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Randy Morrow, Certified Real Estate Divorce Specialist, P. 6

In this sixth and final segment of Ron and Robert’s interview with Virginia’s leading Real Estate Divorce Specialist, the gentlemen discuss the difference between distributive bargaining (which is what you get when you go to court) and collaborative negotiation, which is what happens in a Collaborative Divorce. We like to tell the story of the orange:

Two young siblings are fighting over an orange. Their father walks in on them, takes the orange away, cuts it in half, and hands a half to each. Sister bursts into tears. “Why are you crying?” asks the perplexed father. “You and your brother both wanted the orange, there was only one orange, so I cut it in half. You should be happy.”

“I don’t want half!” sobs Sister. “I only wanted the peel. I need it for a cake I’m baking, but I have to have the whole peel.”

“Oh. Bobby?” He asks Brother, “Will you give your sister the whole peel if she’ll let you have the whole inside?”

Brother’s eyes light up. “Gee, sure! I didn’t want the crummy peel anyway.”

And that, dear friends, is the difference between distributive bargaining and collaborative negotiation.

The gents go into more detail about distributive bargaining, and then they talk about how to divide a property that was owned prior to marriage, what happens if you file bankruptcy during divorce, and whether or not you should keep your house if you file for bankruptcy.

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Missed the first five parts of this series? Here’s Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4, and Part 5.

Don’t miss another one! Subscribe to Ron and Robert on Divorce on iTunes and get free podcasts every week.

Randy Morrow, Certified Real Estate Divorce Specialist, P. 4

Randy Morrow is a Certified Real Estate Divorce Specialist, not a lawyer. He does not give legal advice, but he does offer compelling personal advice: Either get divorced or get married, but do not keep any strings. No financial strings, no real estate strings. Cut them all. Listen to part 4 of this 6-part series to find out exactly what he means when he says “Cut them all.”

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Missed the first three parts of this series? Find them herehere, and here.

Don’t miss another one! Subscribe to Ron and Robert on Divorce on iTunes and get free podcasts every week.

Tips, Tricks & Strategies for Divorce

Ladies and Gentlemen, mark your calendars! The Law Collaborative, LLC is pleased to announce Tips, Tricks & Strategies for Divorce, a 90 minute interactive seminar on Tuesday, October 18, 2011 at 6:30 p.m. Pourya Keshavarzi, Esquire, and Irene Smith, MBA, CPA, CFP, CDFA are founts of knowledge with some very important information to share.

Are you in the midst of a divorce but feel like your case is going nowhere?  Is your ex making negotiations impossible? Do you feel like your lawyer speaks to you in a foreign language? Then this seminar is for you.

Or maybe you’re a lawyer who wants to add Family Law to your menu of services. Not only will you learn a lot from this seminar, but you’ll earn MCLEs, too.

Visit www.thelawcollaborative.com/events.htm and register today for just $25.

News Release

Ty Supancic, Esq. Announces Membership in WealthCounsel®

Woodland Hills, CA – August 30, 2011 – Ty Supancic, Esq. today announced that The Law Collaborative, LLC, which recently re-located to Warner Center, has become a member of WealthCounsel®, a nationwide organization of more than 2,200 estate planning attorneys. Members of WealthCounsel® believe in a comprehensive, client-centered approach to estate planning founded on the principles of professional collaboration and a commitment to excellence.

“Estate planning is an ongoing process and not merely a single legal transaction,” said Supancic. “As a member of WealthCounsel®, my firm will have access to a state-of-the-art document drafting system, a network of experienced colleagues throughout the country with whom I can collaborate, and educational resources to keep me on the cutting edge of knowledge.” Supancic stated.

Supancic noted that the majority of Americans do not have a simple will, let alone an estate plan. He stated that he has witnessed many situations where the lack of an estate plan has created unnecessary familial chaos for the client’s beneficiaries so he is particularly passionate about building awareness of the importance of thoughtful planning which includes planning for the care of children and the disposition of new technology assets previously ignored by traditional attorneys.

In addition to WealthCounsel®, Supancic is also a member of the California and Beverly Hills Bar Associations, and is admitted to practice law before the Central District Court.

