Santa Monica Observer October 9, 2003


As seen in The Santa Monica Observer Weekly



 Did your marriage vows include “for richer; for poorer”? If your reverend said them; did you understand what they meant? Did you hear the word “obey” and ignore that, too? If your spouse was paying attention; heard you agree and now you've changed your mind; what is your strategy to negotiate your divorce? Sometimes the cause of divorce is a simple financial disagreement. Often, when peaceful strategies are not discovered before or during marriage, clients must discover them during or after the divorce. When children are involved, financial issues may arise for-EVER.

Most couples do not understand that most LA divorces are based on negotiation according to Mark Patt, Esq., managing partner of Trope and Trope, Los Angeles' largest family law firm. This negotiation may result from the two attorneys; from the couple or from the judge demanding it. Often, my new clients did not understand their options, made unworkable agreements and are seeking to reverse stipulations. My first advice is; consult a dissolution financial expert before you discuss divorce.

Lee Slater, Divorce Financial Planner from NYCC suggests: “F inancial decisions that clients make in divorce are often the most important financial decisions they will make. During negotiations, they help clients evaluate settlement proposals and suggest alternatives. By understanding the financial issues, individuals become empowered to make decisions to complete their divorce.

Divorce Financial Planners h elp clients “understand, evaluate, negotiate

  1. Settlement proposals
  2. Tax impact; minimizing taxes
  3. Develop post-divorce budgets
  4. Set up 10/15 year cash-flow projections
  5. Calculate life insurance to guarantee support payment
  6. Calculate IRA, 401K & pension
  7. Review retirement and educational funding”


 Dear Divorce Coach,

In 2000 my mother and I bought a house which hubby and I live in. Now we are separated (I stayed in the house). He wants to reconcile, I'm not sure what I want. If and when we decide to get a divorce, what, if any, portion of the house is he entitled to.

Just Wandering

Dear Just ,

All financial decisions in divorce are based on the specifics of your marriage including community assets and community debts. I suggest that you consult a divorce financial expert immediately so that you understand your financial options as well as your emotional ones. In LA, our Recommended Referral is Michael Krycler, founder, Krycler, Ervin, Taubman, Schreiber in Sherman Oaks.

Sincerely yours,
Ask The Divorce Coach, Susan Allan  

Prior to marriage the parties should understand the other's
financial affairs.   (Do not expect the account to be a romantic).  The
bottom line is that it sometimes pays to hire PI's, run credit checks, etc.
I can only emphasize the horror stories I have been involved in where the
parties get married and one party is not aware of the ‘skeletons' in the
other person's closet.
” Michael Krycler

CLIENT: “ I would be most grateful to receive any list of names that you can provide.  Our family has only recently moved to southern California , and thus do not know of any lawyers in the area.  Thank you so much for the helpful offer!  I am most appreciative.” DJ LA, CA

Dear Divorce Coach,

My ex-husband has now married his mistress. Emotionally, I have moved on and my two teenage children have been very resilient. Their father told them that he has been married for four months. What steps should I take during a civilized discussion to ensure that my children will be secure should my ex-husband pass away. Obviously he will also want to provide for his new family too. How can I discuss all the issues involved in a sane way?


Dear Will-ing,

Before you approach your ex we recommend that you to learn the basics of Nonviolent Communication ™ so that you can connect compassionately with him. In this way, you may discuss his needs and your needs for your children's financial futures. Secondly, I advise that you acquire knowledge of the options from a financial planner. Once you understand the best options for your children, you will be able to suggest them. With the best information and the skills to communicate them, your family will be protected.

Sincerely yours,
Ask The Divorce Coach, Susan Allan

Before or during divorce, financial planners are essential but before marriage, explaining the future, they can be worth their weight…in GOLD!

For 101 Divorce Survival Secrets, and free E-zine, visit , with Collaborative Divorce information. For one hour of free, private telephone coaching, contact



Susan Allan COO of The Divorce Forum™