You've survived a divorce... now you're concerned about making your divorce settlement last

The divorce is finally over, the decisions have been made, your divorce settlement is final, and life proceeds anew but your financial worries are growing. You know the amount of your divorce settlement; what you don't know are the answers to your questions:

  • Will my income be enough to cover my day-to-day living expenses?
  • Will I be able to pay for college?
  • Will I get all the way through retirement?
  • Or will I outlive my assets?
  • How can I ensure I can keep the assets I most treasure, rather than later selling them to survive?
  • How can I build a financially stable future

With her intricate knowledge of the divorce process, her 25 years of financial planning and investing experience and dedication to educating her clients, Ute can empower you to take control of your finances and build a financially stable future.

Financial Clean-Up

For the newly-divorced the need for expert divorce advice continues after the divorce settlement - there's often a long list of financial clean-up that lies ahead. There are the big items, such as home refinancing, re-titling of homes and cars, retirement asset division, beneficiary designations, and estate documents – all mentioned in the divorce settlement.

  • Tackle all the tasks, small and large, from your divorce settlement

And there are smaller items such as removing the ex-spouse from credit cards, bank accounts, gym memberships, and so forth.  We can help you with these sometimes overwhelming tasks.

Balance Income and Expenses

After divorce, you may be receiving different types of income – employment earnings, spousal, or perhaps child support – some of which will probably be taxable.

  • Understand your new after-tax cash flow
  • Accurately estimate and plan for future living expenses

You need to know how much you’ll actually be left with each month, and compare your after-tax income to your expenses to create your new cash flow. Far too often, estimates of future living expenses are not accurate.  We can help you understand your new financial reality after divorce.

Protect your Income

If your divorce settlement includes either child support or spousal support/maintenance, you should look at life insurance as a tool to protect that cash flow.  Life insurance is a customary vehicle that will guarantee that cash flow continues after the death of a payer – and give you financial peace of mind.

  • Guarantee future income with life insurance
  • Ensure policy is correctly owned!

The owner of the policy is key, since the owner of the policy can control changes in beneficiary and cash value. In many cases, the spouse receiving the child support/spousal support also should be the owner of the life insurance policy on the spouse paying. We can help you evaluate the need, amount, type and ownership of a policy to best protect your future income.

Evaluate your investments

While married, the two of you may have chosen certain investments because they met your shared goals-such as a mutual fund to help save for the down payment on a home or an annuity to increase retirement savings. Once you divorce, however, your goals, tax bracket, and ability to withstand losses may alter.

  • Ensure your investments reflect your new risk tolerance
  • Adjust investments to your own ability to withstand losses
  • Choose investments that meet your new needs

Perhaps as a couple you could afford to hold on to a stock with great potential, even when its value fell. As a single person such a stock may be totally unsuitable and you may be looking for stable income. Similarly, a spouse in a high-income tax bracket might not wish to keep an investment that generates substantial taxable interest. We will help you evaluate your investments so you can decide if a particular investment meets your new needs.

Save for Retirement

Shortly after your divorce settlement is final, you must ascertain that a division of a pension, 401(k) or IRA was processed correctly. Also, if part of your divorce settlement, you must confirm that a qualified domestic relations order has been submitted to the fund administrator and implemented correctly, as well as update beneficiaries on all retirement accounts.

  • Will your retirement accounts provide adequate income?
  • Are they invested according to your specific goals?

We can help you with that process and then, together, we can review your retirement accounts, ascertain if they are invested according to your specific goals and risk tolerance and determine if they will provide you with adequate income when needed or if additional contributions are necessary.

Review your estate plan

Review your will and other documents to ensure that money is going to the right beneficiaries. 

  • Ensure your estate goes to the beneficiaries of your choice

Review and amend an estate plan while carrying out the divorce settlement provisions or immediately thereafter. We work with estate attorneys, trusted affiliates, who can assist you with this task.

Plan for taxes

Consult with a tax professional about potential tax ramifications of your divorce. Make sure all joint tax responsibilities from your marriage are filed.

  • Learn about your new tax status with our tax experts

We work with tax experts who can inform you what your new tax status means and ensure compliance of your filings.

Create a Financial Plan

Once the previous steps are completed , it is time to create a financial plan that includes your budget, debt repayment and a savings and investment strategy.  

  • Turn our dreams into goals with your financial road-map for life

Your road-map is custom-tailored to you, your needs and values. Your plan allows you to reflect on what’s most important to you.

Our financial planning services are ideal for individuals who are seeking professional advice to help them get on track after a life changing event such as divorce.  We do more than just create financial plans or invest your assets, we help you make better financial decisions.

  • We help you make better financial decisions
  • We will be your personal financial helpline and sounding board
  • We will be there every step of the way
  • We do more

When you have questions related to insurance needs, buying versus leasing, saving, buying a home, investing, retirement or other, you can call us. We serve as your sounding board to help you make informed decisions that will impact your financial future.

That's what makes us different. It's like having your own personal financial helpline.  We want to be there for you every step of the way to help you navigate the often complex life changes that will affect your financial future. Our divorce advice does not end with your divorce settlement. 

Start your new, financially stable future today and call for a complimentary consultation!

"It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new. But there is no real security in what is no longer meaningful. There is more security in the adventurous and exciting, for in movement there is life, and in change there is power." - Alan Cohen
Ute Scott-Smith - Certified Divorce Financial Analyst

Ute Scott-Smith

Complimentary Divorce Advice

  • Confidential
  • No Obligation
  • One Hour
Contact Me

or call 707-523-0570

Financial Checklist

After the Divorce: Your Financial Checklist

Download our free guide - a comprehensive list of the steps you need to take after divorce.

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