Posts Tagged ‘FinancialIssues’


Spring’ Cleaning for your Separation or Divorce

Tuesday, February 28th, 2017

Spring’ Cleaning for your Separation or Divorce

By Steven B. Chroman, Attorney at Law

Spring is in the air! The new breath of life that enters with the change of season can apply in more ways than one. If you think you might be filing for divorce this year, I’m here to encourage you to put some of that springtime energy into getting yourself organized. Here are some tasks to put you in excellent shape for spring, tax filing and the beginning the divorce process.

Get your financial documents in order:

As part of your preparation for divorce, you need to gather and secure copies of all financial documents. My Divorce Workbook-(free for Amazon Prime Members) is a great tool which has a checklist as a starting point, from there you can add whatever is unique to your individual circumstances. Keep the copies with a trusted friend or family member, or use a safe deposit box that your soon to be Ex can’t access.

Having important documents on hand early in the divorce process means you save yourself the time, expense and possible unpleasantness of trying to get copies of them later.

Check into your credit:

(more…)

March Madness

Tuesday, December 6th, 2016

March Madness

Divorce Slam Dunks No Fouls!

By Steven B. Chroman, Attorney at Law

If you think you might be filing for divorce this year, I’m here to encourage you to put some of that springtime energy into getting yourself organized financially. With taxes dues on April 15, as well, this is an excellent time to get a firm grasp of your financial situation.

Here are six tasks to put you in excellent shape for all three: spring, tax filing and the beginning the divorce process.

Get your financial documents in order. 

Having important documents on hand early in the divorce process means you save yourself the time, expense and possible unpleasantness of trying to get copies of them later.

Check into your credit.

During your marriage, you may not have been paying special attention to your individual credit situation. However, good credit will be one of the most critical aspects of your financial well-being. Without credit, it can be nearly impossible to obtain loans for any purpose, or even to manage household expenses. Request a copy of your credit report now, so that you can correct any misinformation it contains. If you don’t already, you should also begin to keep a close eye on joint credit card statements.

Get bank and credit card accounts in your own name. (more…)

3 Ways Divorce Affects Your Credit

Tuesday, December 6th, 2016

3 Ways Divorce Affects Your Credit

By Steven B. Chroman, Attorney at Law

Divorce can be one of the most traumatic life events a person can experience. Legal fees, asset division, child support and alimony can ruin otherwise healthy finances.

  1. Your Ex Stops Paying for Joint Accounts

Many spouses jointly share credit accounts, like a mortgage or credit cards. In some cases, those accounts could still remain in both your names even after a divorce. If your ex begins making late payments or stops paying altogether, you are still responsible to pay those bills in full. Your lenders and creditors want to be paid no matter who foots the bill and no matter what your divorce contract states. If you’re on amicable, cooperative terms with your ex, you might be able to work out mutually beneficial payment arrangements. A spiteful ex, however, might avoid making payments or begin racking up debt to cause you trouble.

  1. Freeze the account pending resolution;
  2. Remove your ex from the account so that the account is in your name only;
  3. Close the account and re-open it in your name only.

In some cases, these actions or changes to account activity could initially ding your credit score, but once you’ve re-established an on-time payment history, you’ll be able to build up your credit score again. (more…)

Law Office of Steven B. Chroman P.C. Santa Clarita Divorce Article: “Will you divorce with me?”

Thursday, February 5th, 2015

“Will you divorce with me?”

We Are In This Together

By Steven B. Chroman, Attorney at Law

 

Ironic no? Will you Marry Me, and ‘We are in this together,’ change a couple words around and I think I just proposed to you? Oddly similar to when you are falling in love and living in that weird ‘love haze’, when you are falling out of it, and in a new kind of ‘separation or divorce haze’, you just may need a snap out of it eye opener. Who ever invented Valentine’s Day really does need to read the real story behind it. That my friends is marketing at its best. So, here is your snap out of it list to keep things straight in your head, in your heart and in your mind, when choosing an attorney.  While I hope the Law Office of Steven B. Chroman is your ultimate choice, I believe everyone deserves to find the right match for themselves.  Here’s to loving again and finding the way to your ‘Happily Ever After.’  Ask these questions when interviewing an attorney.

