84 episodes

If you are currently going through a divorce or soon will be, Divorce and Your Money is the perfect podcast for you. The author, Shawn C. H. Leamon (MBA), is a professional and well-respected financial advisor and Certified Divorce Financial Analyst. His podcast provides real-world practical advice, including tips and checklists to help women and men protect their financial interests and future.

Divorce and Your Money - #1 Divorce Podcast Shawn Leamon, MBA, CDFA

    • Kids & Family
    • 4.6 • 91 Ratings

If you are currently going through a divorce or soon will be, Divorce and Your Money is the perfect podcast for you. The author, Shawn C. H. Leamon (MBA), is a professional and well-respected financial advisor and Certified Divorce Financial Analyst. His podcast provides real-world practical advice, including tips and checklists to help women and men protect their financial interests and future.

    0223: How Much Will Divorce Cost? (Answer: It Can Be Expensive!)

    0223: How Much Will Divorce Cost? (Answer: It Can Be Expensive!)

    Visit us at divorceandyourmoney.com for the #1 divorce resources in the USA and get personalized help.
    One of the most common questions I get, and one of the biggest anxiety producing questions I get, is how much is divorce going to cost? How much should I expect to spend on the divorce process? And if you're going to ask your attorney how much divorce is going to cost, they're going to say it depends. And I've never known an attorney to give a straight answer when it comes to the cost of divorce. 
    And so in this particular episode, I want to go through some considerations in terms of how much the divorce may end up costing you in terms of the financial check that you might have to write. So I'm going to just give some ranges and some considerations and things to think about as it comes to the divorce process.
    Now everyone's situation is different. Divorce can cost more whether you live in a city, versus a suburb, versus a small town. Divorce can cost a lot depending upon what assets you have, what needs to be done. There's a lot of variations, but I'm just going to give you a range. And so on the low end, from what I see per person, I see the minimum, minimum, minimum, most people are going to spend on their divorce is about $5,000. And that's for one person. And so it'd be $10,000 as a couple. And that's assuming that everything goes smoothly in divorce, and yes, there are ways to make divorce go smoothly, but that's your best-case scenario. 
    Now, the normal range I see for people is usually in the 20 to I'd say 35 or $40,000 range per person. Sometimes it's closer to 15. Sometimes it's closer to 50, but that unfortunately is not uncommon when it comes to the divorce process. And sometimes if there's just a lot of fighting, a lot of complication, the process is going to drag on for several years, the bills can get into the hundreds of thousands of dollars, and I've seen that too.
    And so what I want to go through is first to be aware of the cost of the divorce, and if you're going to be going down this path. I mean, that's why you're listening to this episode. There is a big expense, and you have to really think about what's worth it, and what's not when it comes to investing in the divorce process. And I want to go through a few ways in terms of explaining both how you could control the cost of divorce, and also how to figure out just a few quick methods on how to pay for it.
    When it comes to minimizing or controlling the cost of divorce, really the biggest expense when it comes to divorce cost is how much you and your spouse disagree on certain items. To put it a different way, is if you and your spouse can come up with solutions on your own, and come up with as much of an agreement as you can between the two of you and not involve attorneys, the cheaper the divorce will be, the less expensive it will be. 
    And so if everything is a fight, and I use an extreme example all the time, is I grew up with a middle-class family. They did well for themselves, saved, and they had several hundred thousand dollars of savings, and a house and the normal stuff. And they spent 100% of their money and then some fighting over everything, from not just the big items like houses and retirement accounts, but all the way to who gets the dining room set. And unfortunately, they ended up in the divorce process, they spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on legal fees, and that was all the money that they had.
    On other examples, I know billionaires who've gotten divorced for less than $20,000, and that's because they came up with an agreement ahead of time with their spouse. And yeah, maybe the check they're writing to their spouse is going to be pretty substantial, but they knew what they were going to do. They were smart about legal fees, and they did a very good job with it. And so really it just depends on how much fighting there

    • 14 min
    0222: Divorce Funding with Nicole Noonan, CEO of New Chapter Capital, Inc.