About The Law Collaborative, LLC
Established in 2009, with over 100 years of combined legal experience, The Law Collaborative, LLC specializes in all areas of estate planning, including asset protection, charitable planning, and business succession planning. They also specialize in all aspects of family law and entertainment law. For more information, please visit www.thelawcollaborative.com/ or call (888) 852-9961.

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Media Contact:
Patricia Frost
818-348-6700

Randy Morrow, Certified Real Estate Divorce Specialist, P. 3

When Randy Morrow, Certified Real Estate Divorce Specialist, takes on new clients who are parents going through divorce, he has them sign an agreement stating that they will not argue in front of their children. If they refuse to sign, he will not work with them. This is just one of the reasons why Randy is a gem in the divorce and real estate community.

Randy understands the pain and difficulty of divorce better than most real estate agents because he’s been through three divorces himself. His first was at the age of nine, when his parents divorced. His second and third were as an adult going through his own divorce. From his website:

Randy is trained in the legal and tax aspects of the divorce process as it relates to real estate. His specialty is learning about obscure divorce-related legal rulings, regulations, and tax implications. This enables him to help his divorcing clients take advantage of tax laws that are specific to selling a house during a divorce.

“Divorcing couples are going through one of the most stressful times of their lives and they need all the help they can get. I know,” says Randy “I have been through these times myself. I know from firsthand experience what my clients are feeling and why.”

Listen to the third part in this six-part series and discover the most important factors to consider when making the decision to sell or keep the family residence.

Missed the first two parts of this series? Find them here and here.

Don’t miss another one! Subscribe to Ron and Robert on Divorce on iTunes and get free podcasts every week.

Rebuild Your Life

Randy Morrow is a Certified Real Estate Divorce Specialist in Virginia. Ron and Robert recently interviewed him on their podcast, Ron and Robert on Divorce on iTunes. Check out the first two interviews in the four part series here and here. Part 3 is available on iTunes now and we’ll post it on our blog this Friday. Subscribe to our free weekly podcast here.

MULTIPLE SOURCES FOR PURCHASING A HOME AFTER DIVORCE
By Randy Morrow

One of the dismal aspects of going through a divorce is the thought that you will not be able to buy another home.  In many cases that is correct. However, if you are able to remove yourself from the tunnel-vision effect, there are a great many resources available.

What do I mean?  When we are thinking of buying another home, we immediately think of traditional loans at traditional institutions.  Also, we think about the massive amounts of cash needed.  For those willing to do some research, allow me to make a few suggestions on where to search.

  • National.

Traditional institutions such as banks and mortgage companies.  We are all aware of them.

  • State.

Many states have programs to provide below market mortgages for eligible low- and moderate-income first time homebuyers. Most require that you currently live in the state and/or county. There are income limits and purchase price limits. Conventional, FHA, and VA loans may be available. These programs are traditionally re-funded yearly with a set amount of funds.  This means they may run out of money before the end of their twelve month period.

  • County/City.

Here is an example of the property eligibility of a city-run program:

  • Property must be located in that city/county
  • Eligible Property Types:  Single-Family (detached, duplex, townhomes)

Multi-Family (condominiums, cooperatives)

  • Maximum purchase price:  $362,790
  • Maximum loan amount:  $90,700
  • Minimum down payment:  1% of the purchase price.
  • County/City Work Programs.

One program I’m aware of provides up to a $5,000 “forgivable loan” for eligible employees to purchase in this locale.

  • Owner occupancy is required.
  • There are no income requirements or limitations.
  • Property must be located in the county/city
  • At least one member of the family must be a permanent full-time employee.
  • The loan is “forgivable”, meaning if the employee remains employed with the County or City for three years (and the property remains owner-occupied), the loan will become a grant.
  • Notification Lists.

Check to see if your locale has a ‘lottery’ system.  These are properties made available to qualified low and moderate income households, as well as the allocation of down payment and closing cost assistance. If a lottery system is available and you qualify, your name will be placed on a notification list.  This list can be quite lengthy, but do not be discouraged.  A lot of things happen to a lot of the people ahead of you on the list; they  move out of town or out of state, their financial situation improves, they die, et cetera.

Naturally, everything I’ve written about here may not be applicable where you live. My point is to encourage you to avoid ‘tunnel-vision’. Do not think that there is only one way for you to own a place of your own if your divorce leaves you a bit down. Keep an open mind, get curious, do some research, and start rebuilding your life.

