Streamlining the Divorce Process

Streamlining the Divorce Process

If you’re facing an imminent divorce, you probably want the process to be over sooner rather than later so that you can separate and move on with your individual lives. While we understand your desire to move quickly, (we’ve been there, too!) it is so important to think clearly and create a plan as you look toward the future.

 

This is not the time to make rash decisions, and we want to help you streamline the process of divorce. With a clear mind and the ability to truly focus on your future without dwelling on the past, it is possible. That’s why we put together Five Steps to a Seamless Divorce that will help you get to the other side of your divorce with your finances in line and a healthy outlook for the future.

Facing Your Emotions

One of the greatest battles during a divorce is confronting all of the emotions that come along with the decision to get a divorce. Even if you and your spouse decide together that your marriage isn’t working, there are still deep-rooted emotions that span the length of your relationship.

 

After all, no matter how much you’ve grown apart, you still remember the days that you couldn’t imagine life without your partner. You still remember your wedding day in detail, and probably still very fondly. There are happy, wonderful memories that flash through your head and cause you to smile, even in the darkest moments.

This can be so confusing when you’re also deeply hurt, disappointed and maybe even guilty. You may each feel like you’re giving up, like the other person is giving up and you may even wonder if you’re making the right decision. It’s important to accept that confusion is completely normal, among many other emotions you’re feeling.

And you know what, it’s OK to hold onto those fantastic memories you’ve shared together over the years. Just because things didn’t work out the way you each expected doesn’t take away from the good times you DID share together.

Maybe not right now, and maybe not even next year, but one day you’ll be able to look back and appreciate what you had while you had it…and you’ll also appreciate that you were able to let go and move forward with your life when that chapter ended.

Still, when your emotions are at a peak, and while you’re in the middle of a divorce, it can be very tough to make clear decisions. As we have seen so many times, spouses often just want to get their divorce over with quickly. While quick can be good, you also need time to heal.

And to an extent,  these couples are in such a rush that they miss opportunities to begin the mending process. NOW and even save money and make each of their futures better.

 

Consider Counseling

If you’re struggling with emotions, and really even if you think you’ve got it all under control, we highly suggest you pursue counselling prior to settling assets. We’re not talking about marriage counselling together to “figure out your problems” because we know that ship has sailed!

 

We would love to see you pursue individual counselling to help you work through your emotions before making big decisions.

 

After all, you should never make big, important changes and decisions when you are in the throws of any emotional turmoil. But isn’t that so backwards for a couple getting a divorce? Of course, you’re feeling every emotion possible…but you can’t just wait to get a divorce until those emotions pass. That’s not how it works.

But it IS why we are here. Our Army of Angels includes counselors that can talk to you once, twice or even ten times. They will counsel you for as long as you need to begin healing. They will listen, offer their professional input, feedback from other couples they’ve helped and even their thoughts from personal experiences with divorce. If nothing else, at least you will have someone to open up to who understands what you are going through.

Have you ever heard the first step to solving your problem is to admit that you have one? Well, you may be trying to be strong for your family, friends and kids but now is not the time for that. You don’t have to put on a “brave face” to impress anyone. You owe yourself the chance to begin the healing process NOW instead of when your divorce is finalised.

Counseling can help to get all of your feelings out and work through the emotions before allowing them to impact financial decisions. It is so important to keep your emotions separate from long-term financial decisions, and we can’t stress that enough! You and your partner may be separating, but for now, you still have to work as a team to split your assets in a way that makes the most sense for BOTH of you.

 

Think About Your Children

If you don’t have children, go ahead and skip down to our next tip. But according to the Australian Institute for Family Studies (AIFS), around 47% of divorces will involved children under the age of 18. So there is a 50/50 chance that someone reading this is divorcing with children still at home.

 

Knowing that your children are entrenched in your divorce with you and your spouse can deepen the emotions you feel. All of the guilt, anger and sadness you feel is magnified when you think about your children. You probably feel like you’re failing them as a parent.

But consider this, the decision to get a divorce didn’t happen overnight. And even if it DID, the circumstances that led to the decision definitely didn’t. It’s not like you woke up one day and decided to get a divorce because you feel like it. No. Slowly, slowly over time you and your spouse grew apart. Maybe you started bickering more or began spending more and more time apart. Either way, your children have seen these changes. Depending on their ages, they are probably very aware that mummy and daddy aren’t happy together.

So many parents try and stay together “for the kids” and we implore that you consider the other possibility…the possibility that you divorce for the kids as much as you are doing it for yourselves. You kids deserve happy parents who function at 100%. If you’re unhappy in a marriage, you’re definitely not being the best parent you can be to your kids.