 

Concerning general experience:

•           How long have you been in practice?

•           Are you experienced in unbundled divorce services, mediation, and trial?

•           Do you know my husband (or wife)?

•           Do you know his or her attorney? (more…)

Huffington Post Article: When Divorcing a Narcissist, Prepare for the Rage

Tuesday, December 9th, 2014

When Divorcing a Narcissist, Prepare for the Rage

By: Lindsey Ellison at Huffington Post 

When you first met your narcissist, you probably once viewed him as a majesty who could give you the keys to his fairytale kingdom. His charm, wit and charismatic personality won you over, because you so badly craved a prince charming to save you. Conversely, your needing a prince charming is exactly what attracted him to you, as it gave him the opportunity to validate his narcissistic fantasies of himself, that he is, indeed, a fairytale prince.

But now that you’re married, your prince charming has turned into a monster, and his once magical kingdom is now your inescapable cage.

Two things may happen: You will stay in the marriage and endure many more years of abuse, to the point where your low self-esteem tells you there are no other options. Or, you will have had enough and decide to divorce him.

The latter (in which you divorce him) may be the first time in your life where you are setting boundaries. You have come to the conclusion that you deserve better and you refuse to tolerate bad behavior.

But this one victorious act of boundary setting is what makes for a potentially horrific divorce. Few victims are prepared for it, and their lack of preparation can cost them thousands of dollars in attorney fees, leaving them broke and emotionally drained.

(more…)

Law Office of Steven B. Chroman P.C. Santa Clarita Divorce Article: Mediation, is it the choice for you?

Thursday, November 20th, 2014

Mediation, is it the choice for you?
By Steven B. Chroman, Attorney at Law

I’m going to save you a couple weeks, months, if not years in answering this frequent question. Take a brief moment to review the essential questions below.

  • Have you and your spouse come to a peaceful agreement to end your marriage?
  • Has your marriage been free of spouse or child abuse?
  • If you have children, are you reasonably certain you and your spouse can reach a peaceful, fair and reasonable agreement regarding child visitation, custody and child support for years to come?
  • Are you confident you and your spouse can cooperate to form a fair agreement regarding the division of all your property, retirement funds, assets and payments of debt?
  • Do both you and your spouse have access to all financial information including taxes, retirement accounts, debts, and assets in your name, your spouse’s name and in both your name?
  • Have there been no previous legal proceedings instituted for divorce, legal separation, child custody, or domestic violence between you and your spouse?

If you answer YES to all of the following questions, then mediation may work for you and your spouse.

If however, any of the answers to the previous questions are NO, then there little doubt you need the experienced aid of an experienced family law attorney.

For your complimentary consultation please call the Law Office of Steven B. Chroman at 661-255-1800 or visit www.chromanlaw.com.

 Author of the #1 Best Selling Divorce Workbook, visit www.chromanlaw.com.

 

 

Smart About Money Article: Financial Infidelity: Commit to Full Disclosure

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014

Financial Infidelity: Commit to Full Disclosure

By: Smart About Money

Say ‘I Do’ to Financial Fidelity

Financial infidelity may start with a “harmless” small purchase that you don’t tell your spouse or partner about. But it quickly can snowball into a larger problem that can lead to devastating financial consequences for you and your family.

Have you ever:

  • Hidden a major purchase
  • Kept a secret checking account/credit card
  • Lied about money earned
  • Lied about outstanding debts
  • Hidden a bill or receipt
  • Hidden cash
  • “Forgotten” to tell your spouse about extracurricular spending (sporting bets/day-trading/online shopping)

 

A NEFE survey found that one in three Americans who have combined their finances admitted to financial infidelity in their relationships. Many others admitted to lying to their spouses about money, and another one-third of these adults said they’d been deceived.