    0222: Divorce Funding with Nicole Noonan, CEO of New Chapter Capital, Inc.

    To get in touch with Nicole Noonan, visit newchaptercapital.com or call (212) 404-7807. Visit us at divorceandyourmoney.com for the #1 divorce resources in the USA and get personalized help.
    Shawn Leamon: All right. Today we have Nicole Noonan. She is the CEO of New Chapter Capital, which is a firm that deals with a topic we haven't covered in a while, but a very important one, which is divorce funding. Nicole, welcome to the show.
    Nicole Noonan: Thanks so much. Happy to be here. Yeah.
    Shawn Leamon: Why don't you tell us what New Chapter Capital does? What is divorce funding? What does that mean?
    Nicole Noonan: So New Chapter Capital and divorce funding provides liquidity for individuals going through a divorce, that would not otherwise have access to it. So we provide an advance against the potential settlement. And the advance can be used for legal fees, expert costs, and for living expenses.
    Nicole Noonan: And this is something that I saw, in my own practice, a real need for, where one spouse had more money than the other. And they cut up their credit cards, and try to back them into taking a settlement less than what they're entitled to.
    Shawn Leamon: And so, to simplify, I mean, liquidity is money. So you're giving them the funds to get through the divorce process.
    Nicole Noonan: Exactly. Yeah.
    Shawn Leamon: And the objective then is to level the playing field, it sounds like.
    Nicole Noonan: Right, right. So they can go out and hire the right attorneys, the right experts. We don't want someone to have, I'm going to use a generalization, their husbands go out. They're the money, the bread earners. They're going to go hire top counsel for the divorce.
    Nicole Noonan: And the wife is going to have to go borrow money from friends or family and go hire someone who's fresh out of law school. And this is their first divorce case. We don't want that. We want them to have equal representation. And that's what they're entitled to.
    Shawn Leamon: Yeah. So I think a lot of people, I mean, anyone who's not the primary breadwinner in the house, if there is one, probably is at a pretty significant disadvantage, at least from my experience, in terms of having the available money to go and start paying legal fees.
    Shawn Leamon: I was just talking to someone yesterday. And they had some money in savings, but basically drained all of it within the first month or so of the process. How does someone know that they'll be a good candidate? How do you figure out whether they should contact you? Kind of gives me the overview, as someone should evaluate kind of this divorce funding, versus using credit cards, or borrowing from family and friends, as you mentioned. How does someone think about that?
    Nicole Noonan: Yeah, no. So, we always say, people save for their wedding. You plan for the wedding, the dress, the cake, the caterers, the band. So when it comes time to divorce, no one's sitting there planning for a rainy day divorce. So if you don't have access to your own money, you're going to have to go to friends or family, potentially, or you're going to have to take out credit cards.
    Nicole Noonan: Now, that being said, not everyone needs to have an attorney. Not everyone needs full-blown litigation. I always say, it's best to sit down with your spouse, if you can, open up a bottle of wine, have dinner. And say, "Hey, these are my 10 non-negotiables. What are your 10?" And hash it out as much as possible. Because you'd rather send your child to college than send your attorney's child's at college.
    Nicole Noonan: But that's not always a possibility. That being said, if you're fighting over ... There's case law, very interesting things. I get it for animals. People want to fight over animals. But fighting over your baseball card collection, or your Nintendo set. Or fighting over something with no value, it's really not worth putting