So, while it’s important to consider that this affects your kids as much if not more than it affects each of you, please remember that this is for the better. Together, you can show your kids that you’re still a team and you’re both still there for them 100%.

There are many parenting classes available to parents divorcing so that you can learn how to help your kids cope and move forward. You may also pursue individual counselling for your kids with a counselor who specialises in divorce – like those who are part of our Army of Angels.

 

Know Your Assets and Liabilities

Once you’ve worked through your emotions and cleared your head, you might think your next stop is a lawyer’s office. But it’s not! Before you even talk to a lawyer, you should have a clear picture of assets and liabilities.

 

Lawyers are experts in law, but that doesn’t mean that they should be making financial recommendations to you.

 

Instead, set the framework for your divorce in advance of speaking to a lawyer. Know what your entire financial picture looks like. Know what you want the future to look like. It’s so important for you and your spouse to sit down together and review ALL of your assets and liabilities whether they are individual or shared. If this is not possible, do the best YOU can do to put together a financial picture.

Take a look at all loans and outstanding debt, and then look at your savings. This includes superannuation balances and even college savings you’ve set up for your kids, etc. It’s also important to consider each of your individual incomes. And who is currently responsible for which debts until this is sorted? How will you split the assets? Will anyone be paying child support or spousal maintenance based on your individual circumstances and income and how custody will be split?

Many couples go straight to a lawyer’s office to solved all of these dilemmas. But, not you. You’ll have an entire team working to help you – an Army of Angels – that will help you review every aspect of your life. And it doesn’t end there. We will also help you assess what the outcome will be for the future.

When you’re done, you’ll feel a new emotion – relief. You still have a long way to go, but for now, you know how the assets and liabilities will be divided and what’s in store for the future. Then you can go to your lawyer or ours, with a plan in place to streamline your divorce process and your lawyer can help you make it happen from a legal standpoint. This is where our Divorce Roadmap Session answers all those questions.

When we approach the process of divorce, we want to see it streamlined and as amicable as possible – but not rushed or uncontrolled. And there is a difference! If you can work through your emotions and create a plan for the future, there will be a much better outcome for everyone. We want to help you make decisions from a place of love, forgiveness and amicability.

If you would like to know more about what we do please watch our latest video.

About the author:

Tanya Somerton Tanya Somerton is the ‘Divorce Angel’, and helps facilitate a seamless and amicable divorce and separation with the aid of her ‘Army of Angels.’

Providing step by step processes which limits cost and conflict. 

Tanya is also the Director of TLC Investment Group, a finance and mortgage company.

The author of the Book, ‘The Jelly Bean Jar – Empowering independence through Divorce’. Tanya helps with pre-divorce planning, cost-saving strategies and life after divorce. Purchase your copy here

Divorce: Why Men Find Women Sexy Who Can Manage a Budget

Divorce: Why Men Find Women Sexy Who Can Manage a Budget

budget

 

Why do men find women sexy, who can manage a budget?

Budgeting is not sexy at all. Some may even consider budgeting boring. We men and women are different beasts. Women are the nurturers and men the hunters and gathers. We have different interest. What women find enjoyable, some men think is dull and boring.  

Have you heard the gents complaining about waiting while their partner is trying on clothes. Why does it take so long? To the extent, that some shopping centres are thinking up ways to keep men entertained.  Knowing it will bring in more women shoppers if their partners are happy.

And what men prioritise, we women can find tedious and time-consuming?

I know a man that had to organise his family holiday around a Tuesday night table tennis game. He had played 96 games in a row and wanted to get to ‘100’. They left for their holiday on a Wednesday morning and returned the following Tuesday morning. With just enough time contingency for a delayed flight. Because l don’t want you to worry, he made his game and reached his 100th game.

At Divorce Angel, when talking to our clients, the different sexes seem to show a pattern.  

Our research and findings have highlighted two areas men and women think differently. Especially when going through a separation and divorce.  

  • Women’s greatest struggles are related to the children, and we often hear comments like, ‘He is trying to take the children’.
  • And for men, it is about money and finances.

I overheard a comment while having drinks the other night. There was a group of guys supporting their mate who was having relationship problems. The guys saying ‘All she wants is your money’. And there is no doubt that the girls would be saying, ” He’ll try and get the kids”. These similar conversations occur throughout most relationship breakups.

But if we look back at history, we were all brought up to believe women are the nurtures- being children and the men hunters and gather – being money.

So, why men find women sexy who can manage a budget?

