Category Archives: Financial

Why a Collaborative Pre-nup Makes Cents

by Suanne I. Honey
Attorney at Law, CFLS, Mediator and Collaborative Attorney

Sorry for the silly pun when this is such a serious topic. Seriously, though, pre-nuptial agreements are hot topics which give rise to many emotions.

“It paints the Devil on the wall.”

“It is anticipating failure of the marriage.”

“If he or she really loved me, this would not be necessary.”

“I am uncomfortable talking about finances.”

The list can go on and on. Sometimes emotions are an unnecessary waste of energy. Other times emotions have some benefits, even negative emotions. For example, fear in a dark alley in a dangerous neighborhood will cause you to be zealously vigilant about your surroundings which will lead you into taking appropriate steps for your safety … much like the pre-nuptial agreement itself.

Unfortunately, statistics today are not favorable for a lasting marriage. If and when there is a decision to get divorced, the person you once loved turns into the enemy. There is often a total lack of trust at the time of a divorce. There are fights over money, property, and other issues creating stress for both partners. This stress almost always filters down to the children.

Collaborative Law … Read More

Experts Contribute to Best Practices at Collaborative Practice California Conference

Orange County Collaborative Practice professionals will share their expertise with colleagues in April at the annual Collaborative Practice California Conference XII in Redondo Beach.

Members of Collaborative Divorce Solutions of Orange County (CDSOC) are in demand as professional education panelists and seminar leaders throughout Fall 2017 due to their expertise and experience working with a diverse array of Orange County clients in the Collaborative approach to divorce.

“Many collaborative professionals are committed to continuing professional education in order to provide the best service to our clients,” said Dr. Carol Hughes, CDSOC member and workshop leader. “The annual conference of Collaborative Practice California is one venue for us to do this.

“We CDSOC members are honored to be contributing to the further growth of our Collaborative colleagues throughout the state. Ultimately, the reward is offering better options to clients who want to avoid the trauma, time and expense of a litigated divorce or other disputes,” added Dr. Hughes.

Collaborative Practice California presentations include:

Collaborative Family Lawyer and Mediator Bart Carey, Divorce Coach and Child Specialist Dr. Hughes, Ph.D., LMFT, and Financial Specialist Cathleen Collinsworth, CDFA™, MAFF™ will facilitate an advanced seminar titled “Grand Rounds for Collaborative Practitioners.”

The workshop format introduces … Read More

12 Reasons To Create Your Premarital Agreement Using the Collaborative Process

by Leslee J. Newman, CFL-S, Family Law Attorney
Orange, California

  • Each premarital partner selects their own Collaborative attorney to represent him or her from the very beginning of the premarital Collaborative Process. You and your Collaborative attorney work together until the premarital agreement is completed and signed.
  • Neutral professionals such as a financial planner and/or a Collaborative coach may also be added to your Collaborative team to help you and your partner develop and fully understand your goals as a couple, and the legal and financial ramifications of your decisions.
  • Before any drafting takes place, you and your partner are encouraged to express your thoughts and concerns about what you plan to build together as joint property and what you want to maintain as separate property.
  • Full disclosure of the property and debts of each premarital partner is exchanged including some verification of each asset and each debt.
  • After full discussion, disclosure, and agreement is reached by the premarital couple, the agreement is drafted through the participation of both Collaborative attorneys.
  • After the draft of the premarital agreement is completed, the draft is fully discussed and explained to each premarital partner by his or her Collaborative attorney.
  • Additional drafts
Read More

Members Lend Expertise at Collaborative Divorce Education Institute 3-Day Training

Experienced legal, financial, and mental health Collaborative Practitioners from Collaborative Divorce Solutions of Orange County shared their expertise at the 2017 Three-Day Collaborative Divorce Interdisciplinary Team Training in January. Through lectures, discussions, and group participation, the training team helped both new and experienced Collaborative Professionals to develop more skills and a new understanding of how to support and lead their clients to a successful resolution without resorting to litigation.

If you missed this year’s event, be sure mark your calendar for next year’s training in January 2018.… Read More

The Most Effective Way to Reduce the Cost of Your Divorce or Civil Dispute

by Brian Don Levy, Esq., Collaborative Attorney and Mediator

What single item can add the most cost to your divorce or civil dispute? Acting or reacting based on emotional thinking, or making unilateral decisions that are based in emotional thinking.  It is critical to understand how our emotions can drive our thinking and our behavior, and it is important to manage those emotions in a healthy way that allows for understanding viable solutions and facilitates well thought out problem solving.

Every legal and financial decision is potentially wrapped in emotion, and those emotions can prevent us from fully understanding our options and choosing the options that make the most sense going forward. For almost every divorcing couple or civil disputant, trust is usually broken and communication is not working very well, if at all.  Bringing broken trust and poor communication into the decision-making process is not a good recipe for success.

Therefore, communication coaches are an important investment to be made in achieving a long term satisfying outcome for those in conflict. I use the term “investment” because failure to understand and manage emotions is a huge cost inflator for those engaged in civil and family law disputes.  The … Read More

Resolve to Improve Your Practice in 2017: Attend CDEI Three-Day Interdisciplinary Team Training – Fundamentals and Beyond

Resolve to improve your professional practice in 2017 by attending the Collaborative Divorce Solutions of Orange County in cooperation with Collaborative Divorce Education Institute’s (CDEI) Interdisciplinary Team Training January 26-28, 2017 at National University in Costa Mesa, California.