    • 19 min
    0221: Why You Don’t Want the Most “Aggressive” Divorce Attorney

    0221: Why You Don’t Want the Most “Aggressive” Divorce Attorney

    Visit us at divorceandyourmoney.com for the #1 divorce resources in the USA and get personalized help.
    One of the challenges of picking a divorce attorney is finding the right type of attorney or type of personality of an attorney to work with you and for you during the divorce process. There can be a lot of different styles of attorney. Sometimes you want an attorney that is more there towards working towards a resolution and won't run up your bill, but you also want an attorney who is going to advocate for you and fight for you.
    One of the things I want to cover in this particular episode is why you want to avoid hiring the most aggressive divorce attorney. You'll see a lot of attorneys out there who claim to be the dog, the bulldog, the fighter. They're going to go all-in and advocate for you and fight for you on every issue and make sure that you're there to win. In fact, if you think about the way that divorce attorneys are represented in movies, oftentimes the attorney's going to be that pit bull aggressive, sports car driving, fancy suit, 35th floor in a downtown office. An attorney that is there to be aggressive and fight.
    But I want to give some considerations when it comes to choosing an attorney as to why that might not be the ideal in terms of picking the most aggressive person. And there are four big topics I want to cover in terms of an aggressive attorney. The first is that going to court is expensive. Second is aggressive does not equal respect in the legal community. The third is aggressive doesn't mean effective. And finally, fourth is that an aggressive attorney can be emotionally draining.
    So, I'm going to go through these four points. And just keep in mind when you're thinking about your attorney selection, you're thinking about the divorce process, you're thinking about how these processes go, is ultimately you're going to need to get to a resolution. Most people listening want to get to some form of a settlement, and it requires some negotiating ability.
    Now, everything being lopsided, it doesn't mean you cave in and give in to the other side, but you want someone who is there to advocate for you, but help you get to a resolution, not just fight for fighting sake. And so, the first point in this is going to court is expensive. If you get an aggressive attorney, you will constantly be fighting absolutely every issue, there'll be a motion for every issue, you'll have lots and lots of legal work that's done. And anything that your spouse or soon to be ex-spouse brings up, whether it's valid or not, is going to be challenged, even when it's not justified to be challenged. And sometimes it is going to ultimately hurt you, not harm you.
    And so, when you have overly aggressive attorneys, oftentimes you don't get to a point where there's a resolution and you end up going to trial or having many, many court dates. And the process takes twice as long and is five times more expensive because you're fighting every issue.
    The second point is aggressive attorneys aren't always respected both by judges and the legal community. And remember, when I use the word aggressive, I do mean the person who fights for fighting sake. If you know that someone's always going to fight every particular issue, whether it's big or tiny and irrelevant in the overall process of things, that person starts to lose their credibility.
    I mean, imagine, and I use an example that's actually a true example, but let's just say you have $300 worth of dishes at home. You know, you have your plates and your bowls and your cups and whatever else, but seven motions later and 14 hours of legal work later, you have now spent $5,000 or more on trying to get those cups and plates going to your house and not your ex-spouse. And that's kind of the thing, where you would have been better off just letting this issue be rather than fighting over every

    • 13 min
    0220: Do You Need A Divorce Attorney?

    0220: Do You Need A Divorce Attorney?