Simple, men worry about money. They go out and (hunt and gather) to get paid and don’t want to see it misused. They want every bit of value out of that hard earned dollar. Think back centuries ago when men would bring back the animal. It would be used for everything from food, to clothing and blankets.

Today, their masculine brain still thinks the same. Whether they are in construction or IT, men still see going to work as a form of protection and security. It pays the bills, it feeds the family and keeps them warm.

Now, please don’t think l am sexist in any way, and l am far from a kept women. I am just explaining this in simple terms.

Bringing this conversation back into the 21st century, we women work as hard as men, some would say harder. Does this sound familiar, working full time and then coming home to look after a family?  A single woman in control of her finances is my hero! And it all starts with knowing your numbers. The power and control that comes from knowing your budget can make all the difference to how you live.

Being in control of a budget can make the difference between having a secure future or finding yourself in debt. Having money is empowering. Money gives you choices. Having money gives you freedom. So if you think doing a budget is boring, a waste of time, and there’s no need to do it. I suggest you think again, because knowing at your fingertips your cash position, at any given time, allows you to think differently.

 

‘Having money is empowering.

Money gives you choices.

Having money gives you freedom’.

 

Developing a money mindset allows you to think more about investments rather than instant gratifications. It becomes second nature and rather than spending money on THINGS that can give you regret straight after you’ve purchased them, you live within your means and don’t rack up unnecessary debt.

So I’m not going to tell you in this blog how to do a budget, because I’ve already done a blog before on that, click this link to access it.  Or check out my new budget course 4 simple steps to financial security – guaranteed. And there are so many ways to do a budget, check out Google or like me start with an excel spreadsheet.

But her is the thing; a budget can make all the difference.

Not only to how you spend money, but how you attract your next partner. That’s right! I am going to tell you the difference it made to me. Being in control of my money, and knowing how much I could spend and I couldn’t spend, was simply the most empowering decision I ever made. You know why….. it is all about control. Control of my money put control back into my life.

 

After 22 years of marriage, I found myself having to make my own decisions. Shitting myself and being excited at the same time. No longer having to get another opinion or consent as to where money was being spent. Being a single, newly separated or divorced women, it was my job to know and my responsibility to keep control of my budget.

There’s nothing worse than laying in bed at night wondering how you’re going to pay the next bill. Where the rent money is going to come from or how you are going to buy the shoes for the kids? All of those things keeping you up at night.

But when you have a budget, that is in control, and you have rainy day money put aside, I can’t tell you the strength a single woman or man gets from that knowledge. I may make this all sound easy; it is anything but. However, taking control of your money takes time and effort. And you had better start today!

 

So if you think budgets aren’t sexy, I’d suggest you think again.

The power of controlling your life and knowing you have financial security allows you to walk with your head held high. A swagger in your step and an air of self-assurance. Every man and women in the room will be attracted to your poise and self-confidence wondering why you move light on your feet. Then, when he learns you don’t want him for his money.

You don’t need him to carry your grocery bags or pay your bills, what is left. It all comes down to satisfaction, ladies. And if he isn’t satisfying your needs, then kick him to the kerb, because you are self-sufficient and in control.

Amen Sister.

 

About the author:

Tanya Somerton Tanya Somerton is the ‘Divorce Angel’, whose business is to facilitate a seamless and amicable divorce and separation with the aid of her ‘Army of Angels.’

She provides a step by step process which limits cost and conflict.

Tanya is also the Director of TLC Investment Group, a finance and mortgage company. She helps her clients budget and plan, rather than wondering if you can keep the family home.

If you need help and support in this area, contact tanya@tlcinvestmentgroup.com.au for help and advice.

She is also the author of ‘The Jelly Bean Jar – Empowering independence through Divorce’. If you are looking to prevent any mistakes and save money this book is a must. Purchase your copy here

Five Areas That Can Save You Money During a Divorce

Five Areas That Can Save You Money During a Divorce

save money

 

Like anything we do in life, information is key to success and l plan on giving you the keys to saving money at this critical time. In this blog, l will explain the five areas that can save you money during a divorce. Some are mistakes, and they can be easily preventable, and the others cost-saving measures.  Depending on your highest values, will depend on the direction you take to achieve the outcome you want.

When l went through my divorce l learnt a lot about highest values and how to align them with my new life. It meant rearranging mine to meet new expectations and putting money at the top of my list. I don’t mean before family, but money certainly changed from something l never really worried about, to something that kept me up at night. Money gives security and all l wanted was to feel safe and secure again.

