Over the past few years there has been a lot of news about the abysmal state of the housing market. These waters have been rough for homeowners and sadly, many have faced foreclosure and ultimately, evictions from their homes. With these problems being such a pandemic, there has been a large amount of media attention given to the mortgage crisis. In the swarm of information we receive in the news everyday, the media consensus generally places the fault of the mortgage crisis on the shoulders of the homeowners, intimating that they bit off more than they could chew in pursuing sub-prime mortgages, and in buying houses they “could not afford”. (more…)
Archive for the ‘Debt Management’ Category
Let’s say you have already decided that your divorce is going to turn into a full-blown battle if you don’t let a mediator help spell out the terms of your divorce. You are concerned that the property settlement could get a little touchy. How do you minimize the damage?
First, educate yourself to ask the right questions. Are you sure about which assets are marital property and which are not? How is the division of marital debt handled? Remember that with mediation you and your spouse can be creative in dividing most of your assets.
In addition it can be helpful to consult a financial professional who specializes in divorce planning, specifically a certified divorce financial analyst. You may initially balk at the additional cost, but it may be worth it for various reasons:
- Retirement Accounts: What needs to be done, and in what order, with each account? It can cost one or both of you extra money in taxes and fees if this isn’t planned out in advance.
- Property Valuation: Investment portfolios, among other things, can be complicated. Do you use the fair market value on the date that the petition was filed, the date of the mediation appointment, or the date of the status hearing?
- Tax Implications: If your divorce will not be final until after the year ends, will you file jointly or separately? Who will get the tax deductions for the home, the vehicles, and the kids? Who has to claim the dividends or interest on joint assets as income?
Check your state’s guidelines for division of marital property, then discuss them with your mediator – as well as with attorney and a financial professional if you have them. You may not see the benefits from it right away, but with a little planning, your financial life will be a lot easier down the road.