Of the couples whom experienced financial infidelity:

  • 67 percent said the deception led to an argument
  • 42 percent said it caused a loss of trust in the relationship
  • 11 percent said it led to separation
  • 16 percent said the money cheating led to a divorce

 

(more…)

Daily Finance Article: 10 Financial ‘Rules’ You Should Start Breaking Now

Friday, September 19th, 2014

10 Financial ‘Rules’ You Should Start Breaking Now

By: Robert Pagliarini from Daily Finance

You should always max out your 401(k) and save for your kid’s college education in a 529 plan, right? Maybe not. Most experts have long touted a number of practices that may actually be working against you. These are the top 10 money rules you should break – and what you should do instead.

  1. You need six months of living expense in cash

This is the granddaddy of them all. Start to type “emergency” into Google (GOOG), and the first suggestion is “emergency fund.” The rule is to make sure you have six months of living expenses tucked away in cash in case you lose your job or suffer a financial setback. Of course it’s important to have a financial safety net, but when you earn virtually nothing on your cash, this rule can cost you. For example, if six months of living expenses for you is $25,000, you’d be sacrificing close to $1,000 of income a year by keeping this money in a checking or money market account.

For years, I’ve broken the mold on this financial rule by telling clients they shouldn’t have their emergency fund in cash. Instead, choose a short-term bond fund that pays 3 percent or higher for your safety net. If you need the money quickly, you can easily sell the fund and get access to the cash. If you don’t need the cash – and these emergency fund accounts are rarely used – you can still make money on the assets.

  1. Max out your 401(k)

Not so fast. There are many good reasons to contribute to a 401(k), such as tax savings, tax-deferred growth and a possible employer match, but there are also good reasons not to contribute as well. Don’t blindly dump money into your 401(k) if you don’t have an emergency reserve of some sort and there is a chance you will be laid off. It is taking longer for most to find a job, so if you think you may be out of work, make sure you have the resources to pay rent and buy food until you land a new job.

​Also, if your employer doesn’t provide a match and you are in a low-income tax bracket, it may make more sense to pay the tax now (since you are in a low tax bracket) and invest in a Roth individual retirement account instead. Use this 401(k) vs. Roth IRA calculator to crunch the numbers.

  1. They key to financial success is cutting expenses

You cannot cut your way to wealth. Too many people and financial advisers focus on trimming expenses when they should be focused on the other half of the equation – income. I’m a proponent for living within one’s means, but too often that creates an artificial barrier or ceiling. “This is what I make, so I have to cut back to save more,” is often the thought process. Rather than living within your mean, work on increasing your means.

There are many ways you can make more money, including asking for a raise, boosting your skills – your human capital – and getting a promotion, starting a side project in the after-hours or going back to school and starting a new career. What you make today is not necessarily what you can make tomorrow. Cut unnecessary expenses and then use your energy to increase your income.

(more…)

Huffington Post Article: 7 Fights All Couples Inevitably Have And How To Resolve Them

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

7 Fights All Couples Inevitably Have And How To Resolve Them

By: Brittany Wong for Huffington Post

Arguing with a significant other is never pretty. You may feel like each petty, overblown disagreement is breaking new ground, but the truth is, countless other couples have been there before.

Below, experts share seven of the most common arguments couples have and how to solve them before the words “split up” start getting thrown around.

  1. The need for attention Everyone wants to feel wanted and desired, but letting your S.O. know that you aren’t feeling those things can be difficult. Whatever you do, don’t keep those feelings bottled up; they could come back to hurt your relationship in serious ways, said Tammy Nelson, author of The New Monogamy: Redefining Your Relationship After Infidelity.

“The thing is, we each need our partner to show us attention and when we feel we aren’t getting enough, we can start arguments, act out, and create more problems,” Nelson said. “Most arguments that appear on the surface to be about things like flirting and jealousy are many times about the need for more attention.”

