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They say you should never discuss religion or politics at a dinner party, but money talk seems to cause even more discomfort among strangers and friends, alike. According to a SunTrust Bank survey, finances are the leading cause of stress in a relationship. Let’s look at three reasons why finances can cause so much friction and how to address them through healthy communication.
A new study asserts that women feel uncomfortable discussing financial matters. The latest Money FIT Study from Fidelity Investments is generating some conversation within the financial industry.
Becoming Your Own CFO by Tom Chancellor
It is estimated that 90% of women will be in charge of their finances at some point in their lifetimes. Becoming a widow or being divorced are two common ways this happens. Women may become their own Chief Financial Officer suddenly and without notice. These circumstances require women to manage their financial affairs on their own, possibly at a time when they are experiencing a decrease in income and going through a period of mental and emotional turmoil.
Like a giant wave crashing over a surfer, life events can upend and disorient even strong and capable people. Fear can mix with grief resulting in panic and exhaustion. Principles used in solution-oriented consulting can help chart a path and establish hope in hard times. A key assumption in the solution-oriented consultation approach is that change is constant everywhere all the time.
If you and your spouse are considering, or are in the process of divorce, and one or both of you has a corporate benefits or civil service, 401(k) savings and/or pension plan, know that all pensions are not created equal. And that fact is extremely important to realize as you proceed, hopefully, toward an equitable division of the marital estate.
While probably not immediately top of mind for most women considering divorce, carefully considering all future insurance needs must be a part of the divorce process.
Couples facing divorce should familiarize themselves with the Affordable Care Act (ACA). It is likely that at least one or possibly both of the parties will face the prospect of finding healthcare insurance for themselves and/or their children after the divorce.
Medicaid, Divorce and Asset Protection by Patricia Barrett, CFP, CDFA
No one wants to think about being old and needing constant assistance. No one wants to see their assets depleted by the cost of in-home care or nursing care that lasts for several years. Nor do most people wish to go through divorce.
QDROs - How ERISA Protects the Non-Employee by Patricia Barrett, CFP, CDFA
There is good news for the lower-earning spouse who is worried about receiving her share of the 401k or pension. Thanks to ERISA, special rules exist and eliminate an ex-spouse from standing in the way of receipt.
QDRO Review to Avoid Costly Errors by Patricia Barrett, CFP, CDFA
You made it through the negotiations and are ready to move on in your life. As part of the settlement you are to receive a portion of your spouse’s pension (defined benefit plan). You are presented with a qualified domestic relations order (QDRO) to review. How do you know it is done correctly?
Some of us don’t have the option of buying a home during the process of divorce. Financial constraints prevent us from doing so. But, for the fortunate few who have the resources and can afford the down payment, mortgage payments, property taxes and upkeep, careful thought should be given to the decision.

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Texas requires that divorcing spouses try mediation before going to trial. Spouses can request a jury trial, but generally a judge decides the trial rather than a jury. Mediation is an ideal way to prevent the element of surprise that comes with taking a divorce case to trial. Many judges will tell you that a divorce trial has no winners, because the outcome is rarely in favor of just one party.

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