Randy Morrow, Realtor and Virginia’s Leading Certified Real Estate Divorce Specialist.

The Ten Commandments of Family Law Litigation

photo by @jbtaylor via PhotoRee

There are many ways to resolve a dispute. To save our Clients’ time, money, and stress, we first recommend Collaboration. However, it takes two to collaborate. If you find yourself in a situation where collaboration is not possible,  we recommend following The Ten Commandments of Family Law Litigation:

I. Always take your file with you everywhere.

II. In your journal, make an entry of every significant event, conversation, discussion, and action of your spouse at the time it occurs.

III. In your ledger, make an entry for every financial event in your case in order to assure a complete accurate and legible record. (Example: each time support is paid out or received.)

IV. Memorialize every agreement with every person who is interested/involved in your case; keep/send copies.

V. Meet and confirm strategy with your attorney in person; explore alternative dispute resolution; confirm everything in writing.

VI. Know your strategy; do not deviate without advice and counsel from your attorney.

VII. Participate in preparation of your case: draft, document, investigate, gather information and pre-interview witnesses.

VIII. Let your attorney know when he/she is on-track as well as off-track.

IX. Schedule regular Spit & Growl sessions: don’t let resentments accumulate with your attorney or staff.

X. Keep your account current: offer security.

Women and Retirement Perceptions

Irene Smith is a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst™, Certified Financial Planner® and Certified Public Accountant with Smith Financial Management. Earlier in July, we hosted one of her fantastic seminars, A Woman’s Journey To Financial Independence. On August 16th, we will be hosting another of her seminars, Wine Tasting and Real Estate. The event is free, but space is limited. Please RSVP no later than August 10 if you wish to attend. Click here for more information.

WOMEN & RETIREMENT PERCEPTIONS: Will the reality of retirement live up to expectations?

Presented by Irene Smith

In January 2011, Merrill Lynch released the results of a survey asking baby boomers with $250,000+ in investable assets about their retirement hopes. There were some interesting across-the-board findings – 70% of those polled expected to work at least part-time, and 84% felt their retirements would be more comfortable and dynamic than those of their parents. Yet it was the collective response of women in the 1,000-investor study that drew the most attention.1,2

Women envision a very active retirement. Volunteering and travel registered as major priorities for women, more so than for men: 64% of women said they wanted to get more involved in their communities, 62% planned to devote more time to philanthropy, and 86% planned to travel when retired. Additionally, 14% of the women surveyed said that they wanted to start a business after their careers ended.2

Women are more concerned than men about running out of money. While 52% of male respondents were unsure that their retirement assets would last a lifetime, 63% of women polled were worried about outliving their money. Additionally, 70% of the women surveyed said they worried about rising healthcare costs.2

Will reality prove disappointing? Too many women approach retirement unprepared, with too little saved or invested. You can cite two major reasons for that.

1. The multiyear absence of some women from the workplace (which can coincide with peak earning years, lessening the rate of retirement plan contributions)
2. A notable earnings gap (full-time working women earn 78 cents for every dollar men earn, which may reflect everything from gender inequality in career paths to wage discrimination).3

Another factor may be conservative investing. While you can take on too much risk in your portfolio and pay the price, there may also be a cost for assuming too little risk – your portfolio may not be able to produce returns that keep up with inflation. The federal Consumer Price Index from June 2011 shows annualized inflation at 3.6%.4

How are you investing and saving to pursue your retirement dream? Is there a strategy in place with realistic objectives? A chat with a financial professional may lead to the discovery of creative new ways to pursue your retirement ambitions.

Securities, advisory services and insurance products are offered through Investment Centers of America, Inc. (ICA), member FINRA/SIPC and a Registered Investment Advisor, and affiliated insurance agencies. ICA and Smith Financial Management are separate companies.

This material was prepared by MarketingLibrary.Net Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however we make no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty.