If broaching the subject proves difficult, Nelson recommended a simple exercise: “Try telling your partner three things you appreciate about them every day. And have them tell you the same,” she explained. “The focus on what your partner likes about you and what you like about them brings the attention to the relationship in a positive way, instead of increasing the conflict.”

  1. The in-laws Meddling in-laws have been a problem for couples since the dawn of time. And now that everyone is hyper-connected thanks to social media, your in-laws can take their micromanaging of your marriage to a whole new level.

What’s the fix? Both spouses need to be proactive in addressing the problem, said M. Gary Neuman, author of Connect to Love: The Keys to Transforming Your Relationship.

“The role of mediator ultimately rests with the spouse with the over-involved parent,” he said. “If something needs to be said to parents about changing their behavior, it should come from [their own kid].” (Let’s face it: There’s a greater likelihood your parents will listen up and be less resentful if you’re the one delivering the message.)

If you’re the son- or daughter-law in this equation, try to set realistic expectations for in-law relations. “You may not grow to love them like your own parents, but you do have to endeavor to like them,” Neuman said.

  1. Cellphone use If your spouse has become a tech-crazed monster who hides behind his iPhone at dinner, it might be time to establish some hard-and-fast cell phones rules, said Laura Wasser, a famed Los Angeles-based divorce attorney who has run into this issue in her own relationships. (“My ex actually referred to my cell as my ‘boyfriend.'” she admitted. “He once stormed out of a restaurant because I was texting with a client during our meal.”)

“The fact is, consideration of the person you’ve chosen to spend you some down time with has to be shown,” she said. “Think how you’d feel if you were the one sitting across the dinner table while your date was texting, reading and smirking at the phone?”

She added: “If it’s possible, leave the phone at home, in the car or turn it off during meals or movies or important conversations. If not, limit your use and apologize in advance for what might be an interruption.”

  1. Sex There’s a quote by “The Soup” host Joel McHale we love. He says that the best part about being married is “you get to have sex with your best friend.” The worst part? “When you get denied sex by your best friend.”

It’s true — nothing is more frustrating in a relationship than being on different pages when it comes to sex. To work through your issues, Nelson suggested a little game she calls, “What I make up about this.”

“When you begin to talk about your sex problems, start your discussion with the phrase ‘What I make up about this is…’ and then tell your partner how you feel about the problem,” she explained. “For instance, if the problem is not having enough sex, start off by saying, ‘The story I make up about our sex life is that we only have sex twice a week and I feel that you aren’t really into me anymore.’ When your partner’s turn comes up, you might be surprised to hear how differently he or she is interpreting things.”

Nelson said this kind of open, non-judgmental dialogue ensures that each person has a chance to air their grievances. “The focus is on understanding each person’s perspective and how to compromise, and not who’s wrong,” she said.

  1. Time spent with the kids From soccer meets five cities over to pressing diorama projects for science class, it’s nearly impossible to keep up with your kids’ to-do list. And that much more difficult if your spouse isn’t shouldering some of the responsibility.

If you’re starting to feel like a de facto single parent, it’s time you speak up, said relationship expert Marina Sbrochi, the author of Stop Looking for a Husband: Find the Love of Your Life.

“Sit down with your spouse and go over your schedule and figure out how to divide and conquer,” she said. “Even scheduling 15 minutes of uninterrupted time with your child per day can make a difference. Let dad take over bedtime and read stories. Get the kids to help with breakfast. Carve out time to have family meals together. Schedule time with your family just as you would schedule anything else in your life that is important. “

  1. Money “Marriage is about love, divorce is about money,” the old saying goes. The road to divorce, however, often begins with knock-down-drag-out fights over financial issues. (A recent Money Magazine survey showed that married couples fight over money more than anything else.)

So what should you do get a handle on money-related fights before they sabotage your marriage? Have a heart-to-heart about how each of you approach money, said financial advisor Gabrielle Clemens.

“Money is emotional and fighting can start because individuals in a relationship have different views about money,” she said. “You and your partner need to have a basic discussion about how each of your families handled money while you were growing up, covering everything from how money was spent and which parent made the financial decisions, to questions about whether they were forced to scrimp and save to have the things they needed or wanted.”

