“Separate Assets, Joint Problems”
“For some couples, togetherness extends only so far. And one place it may not extend to is their financial assets…But separate assets can present some problems…particularly when..a couple is divorcing.” (Andrea Coombes, Wall Street Journal, 11/11/13 page R12)
During divorce mediation, people discuss their assets and their debts. In order to make informed decisons, people need to share information about their credit card bills, loans, retirement accounts, savings and property. Financial advisor, Nancy Skeans, warns,”Just because you keep your assets separate doesn’t mean those assets cannot be used if you decide to go your separate ways.”
In order to prepare for divorce mediation, it is useful to look at your most recent statement of all these accounts. Make a list of the balances in each account, the monthly payment or amount deposited regularly into accounts, the rate of interest, and whose name(s) are on each account. If it’s a retirement account, note whether it’s an IRA, 401K, 403B, or pension. If it’s a savings account, note whether it’s a CD, mutual fund, or money market. If it’s a mortgage or home equity loan, note how many months/years of payments remain until it’s paid off. If you have 529 plans for your children’s educations, include this information on your list, too.
During divorce mediation, Sheila Russian helps people review the list. She makes sure that both people understand all the information. Sheila Russian encourages people to consult with financial planners and/or accountants. During divorce mediation, Sheila Russian helps people discuss workable options, so that people can make realistic choices.
For more information about Sheila’s mediation services, go to: www.baltimoremediationservices.com