To achieve this l needed a positive, yet fair and equitable outcome. l strive for this conclusion with my clients because l have come to see that SECURITY in all forms is what we need for a happy and healthy life.

My clients need to feel empowered, take back control and protecting their future. To come out of this emotional turmoil, and think with a clear and level head. When emotions rule your every thought, evidence-based decision making is critical. Now is the time to think differently and be smart and spending a fortune on getting divorced is not the answer. Wasting money because of your headspace can make other people wealthy.

I have compiled a list of the five areas I see that can save you money during this time.

 

#1. Divorce Folder

When my clients engage my services, we put together a divorce folder. It is a history of the relationship with every document the legal team and army of angels will need to support the best outcome possible. I have a checklist, which my clients go through and compile a comprehensive relationship record. The difference this can make to your overall legal costs is in the hundreds if not thousands, depending on how complex your relationship is and the assets and liabilities associated.

Recently one of my clients put together two folders. A copy for her legal team and one for herself. It meant that during any conversations they could refer to the same page as they spoke over the phone rather than meeting in person. She did an index at the start, outlining bank statements, taxes, child costs and income, etc. By working this way, there was never any misunderstandings, and it builds a team mentality which is so very important.

As part of your recording of the relationship also remember to start a diary and record conversations and events after your separation. When going through a divorce remembering dates can sometimes be a blur, but can be so important in negotiation. And like the great Richard Branson, he never leaves home without his diary and records what is said at all meetings. He has kept decades of diaries as he fells you never know when you might need to recall something important.

 

#2. Talking to the wrong people

Every day, I am available to help and support my clients emotionally. That’s my job, getting expert help and support makes the journey just a little easier to bare. However, when things are getting you down, and you just need to vent because of the hurt and anger don’t ring your lawyer. I see this happen regularly after an event or conversation, where the outcome has been upsetting, and the client wants the lawyer to send a letter. ( No NO NO!) That is not the answer.

But here is the thing, a lawyer is not a therapist. A lawyer is only worried about how they can represent you in a court of law and to do that; they need the facts. When talking to your lawyer about how you feel and what went wrong will only increase the lawyers billable hours and have you paying an enormous fee at the end.

When you see a lawyer, stick to the facts. Have a list of questions you want to have answered and move the conversation along. Preferable, work with a lawyer who offers a fee for service. And please see a counsellor, no matter how you think you are coping. You will be surprised at how much better you will feel. And learn the tools to help cope when you feel down and alone.

Otherwise, use a service like mine, if you need to talk about major hurdles or conversation and events that are causing issues, and you don’t wont to worry your friends and family, my clients call me. We workshop the issue and sort out the best course of action. All without bothering the lawyer or the client be charged.

 

#3. Having a financial plan

A lawyer is not a financial advisor, and l see this occurrence regularly. Clients don’t get the correct advice or do proper due diligence before arguing over assets. They think they can afford to keep a property more for the emotional need rather than the financial. Keeping the family home, only to be put under financial stress is not the answer. Understanding the process of transferring a title and then re-mortgaging a property is not a simple task and a lot of people don’t understand.

They think they can just have the house in the financial stages of the relationship breakup. There are other ways; you just need to be prepared to think outside the box and listen to the experts. In my case purchasing investment properties and having my loans serviced by my tenants made better financial sense than living in a property l could ill afford and was going to prevent me succeeding at my dreams and wishes. Make sure you understand how this all works before getting your lawyer to fight for a home you may not be able to keep.

 

#4. Choosing the right lawyer

To me, this is the biggest mistake, and cost l see. Recently l had a client hire my company after spending $56K, 18 months and her divorce were still not completed. The level of service, simply terrible. She had been following up and getting no response. Just because you pay an extravagant hourly rate for a professional who apparently is the best, doesn’t mean they are. The more you pay, the less customer service and contact you have with that individual. There is junior staff normally handing your file, and you will be charged for every phone call, email and photocopy. All are adding up.

My new client has lost 8 kilos just from the emotional stress and the lack of support she has felt from her previous lawyer. Not to mention the ongoing admin mistakes and poor advice she has received. My team have gone over her file and are committed to achieving a better outcome and in a timeframe of 4 weeks, depending on the other side. Don’t think the more money you spend, the better the outcome. It doesn’t work like that. The family court has a framework and just as long as you have a team who are active, prepare to fight for your best interest, no matter what you paid your outcome will be similar.

 

#5. Time is money

Just like any financial market, time is money. What does this mean? Let’s say you sell the family home and the equity sits in your lawyer’s trust account. While you continue to negotiate your financial agreement, you are losing out. That money is not growing as it is not an interest-bearing account.