Knowing how your spouse relates to money emotionally should help you understand their perspective when fights arise, Clemens said.

  1. “Nothing” at all You know how it begins: Your spouse shouts or passively aggressively mutters, “Why are there so many dirty dishes in the sink? Can’t anyone do the dishes around but me?” Before you know it, the two of you are locked in a screaming match and neither of you willing to cave in and end it.

It’s a fight over “nothing” — where “nothing” is a stand-in for so much more, said Sbrochi.

“It’s likely masking a larger issue,” she said. “When he says, ‘why can’t anyone do the dishes,’ your mind goes back to all the times you’ve felt like nothing but a maid to your family. What’s a few dishes compared to everything you do? You’re pissed off over principles.”

The next time a seemingly insignificant issue triggers an overblown fight, Sbrochi said to pause and consider what really set you off.

“Take note of the times when nothing ends up turning into a big fight and write down what you are really feeling,” she said. “Maybe you’d like more help at home and you feel overwhelmed. Instead of suffering in silence then blowing up over something small, open up and ask for help. A great relationship is a true give and take and it begins with good communication.”


In Huffington Post’s article “7 Fights All Couples Inevitably Have And How To Resolve Them” Ms. Wong lists some areas that can cause tension at home and a few ways to resolve those problems before it becomes larger than it needs to be. The advice is well worth trying with your significant other if you feel you are in a constant battle over trivial issues.
 
If those concerns are not trivial and you need real help dealing with a difficult situation at home that you feel is beyond your control, please contact our office for assistant.
 
Law Offices of Steven B. Chroman, P. C. Santa Clarita Divorce
Call 661-255-1800 for your free initial consultation.

 

How Much Does the Average Divorce Really Cost? By: Law Office of Steven B. Chroman P.C. Santa Clarita Divorce Article

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

Anyone who has ever been through a divorce can tell you, it’s expensive for anyone at any financial level. So, how much does the average divorce really cost? Unfortunately, the answer is not a simple one.

Breaking Down the Costs:

While there may still be plenty of ads promoting a “Quick and Easy Divorce for $299,” that price is usually an upsell with lots of hidden fees.  You get what you pay for is a saying for a reason.

Here are just a few items of the fees and costs divorcing couples can expect to pay:

  • Attorney’s fees
  • Court costs
  • Costs for parent education classes
  • Fees for early neutral evaluations
  • Mediation costs

And if there is real estate involved, you can also expect to pay:

  • Refinancing costs
  • Recording deed costs
  • Added hourly attorney’s fees
  • Appraisal costs

Depending on the circumstances, it is possible to get away without spending what it cost to get married on your divorce.

How to Keep Your Costs Low:

  1. Know What You’re Agreeing To

The real cost of divorce can come from not understanding the financial consequences of a settlement. Hidden taxes, underperforming investments, depreciating assets and a budget that cannot withstand the pressures of inflation will cause people to literally go bankrupt as a result of divorce. The cost of an attorney, or court costs, often pale by comparison.

  1. Act Fast

The number one factor for cost in a divorce is how long the case lasts. The more time a lawyer works on the divorce, the more costly it becomes. Coming to agreements and keeping down the fighting helps.

  1. Play Nice

As pointed out above, coming to an agreement with your ex will help you move your divorce along faster. While nobody wants to go through a divorce, if you are going to have your marriage break up, it’s best that it be amicable if possible. The more you and your spouse can work out on your own, the cheaper the divorce will be.

  1. Sign a Pre-Nup or Get a Post-Nup

While you may not be able to go back in time and get a pre-nup, you can look into a post nup agreement. It is still the best way to keep costs down when it comes to divorce.

For more information and a complimentary consultation regarding separation, divorce, pre and post nuptial agreements and more please call the Law Office of Steven B. Chroman at 661-255-1800 or visit www.chromanlaw.com