As an intermediate or senior legal, financial, or mental health practitioner, which of the following are true at this stage of your career?

•    You are tired of the grind of litigation in divorce and civil litigation
•    You are tired of toxic personality clients only interested in going to war
•    You are tired of being the “middle man/woman” and the client’s only resource
•    You want to shift your practice orientation from litigation to collaboration, mediation or other out of court resolution processes
•    You want to spend more time working with motivated, quality clients
•    You want to dramatically reduce your receivables and your professional stress
•    You want to help your client put their personal, financial, and social goals at the forefront of their settlement process
•    You want to improve your listening, coaching, and assessment skills
•    You want to learn new ways to communicate with your clients and other professionals in a way that you can … Read More

CDSOC Members Honor and Remember Tracy McKenney

Collaborative Divorce Solutions of Orange County members share their remembrances of their colleague Tracy McKenney, former CDSOC Board President who passed away from cancer in September 2016.

“Tracy McKenney was always, smart, positive, with an uncanny ability to summarize and synthesize all thoughts on a collaborative team or in a Collaborative meeting.”

“Cannot think of Tracy without remembering her smile and her laugh. Professional and competent go without saying but her heart and the ability to reach out to touch the people she worked with. That was her gift and I will miss her.”

“Tracy was positive. She had a great laugh and was very helpful to her (and our) clients. I have come across people lately who she helped before and who she encouraged into a non-adversary process. Her children are her everlasting testament.”

“It still feels surreal. With Tracy’s sense of humor and sense of adventure. I still feel like she’s just away on one of those amazing trips. I still see and feel her in my everyday life. I still think she’s messing with me. Like the weekend after she passed, I met a couple named Scott and Tracy. That’s classic Tracy. She will always be with … Read More

New Professional Resources Page Provides Valuable Referrals to Orange County Divorcing Couples

Working with a Collaborative Practice team can make the divorce process less traumatic, less time consuming and less costly for everyone involved.

In its effort to assist divorcing couples in Orange County pursue a divorce outside traditional litigation, Collaborative Divorce Solutions of Orange County (CDSOC) now provides a “Professional Resources” page on its website. This page offers referrals to individuals familiar with the Collaborative Practice model who offer services that divorcing families can access to help them through the process.

CDSOC welcomes Orange County real estate broker Juliane Waggoner of RE/MAX College Park Realty in Seal Beach as its first Professional Resources member listing.

Waggoner, a fourth generation real estate broker, is also a probate specialist, Certified Negotiation Expert (CNE), and has completed mediation training through the Los Angeles County Bar Association. She is a graduate of the University of California Santa Barbara and has attended graduate courses at the University of California, Irvine.

“My mission is to work as a neutral real estate agent throughout your divorce or separation, bringing peace to the parties and negotiations along the way,” said Waggoner. “I can help couples explore their options, which sometimes means working to help one spouse keep the property. I can also remain a neutral consultant if a sale is required, marketing the home nationally and internationally and helping couples negotiate … Read More

The Effect of California Propositions 60 and 90 on Your Divorce

by Diana L. Martinez
Collaborative Lawyer and Mediator, West Coast Law & Mediation, APC

When you are trying to navigate a divorce, there are many issues you need to address. If you own property in California, your decisions about your real estate can be among the most challenging, and perilous, if you are not fully informed.

One area often overlooked when making decisions about real property are the tax consequences. The tax implications can end up making a significant impact on your financial well-being, especially if you are part of the current wave of “gray divorces” among adults 55 years and older.

Many older couples who own property qualify for a lower property tax rate under California’s original Proposition 13. At the discretion of each county in California, Proposition 60 and Proposition 90 allow qualifying sellers to carry their Proposition 13 tax base on their original property with them towards the purchase of a new property of equal or lesser value. (Prop 60 governs real estate sales and purchases in the same county; Prop 90 governs real estates sales and purchases between two California counties).

Proposition 13 protects longtime homeowners against escalating property taxes as the value of their property … Read More

Dividing Stock Options and Restricted Stock In Divorce

Orange County Divorce and Employee Stock Options

by Thea Glazer, CFP®, CDFA™, MS Accounting
Glazer Financial Advisors, Laguna Hills, California

Stock options and restricted stock may be part of the marital estate. And they are some of the more complex assets. This brief overview provides a basic understanding of the factors you need to take into consideration. It does not go into all the many tax and technical issues that are aspects of equity compensation. Seeking professional guidance for your specific circumstances is always a good idea.

Many companies grant their employees equity compensation in addition to their salaries, commissions and cash bonuses. Equity compensation is non-cash compensation representing a form of ownership interest in a company. Among the most common are employee stock options and restricted stock or restricted stock units. In divorce, stock options and restricted stock are property to be divided. The employee’s separate shares are often also considered as income in the calculations of support.

Employee Stock Options (ESOs)

An employee stock option is the right given by an employee to purchase a specified number of shares of the employer’s stock for a specified price and for a specified time. There are two types of ESOs, Incentive Stock Options (ISOs) and … Read More