5 Important Things to Put on Your Divorce To-Do List

For any family, divorce always proves to be a period of stressful transition. To make the process easier and make everyone involved move forward faster once the outcome is final, you need to be organized and stay on top of things. In addition to the meetings with attorneys and court dates and various other issues you need to remember, it is also important to put these five tasks on your to-do list during or shortly after your divorce.

1. Set Aside Money for Expenses

Divorce being expensive is almost a fact of married life. You want to make sure you budget properly, even if you choose a less expensive legal option, such as mediation. Additionally, you should plan for unexpected costs during the proceedings, such as meals away from home, parking charges at the courthouse, and other miscellaneous expenses that tend to mount up. You need to set aside money during the process to help cushion the financial blow because sticking to a regular budget is tough during this transition and your budget changes based on the divorce, too.

2. Assemble a Team

Although most people instinctively decide to retain an attorney at the beginning of the process, few understand how beneficial it can be to assemble a team of experts to help you. Having such a team on hand to provide assistance to both parties not only saves you money on litigation expenses in the long run, but also make the process more amicable. In addition to your attorney and/or a mediator, consider working with a financial expert, a forensic and/or business CPA/accountant, a real estate professional, and a child development specialist.

3. Make New Health Insurance Arrangements

If your spouse is the principal account holder in your health insurance policy, getting divorced means you will no longer be covered by it, and vice versa. And because finding one that would match your new financial situation might take a while, it is important to search for a new policy as soon as possible.

4. Maintain or Open a Bank Account and Credit Card in Your Own Name

After your divorce, you will once again be solely responsible for your finances and credit score. Moving on with your new life means you need to re-establish yourself financially. To avoid confusion, some experts even recommend moving to a different bank than your spouse.

5. Update Your Beneficiaries

Chances are your spouse is listed as your beneficiary on your life insurance, retirement savings, and other forms. You will want to update this information as soon as possible in case an emergency occurs.

It can be overwhelming for everyone to prepare for divorce and organize their life after it. Speak to a divorce expert in your area if you need help getting everything under control.

If you have any questions about child custody mediation, please call John Powell III at 281-870-2053 and schedule a free 30-minute consultation. John is based in Pearland, Texas and has represented persons in literally hundreds of divorces to resolve their conflicts amicably with less expense & time.

Selling a Business Is An Emotional Process

Selling a business that you have owned for several decades or that has been in the family for several generations can produce some pretty strong emotions. Generally those emotions will run the whole gamut from “couldn’t be happier to get rid of all the headaches” to “why did I ever think of giving up something I have worked so hard to build and has been so good to me and my employees.”

After recently closing a successful sale transaction, my client said he understood why I had told him, on several occasions, that selling a business is a “process” and not an “event.” He expressed his gratitude for guiding him through that process. Clients need to feel secure in the decisions they are making at such a critical juncture in their lives. My role is to make sure clients have all the information they need, understand their alternatives and know the likely outcomes of different scenarios so they can make the right decisions.

Preparing the client, at the outset, for what lies ahead in the sale process can knock down a lot of the emotional difficulties that could otherwise come up. I take great care to try to really understand what clients are thinking and feeling before the process begins. Uncertainty in a sale process can lead to additional stress and heightened emotions. Throughout the sale process, I communicate with my clients to make sure they understand what steps are being taken and why they are being taken. Clients should not feel rushed. They should always feel like they fully understand all the issues and the manner in which those issues are resolved. Eliminating uncertainty eliminates a lot of stress and emotion.

Consideration for “Seller’s emotions” should be kept front and center throughout the sale process. Heart surgery is a very invasive surgical procedure and the sale process is a very invasive business procedure. Just as recent studies show that heart surgery can take a tremendous emotional toll if the heart is not handled properly; a business sale can be an emotional train wreck if not handled properly. I make sure the emotional train stays on the tracks not only for the well-being of my clients, but for the ultimate success of their sale transaction. Clients should reap the economic rewards they deserve, as well as feel emotionally satisfied with the transaction that is the capping moment of many years and/or many generations of hard work.

Roger L. Neu, JD, CPA, is both a CPA and an attorney with over thirty (30) years of experience in mergers and acquisitions (“M&A”) of privately held companies. Mr. Neu’s extensive experience in the M&A field, combined with his accounting and tax background and experience and training at Price Waterhouse, provide a solid base for planning and structuring mergers and acquisitions.