Citations.
1 – reuters.com/article/2011/01/31/us-retirement-study-idUSTRE70U3E820110131 [1/31/11]
2 – mediaroom.bankofamerica.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=234503&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1521693&highlight [1/31/11]
3 – civilrights.org/archives/2009/04/291-equal-pay-day.html [4/29/09]
4 – online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304521304576447641965268196.html [7/15/11]

Register Now: Wine Tasting and Real Estate

photo by 96dpi via PhotoRee

Our seminar, Wine Tasting and Real Estate, is coming up on August 16th. Irene Smith, CDFA, will be hosting A Tale of Two Markets, accompanied by Dvir Levy, Regional Vice President of Wells Real Estate Funds. The presentation will start at 6:30 p.m., with wine tasting immediately following. Space is limited so reservations are required.

Click here to RSVP online, or call (818)884-4888.

A Woman’s Financial Reality

Irene Smith is a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst™, Certified Financial Planner® and Certified Public Accountant with Smith Financial Management. We are proud to be hosting three of Irene’s excellent financial seminars this summer. For more information about Irene’s seminars, visit our events page at TheLawCollaborative.com/events.htm. These seminars are free but space is limited. Please RSVP if you wish to attend.

A WOMAN’S FINANCIAL REALITY: Your financial future is up to you … and no one else.
Presented by Irene Smith

Will this be your future? Did you know that Social Security income represents two-thirds of income for women 65 and older? Did you know that without Social Security, an estimated 58% of widows aged 65 and older would live in poverty? 1

These findings are from a 2010 U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee report. As Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) put it, “Social Security is literally a lifeline for most elderly women.”

That lifeline is barely adequate. With inflation and other economic pressures, a mature woman relying on SSI may eventually have to choose between food or medicine, or rent or car repair, or contend with other stressful money dilemmas.

When these women were younger, did they envision such a meager future ahead of them? Probably not. More than a few probably wish they had understood money matters better or actively invested for retirement.

How much do you know about personal finance? The more knowledge you have, the more action you can take to define and pursue your financial goals and build retirement savings. You can also respond to a few financial realities common to women’s lives.

The average woman spends 12 years out of the working world. So finds WISER, the non-profit formally called Women’s Institute for a Secure Retirement. Typically some of this absence is for parenting, some of it for caregiving. This means the average woman has 12 fewer years to pour steady money into that 401(k), 403(b) or IRA.2

Women live longer. According to the latest estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, female life expectancy is at roughly 80.5 years versus about 75.5 years for males. The reality unnoticed in these numbers is that many women will live on their own for a decade or more after being divorced or widowed.3

Women face an earnings gap. On the whole, women do not earn as much as men. In 2009, the Government Accountability Office noted that women earn $0.78 for every $1 that men earn. Some people question this statistic, arguing that it reflects gender inequality in career paths rather than distinct salary discrimination. Regardless, the gap exists – and it is even more pronounced for women of color.4

At work, many women are worth more than the salaries they receive. Some women are reluctant to negotiate a better salary for themselves. Will it upset the equilibrium at the office? Will it be seen as too aggressive? The answers here are probably “no” and “no”. It takes confidence (and it may take a little research) to affirm your professional worth in front of your boss – and it should be done.

A rich spouse does not equal a retirement strategy. It is nice to have a spouse whose wealth allows you freedom from financial worries. Yet even if you are blessed with a rich and attractive mate, there is no telling where that mate (and that money) might end up someday but for fate.

How do you plan to arrange a comfortable future for yourself? If you don’t want to end up dependent on Social Security, then see that you have the financial education that will let you make major money decisions with confidence. Study fundamentals of investing and read up on the basics of retirement and estate strategizing. Follow up by meeting with a financial representative who can help you put a strategy into action.

Irene Smith may be reached at 818 884 4888 or Irene.smith@investmentcenters.com.
www.smithfinancialmanagement.com

This material was prepared by MarketingLibrary.Net Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however we make no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty.

Citations.
1 – thehill.com/blogs/on-the-money/801-economy/126543-changes-to-social-security-could-negatively-affect-women [10/29/10]
2 – mainstreet.com/article/retirement/women-still-far-behind-retirement-plans [4/25/11]
3 – nytimes.com/2011/03/17/health/17brfs-ART-AMERICANLIFE_BRF.html [3/17/11]
4 – civilrights.org/archives/2009/04/291-equal-pay-day.html [4/29/09]
5 – montoyaregistry.com/Financial-Market.aspx?financial-market=money-and-happiness&category=29 [6/5/11]