Tolucan Times February 13, 2003
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Divorce Survival Tips

Michael J. Krycler, founder of Krycler, Ervin, Taubman & Walheim, preeminent CPA firm in Sherman Oaks, suggests that it is essential to regularly update Prenuptial Agreements during marriage. He advises caution in investigating fiancé(e)s financial affairs. Sometimes, says Krycler, “it may be necessary to hire a Private Detective or run a credit check…to discover if there are any ‘skeletons’ in the other person's closet.” Mr. Krycler reported that it was not unusual for one party to find themselves being chased by the IRS for taxes owed by the new spouse from a period prior to marriage. Contact

1. Consult privately with your accountant or financial manager BEFORE discussing divorce with your spouse. It is essential to know your own financial position; an accountant who specializes in dissolutions will have the formula that the court will use to decide your financial fate. Understanding this formula will provide you with crucial information, enabling you to take appropriate action.

Dear Divorce Coach©,

My husband is furious because I can’t reconcile our checking account. I never pay the bills on time because he never brings them home when they arrive. Then, he threatens me with divorce! I really need help!


Checked-out Checking

Dear Checked-out,

If you schedule an appointment at KET&W in Sherman Oaks or a CPA firm with similar expertise, you may request a financial overview to include pre-divorce counseling and financial planning. Then you can support your husband’s desire for fiscal responsibility. In the event that divorce, you will have information to strengthen you own position.


The Divorce Coach

2. Consult with a successful divorce attorney BEFORE discussing divorce with your spouse. During this consultation ask about similar precedents and outcomes; this can save you a great deal of time and money.

"Most divorce cases are resolved as a result of negotiation rather than as a result of a court deciding issues. However, one must be prepared for negotiation …so that the person is settling, knowing full well the strengths and weaknesses of his/her case on all issues.… The old cliché that a good settlement is one which is disliked by both sides is often true, but with an open mind and realistic compromise, a settlement which is fair to both sides can be achieved." Mark Patt, Esq. Managing Partner of Trope and Trope; contact at

Dear Divorce Coach©,

My wife and I have been fighting since we married. I am very successful and now I am faced with two impossible choices; a terrible marriage or losing my house, ½ my money and ½ of my children’s time. How can I protect myself?


Mr. Non-cents

Dear Mr. Non-cents,

Divorce coaching has offered many of my clients the opportunity to communicate their feelings and unmet needs to their spouse and children for the first time in years. Using the skills of Self-empathy and Empathy as well as many other techniques, families discover that hearing one another without judging, creates a loving foundation for strategies that may not have been considered before.


The Divorce Coach©

3. Do not leave home before you and your spouse have a signed separation agreement. If you are in physical danger, carefully follow your attorney's instructions immediately.
Few couples approaching divorce have useful experience regarding the potential financial and legal catastrophes they may face. In the case of Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise, it has been suggested that their approaching 10 year anniversary prompted Mr. Cruise to file for divorce, fearing his financial exposure would increase dramatically.

As with any new skill, there is a learning curve. Research from the web, kept in a divorce workbook, becomes a valuable asset during the arduous process of negotiation. Another pitfall that may occur is the tendency to make assumptions about the attorney, the case or the spouse. It is mandatory to check and recheck the situation on a weekly basis with short concise phone calls to each attorney or mediator.

Another tip involves premarital property. Each spouse should create a document listing valuables that will be moved into the family home. These lists and available receipts of purchase should be attached to the prenuptial. Prenuptial contracts are popular but many are overturned in court; evidence of prior purchase, however, is rarely refuted.

The most powerful financial protection involves separation of premarital funds. Never, under any circumstances, should you pay community bills directly from your personal premarital accounts. Open a separate checking account before marriage that will serve to maintain your financial integrity. The account must carry your name and the words, “married man (or woman), separate property”. This simple and inexpensive exercise could save you more money than any single decision you make.

When a divorce is underway it is crucial to develop “divorce management skills”. If your divorce is turbulent, be sure to consult with family, friends and a coach or therapist to maintain the necessary level of pragmatism. Too often, the emotional needs of one spouse may be translated into a hopeless “fight to the finish” in which the family assets as well as the marriage are “finished”.


Susan Allan COO of The Divorce Forum™