The quicker you can agree with your ex, the sooner your money can start working for you again. Time lost because you are not in the property or share market. Interest still accumulating on credit cards and personal loans, which haven’t been paid out. And then the greatest of all, you personally! Not being able to move on prevents you thinking about promotions, starting a business, buying new assets, educating yourself in whatever takes your fancy. This can be the greatest cost both emotionally, physically and financially and thus, does not help you save money.

I have just completed a five video series on this topic, and you can watch it on my Youtube channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCySdgHmOO53cRYMqDW9THpQ. I hope these pointers can help you save money and give you some guidance in preventing mistakes others have made. If you would like to contact me, please do at tanya@tanyasomerton.com

About the author:

Tanya Somerton Tanya Somerton is the ‘Divorce Angel’, whose business is to facilitate a seamless and amicable divorce and separation with the aid of her ‘Army of Angels.’

Tanya provides a step by step process which limits cost and conflict that sees you achieving your most financially beneficial outcome possible, now and for the future.

Tanya is also the Director of TLC Investment Group, a finance and mortgage company. She helps her clients budget and plan, rather than wondering if you can keep the family home.

If you need help and support in this area, contact tanya@tlcinvestmentgroup.com.au for help and advice.

She is also the author of ‘The Jelly Bean Jar – Empowering independence through Divorce’. If you are looking to prevent any mistakes and save money this book is a must. Purchase your copy here

Lessons From One in 3 Marriages Which are Affected by Divorce.

Divorce lessons from one in three Australian Marriages which are affected.

Divorce Lessons

Divorce lessons from one in three Australian Marriages which are affected.

 

 

Divorce and family breakdown cost the Australia economy Billions of dollars every year. With $14 Billion in 2014 up to $2 Billion from 2012. Over 40% of marriages in the UK will end in divorce, with one in three lives now affected by it. In the US, around 50% of marriages will be dissolved.

While l often ponder the reason for such high numbers of relationships failing, this is not for me to fix.

I indeed am hungry for data and evidence to support a better understanding of the problems. The root course of the topic but simplifying the dilemma only makes the issues more confusing. But years from now when l have helped 100’s of people through their divorce l will hopefully have a clearer picture. Where l can educate couples, who are getting married and help them deal with rough times throughout their relationship. It is healthy to have ups and downs and have the ability and emotional maturity to work through problems, if preventable.  So they can learn from the rest of us and avert the same mistakes, of those before them.

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The Dangers of Not Being Prepared, How It Can Cost You Money and Security

Preparation the key to success

Preparation the key to success

Like anything we do in life, preparation is the key.

When you decided to walk down the aisle, you spent weeks, if not months choosing the right gown. Hours of contemplation went into picking the venue, the flowers and food served to your guest. Where your guests will sit and who is on their table. Even the honeymoon was something you had dreamt of or researched for a considerable time. These points are all majorly important to a successful outcome. The planning executed to a tee helping make your wedding day such a memorable occasion. Limiting stress and the chances of anything untoward happening to ruin your special event. You did everything possible to prevent the dangers of anything going wrong.

Then came the kids. On confirmation of the two blue lines on the pregnancy stick, your thoughts went into a positive result. Giving up your favourite vices to grow a healthy human. The colour and decoration of the room. Bags packed, having chosen a boys and girls name in preparation for either sex. And most importantly, you picked the best doctor and hospital,  to bring your new precious bundle of joy into the world. You did everything possible to prevent the dangers of anything going wrong.

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5 Things Confident Women Do To Succeed After Divorce

5 Things Confident Women Do To Succeed After Divorce

Divorce is such a taboo word, how can you succeed after divorce?

In my dealings, there are 5 things confident women do to succeed after divorce and l want to share them with you. These things are continually discussed in conversation when positive people talk about their previous relationship. They are now rebuilding their lives with energy and gusto to get on with their exciting futures. These women feel empowered and grateful.

Saying l was divorced made me feel and think, l was a second-class citizen. I felt people looked at me differently like l was a failure. Women saw me as a disappointment and men looked at me as if l was damaged and must be hard to live with.  This may have been in my head, but for some time, this was how I felt. I look back now and realise these were my issues and no one else’s.

 However, dealing with the stresses and conflict that goes hand in hand with ending a relationship, can produce erroneous thoughts. Lucky for me, this was at the height of my breakup and didn’t continue for long. How l showed up in the world has to do with no one else but me! And l needed to change my way of thinking and acting.                                                                                                                                                

Talking to other successful people who have survived divorce there seemed to be five traits they all had in common:

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