Today, I’d like to share a fabulous resource with you.
I’ve added the book, Divorce. Think Financially, Not Emotionally® by Jeffrey Landers with Bedrock Divorce Advisors to my list of essential reading for any woman facing divorce with at least some financial assets.
Jeffrey has done an excellent job of keeping what can be a complex topic easy to understand and follow. I’ve found that people often have an overly simplistic view of the division of assets/debts – for example, you might think that an asset is either a marital asset or a personal asset without realizing that a personal asset held prior to marriage can become a marital asset if marital funds are used to maintain it or that the increase in value of a personal asset after the date of marriage could be considered a marital asset.
It’s just not that black and white. That’s why I always recommend seeking competent professional advice. Reading Divorce. Think Financially, Not Emotionally will give you the basics and from there you can go into your lawyer’s or financial advisor’s office, ask them the right questions and understand the responses.
The book covers Preparing For Your Divorce which includes a review of what records you need and how to organize them, as well as an overview of the four different legal approaches to divorce available here in the U.S.
The section on Dividing Your Assets And Debts is where I think the most value is – this is where you’ll learn about the key concepts you really need to understand to make the decisions that are in your best financial interests.
Another section on Protecting Your Assets is important reading because a legal agreement is not worth the paper it’s written on if you never take ownership of the assets or your STBX doesn’t keep the agreement. Jeffrey provides some creative alternatives for securing your future – for example, could you negotiate a one-time payment from your STBX in lieu of on-going spousal support? This would protect you from changes in your STBX’s employment situation. Another recommendation is to take out life insurance to cover any on-going or future payments. This needs to be done as part of your divorce agreement since most likely your STBX will have to submit medical information and possibly have a medical exam.
Finally there’s a section on Special Topics. You may not need to know about protecting a business but understanding the temporary restraining orders that may be available with filing for divorce can be a decisive factor in moving ahead with the legal process. His cautions about underhand tactics and red flags for hidden assets should be heeded because as well as you think you know your spouse, divorce has a way of bringing out the very worst in people.
This book will pay for itself – getting yourself up to speed on the basics will easily save you attorney’s fees and more than that it may save you from making far more costly mistakes in the division of assets. Your purchase will also help others. Fifty percent of profits go to the Bedrock Divorce Fund for Abused Women, a 501(c)(3) non-profit charity whose mission is to help female victims of domestic abuse.