Tolucan Times October 9, 2003
Serving the communities of: Toluca Lake - Magnolia Park - Burbank - Media District - Universal City - Encino - Valley Village - North Hollywood - Hollywood Hills - Larchmont District - Studio City - Sherman Oaks - Glendale



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 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. During the courting phase, did you ask questions about your financial future? During the honeymoon phase did you discover problems in your monetary picture? What strategy did you implement to enhance communication and peace? 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, I meet clients who did not understand their options, made unworkable agreements and are seeking to reverse stipulations. Sometimes, I meet clients before they say those none-too-magic words, “I want a divorce!” My first advice is; consult a dissolution financial expert before you utter them!

Lee Slater, Divorce Financial Planner from New York City offers the following suggestions: “ The financial decisions that clients make in divorce are often the most important financial decisions they will make in their lifetime. During negotiations, financial planners help clients evaluate settlement proposals and suggest alternatives helping clients to make informed decisions. By understanding the financial issues at stake in maintaining their lifestyles, individuals become empowered to make important decisions to complete their divorce.

 Divorce Financial Planners help clients “understand, evaluate and negotiate

  1. Settlement proposals

  2. Tax impact of settlement proposals

  3. Minimize taxes through the efficient allocation of personal and real estate tax deductions

  4. Develop realistic post-divorce budgets

  5. Set up 10/15 year post-divorce cash flow projections

  6. Calculate appropriate amounts of life insurance to guarantee support payments

  7. Calculate value of marital versus separate property of IRA, 401K & pension accounts

  8. Review retirement and educational funding plans”

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,

I have been divorced for one year. My ex-husband has now married his mistress. (supposedly my friend and a family friend.) Emotionally, I have moved on and my two teenage children have been very resilient. They were recently told by their father that he has been married for approx four months. What steps should I take during a civilized discussion to ensure that my children will be secure in the future 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 have two important recommendations. The first is that it would be very helpful for you to learn the basics of Nonviolent Communication ™ so that you can connect compassionately with your ex-husband. In this way, you will be able to discuss both his needs and your needs for your children's financial futures. However, the second important aspect that I advise before your conversation is 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™