning foundation before you head toward the transition of divorce. Unfortunately, divorce is the only option for some families. If you find yourself facing a divorce, we are here to help.
According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, numerous studies have shown that the economic cost of divorce falls more heavily on women. After separation, women experience a sharper decline in household income and a greater poverty risk. This is a serious issue for women both financially and physically in their own health and in their children’s well-being. At Fujiyama Wealth Management, our Certified Financial Transitionist® (CeFT®) is here to help individuals who are going through this often very painful and tough transition.
Below are the most asked questions that people have when faced with divorce.
Can my children and I survive with the money I am entitled to by the court order?
To figure it out, our divorce financial planner will gather all the financial information from clients and family law attorneys and run a financial plan for the individual’s future. We usually run three scenarios; Best Case Scenario, Most Likely Scenario, and the Worst Case Scenario. Our goal for the individual is to make sure that even in the Worst Case Scenario, she/he would be financially OK for now and in the future. Many people are worried about their lives after retirement. Our financial plan shows their lives until age 90-100 depending on their possible life span. If we run your plan as the end of your life being 95 and if you live until 90, it’s better that way than the other way around and you run out of money. We create a conservative financial and retirement plan for your future.
If our plan shows that it’s not feasible for your money to last until the end of life, we go through all the expenses and your lifestyle to see what the absolutely necessary expenses are, what you can cut back, and how you can save more. It may involve not paying for your children’s higher educations. Your children may need to carry a burden of getting student loans or they may have to choose more economical state college instead of private out-of-state college. You may not be able to keep the second house given to you. You may have to ask your parents or relatives for support. Our certified divorce financial planner will go through all the possibilities with you to make sure that you have a secure future.
I would like to keep our current home. Is this the best financial decision for us?
Above is a typical statement from mothers over the years and when they say it, I feel their pain as a mother myself. Divorce itself is such a big burden for spouses, but also for children. To minimize damage by divorce, mothers typically want to keep a familiar and safe place, home, for their children. But you need to seek advice whether you are capable of carrying the current house’s mortgage, property tax, insurance, repairs, and all other costs associated with the house.
Many women receive mortgage paymentss from an ex-spouse, but what if your ex-spouse quits or loses a job, gets sick, disabled, or dies?
Many people hurry to get divorced and settle their cases with family attorneys without consulting with a divorce financial planner and advisor. In our opinion, this is a big mistake since family law attorneys are experienced in settling divorce cases but are not necessarily financial experts.
Many clients come to us when a divorce is in settlement or finalized, which is not reversible.
We highly recommend that you consult with a competent financial advisor at the onset of your divorce, not afterwards.
My lawyer recommended QDRO. What is this, and what assets might I receive through this program?
A QDRO is a Qualified Domestic Relations Order. When your ex-spouse passed away, your divorce decree included the pension income. However, there is nothing you can do to receive the pension payment unless a QDRO was done, signed by the judge, and approved by the plan administrator.
Many people assume that all retirement assets can be divided but there are certain retirement plans which are not divisible such as teacher’s pension and supplemental executive retirement plan. Military pensions, federal, state, county and city retirement plans have their own rules and may or may not be divisible. If your attorney makes a mistake and includes a non-divisible asset as part of the divorce settlement, when it’s time for you to retire and expect the coming payment, you may be surprised with despair. In order to avoid this situation, our divorce financial planner will recommend that you seek advice from a QDRO specialized attorney.
My spouse wants a divorce without legal involvement and I’m concerned about their proposal for asset division. Is there an organization to guarantee non-hostile divorce settlements?
There is an organization called “Amicable Divorce Network (ADN)” in GA. It consists of Georgia attorneys, mental health professionals, financial professionals, real estate agents, mortgage professionals, parent coordinators and more who by joining are committed to working together to provide a low conflict divorce experience for families.
Amicable Divorce is a process whereby both parties, and their selected professionals, are committed to settling their matter in a low conflict and efficient manner. A divorcing couple agrees to use members of the network for their case so that everyone involved has the same amicable mindset.
The main differences between regular divorce and amicable divorce approach are that with an Amicable Divorce, both parties agree to use professionals in the network for their case and to make every effort to fully settle their case prior to filing anything with the court. With a traditional divorce, the process generally starts with the filing of a court action and each party selecting attorneys and professionals who may have different attitudes towards the process which can lead to increased costs, time, and conflict. For more information, visit amicabledivorcenetwork.com.
Together, we will complete the questions that apply to your divorce planning. Here are more to consider:
Do You Understand the Short-Term and Long-Term Effects of Dividing Your Property?
Have You Analyzed Your Current Pensions and Retirement Plans?
Have You Determined if You Can Afford the Marital Home?
Do You Know the Tax Consequences of Different Settlement Proposals?
Have You Identified Your New Future Financial Goals and Set New Retirement Objectives?
Did You Develop a Budget in Order to Monitor Expenses?
Did You Identify What Kind of Lifestyle You Would Want or You Can Afford?
What Are All Your Income Sources?
Did You Update Your Estate Planning?
Have You Set Up Any Risk Management or Insurance?
What is Your New Investment Management Strategy?
Do You Need to Setup College Saving Plans?