Posts Tagged ‘FinancialSupport’


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:

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The Four Divorce Alternatives

Tuesday, December 6th, 2016

The Four Divorce Alternatives

By Steven B. Chroman, Attorney at Law

No two marriages are the same, and so it only follows that no two divorces will be the same either, hence the following four broad categories of divorce alternatives: Do-It-Yourself (DIY), Mediation, Collaborative and Litigation. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of each one.

 

DO-IT-YOURSELF DIVORCE

The best advice I can give you about Do-It-Yourself Divorce, is DON’T Do-It-Yourself! Divorce is very complicated, both legally and financially. You can easily make mistakes, and often those mistakes are irreversible. The only scenario I can envision when a Do-It-Yourself divorce may make any possible sense, might be in a case where the marriage lasted only two or three years and there are no children, little or no assets/debts to be divided, comparable incomes and no alimony.

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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…)

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

 

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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.

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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

Seeking Hidden Assets. By: Law Office of Steven B. Chroman P.C. Santa Clarita Divorce

Monday, June 16th, 2014

In some marriages, it is not uncommon for one spouse to engage in investment activity or have financial accounts that are unknown to the other. When divorcing, it is necessary to disclose all assets, including those accounts maintained separately by only one spouse. The problem is that the unknowing spouse may have to go to great lengths to uncover these hidden assets.

When you turn to The Law Office of Steven B. Chroman we will do our best to locate and value hidden assets. We have more than 16 years of experience handling complex divorces for couples of all backgrounds, including those of high net worth clients.

Whether you believe your spouse has engaged in sophisticated methods like tax shelters or has transferred money to friends or others to give the appearance of minimal assets, we will work diligently to uncover these assets. If you are concerned that your spouse may be hiding assets, we are ready to help.

Our experience has shown that finding hidden assets can be challenging, and recovering them can be difficult. In an effort to get the best possible result, we work with forensic accountants, tax professionals and other experts who are skilled at discovering misappropriated assets.

Our firm has the ability to handle divorces that involve financial issues such as:

  • Tax shelters
  • Foreign/overseas investments and bank accounts
  • Hidden debts and tax liabilities
  • The undervaluing of a business or professional practice
  • The possible transfer of money from one spouse to his or her family members with the intent to prevent that money from being divided

By the time a marriage has broken down to the point that divorce is the only recourse, it is normal to feel some sense of suspicion about finances. The best thing you can do is consult with us so that we can help determine whether there is really a cause for concern. If there is, we can and will take the appropriate action on your behalf.

For more information on what you need to know and what to look for when you believe your spouse is hiding or redirecting community assets, call the Law Offices of Steven B. Chroman, P.C., at (661) 255-1800.

The Big Switch Paying Your Ex Husband Alimony. By: Law Office of Steven B. Chroman P.C. Santa Clarita Divorce

Tuesday, May 27th, 2014

Nearly 40 percent of working wives now out-earn their husbands and while that economic power is a good thing, overall, for women, it can have one negative outcome many don’t anticipate.

More and more women find themselves ordered by a court to pay spousal support to ex-husbands.

That these women are angry is to be expected: men don’t like paying alimony either, and writing a check every month has long been, for men, one of the prime impediments to post-marital bliss. It may or may not make it easier on these check-writing ex-wives to know that they are part of a larger movement: the de-gendering of alimony and divorce, which is a natural outgrowth of the de-gendering of roles in marriage.

Once upon a time, the point of alimony was clear: it recognized the essential deal underlying marriage back in the days of “separate spheres,” when it was a husband’s role to provide, and a wife’s role to stay home, raise the children, run the household and enable the husband to be hard-working and high-earning. The economist Gary Becker famously argued that this was how couples maximized their efficiency: dividing the labor enabled both to succeed in their respective spheres. When marriages fell apart, alimony provided legal and economic recognition of the fact that a wife had sacrificed her earning power to maximize that of her husband and enhance the welfare of their family.

Now that the separate-spheres marriage has been replaced, in many cases, by the dual-earner version, there is a move to abolish permanent alimony altogether. In some states the crusade is being supported by second wives, many of them working women, appalled that their earnings (in some cases) are going to pay the alimony of first wives who stayed at home to raise children. The animosity between those two groups is in some ways one more iteration of the mommy wars — the lingering gulf that exists between women who work outside the home and women who work within it. But it’s also a sign that the bargain of marriage has changed and splintered; there can be any number of deals now, including deals where the mom stays home; deals where both spouses work; and increasingly, deals where the woman is the primary earner. The ranks of stay-at-home dads are small, but they have doubled in the past decade.

And in dual-earner marriages, there are more and more where it’s the wife whose career takes center stage and the man’s that becomes supplementary.

As a result, it’s not only women who are wrestling with new emotions; just as women may find themselves angry, men may find themselves uneasy, as both sexes get used to the fact that some of the old patterns will persist, regardless of gender, and so will some of the old obligations.

For your complimentary consultation regarding divorce and support call the Law Office of

Steven B. Chroman at 661-255-1800.

Credit Card Debt and Divorce. By: Law Office of Steven B. Chroman P.C. Santa Clarita Divorce

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014

Credit Card Debt and Divorce
By Steven B. Chroman, Attorney at Law

No one wants to admit it or deal with it, but more and more couples have credit card debt issues while contemplating or going through divorce. Often little attention is paid to these debts beyond their being assigned to one spouse or the other in the divorce judgment.

Care must be taken that a spouse will not be held responsible for additional credit card debts incurred by the other, and that each spouse is protected to the maximum extent possible if the other fails to make payments.

Remember: Creditors are not obligated to respect the terms of your divorce judgment.

Assigning Responsibility for Credit Card Debt
Often the parties to a divorce will assign to each spouse the responsibility for specific credit cards and their associated debt. To help ensure that all joint debts are identified, including any credit cards which may have been taken out by one spouse without the others knowledge, it may be beneficial to get copies of the credit reports of the divorcing couple, and to make sure that the debt from any creditor not paid off in full is assigned to one spouse or the other.

Cutting Off Your Liability For Additional Debt
When you divorce, you should make sure that you either close any joint credit cards, or that at a minimum you have your name removed from any joint accounts which will continue to be used by your spouse. This will not end your liability for debts incurred up to that point, but should end your responsibility for any new debts incurred on those accounts by your spouse. Similarly, if you hold any accounts in your own name for which your spouse is an authorized signer, you should revoke the authorization.

Protecting Yourself From Default or Bankruptcy
It is not unusual after a divorce for one spouse to fail to pay off a joint credit card debt, which predates the divorce. If appropriate steps weren’t taken to cut off liability, sometimes a joint account will remain open with both spouses liable for the new charges, even though the new charges are made after divorce. The debt load on these cards, delinquent payments, and any default or referral to a collection agency, will appear on the credit reports of both account holders. The creditor will also be able to pursue either or both account holders for payment, including interest, penalties, and possibly legal fees. The creditor does not have to be fair – if it wants, it can direct all of its collection efforts at the innocent spouse.

Thus, a divorce judgment should include a deadline by which the joint credit card debts allocated to each spouse will be paid off in full, and provide for appropriate remedies in the event that repayment does not occur.

For more information or to schedule your complimentary consultation call the Law Offices of Steven B. Chroman 661-255-1800.