    Visit us at divorceandyourmoney.com for the #1 divorce resources in the USA and get personalized help.
    In this episode and the next several episodes, I want to discuss divorce attorneys, and family law attorneys, and the details and choices amongst them. And how you can figure out whether or not you have a good attorney, how to find a good attorney to make sure your attorney is fighting for and advocating for you and the complexities of the attorney selection and just relationship management process. I'm a huge fan of divorce attorneys and having them help represent you, but like in all industries, there are people who are really good at their job and some people who, let's just say, politely, may need some improvement. And attorneys are no different. There are some excellent family law attorneys out there who will do a good job for you at a reasonable price. And there are some attorneys out there who will cause a mess of things, and you end up spending tens of thousands of dollars or more. And on top of that, not getting anything done. And I want you to avoid that scenario.
    But in this particular episode, I want to focus on, do you need an attorney? And what situations that might exist where you don't need an attorney to help you. And let's just start with the basics. Do you need one? Well, your attorney is going to have, if you work with one, is probably going to have one of the biggest impacts in terms of how this divorce process goes for you. And same is the selection of the attorney of your spouse. A good attorney or good set of attorneys, will keep things moving forward at a reasonable clip people will, of course, have disagreements, this is divorce, but they'll do them civilly and you won't end up spending more money and time and energy than you have to. And if you get a bad attorney, this process is going to be an additional nightmare on top of nightmares. Not only will you lose a lot in your divorce, and when I say lose a lot, I mean, money, time, energy, but the outcome will likely be pretty poor as well.
    And so, you need to be very careful about who you choose as an attorney. And so, it's one of the most important things that you can do when it comes to the divorce process. But some people ask me, I get this question all the time is, "Do I need an attorney or can I do it myself?" And I know a lot of people are hesitant to fork over thousands or tens of thousands of dollars to an attorney to help with their issues. And sometimes, I get people who'll say, "Well, my issues are pretty simple. I think I can handle most of this." And a lot of times I'll talk to you and say, "Yeah, you have a pretty good handle on things, but you should still consult an attorney or at least consider it." And there are other times where people don't really need that much legal help because they and their spouse agree on most of the issues.
    And so, can they do it themselves? A few things I tell people when it comes to whether or not they need an attorney. The first thing, of course, is that divorce is complicated. There are a lot of details in order to come up with a divorce settlement, a divorce agreement, or ultimately if you are one of the handful of people who has to go to trial. I mean, there's a lot of details involved even in the simplest of situations. And you need to be prepared to have a handle on that and understand all of those complexities. The second thing is, it's very, very easy to make mistakes in the divorce process. The mistakes that people think of, which are, are they getting the right financial deal for them? Did they structure a custody agreement the right way? Are they doing what's within the bounds of the law when they come up with an agreement? Those are common things.
    But there are also issues where did you fill out that divorce paperwork the right way? And is the clerk going to reject it? And you have to rej

    • 16 min
    0219: How to Conserve Cash & Save Money During The Pandemic

    0219: How to Conserve Cash & Save Money During The Pandemic

    EP 0219: How to Conserve Cash & Save Money During The Pandemic 
     
    Visit us at divorceandyourmoney.com for the #1 divorce resources in the USA and get personalized help.
    In this episode, I want to discuss preparing your finances during a recession and how to conserve as much cash and capital you can during this time period. It's not purely a divorce topic, but it has some general financial discussions in here. And there's some things I want you to think about. As I'm recording this, there's something like almost 30 million American adults out of work. The unemployment rate is high. A lot of states have been locked down, and some are slowly starting to reopen, but the economy has fundamentally changed. And just a few months ago, at the beginning of 2020, there was a great economy, and then that changed in the span of about a week or two. And a lot of people have lost jobs or are on unemployment or some combination of those.
    And when you're on a budget, regardless of your lifestyle and your income, oftentimes a big decrease like what has happened recently can completely change your lifestyle, your budgeting, your plans, and it can be hard at a certain point if you've exhausted your savings or are getting close to it to figure out ways to conserve some additional money and give yourself added financial flexibility as you try and keep up with the relevant payments that you may have.
    And so I want to go through a few different strategies, five specific strategies to consider when it comes to this environment and some ways to improve your financial picture, particularly if your income is down, but your expenses have remained the same or your expenses have even increased given everything that's going on. And so I'm going to go through five things and I'm just going to start them now.
    The first is to check and understand your spending. You should have a very good handle on your expenses. If you haven't completed a financial affidavit or statement of net worth, oftentimes they ask you for your monthly expenses. One of the things you should be doing is really understanding what those expenses are, how they look, what can be cut from your expenses. I look at every transaction every month and I go through and I say, "Hey, do all these transactions look good? Where do I spend too much? Could I cut something here or there to make sure that I'm not spending too much?"
    And when your budget is tight, you have to realize that even small things add up. I'll use a very simple example, is if you pay $10 a month for Netflix ... I don't know the exact Netflix price at the moment, but let's just say you pay $10 a month for Netflix, and that's $120 a year over five years, that is $600 of spending on Netflix. I always look at those small subscriptions as a five year commitment, and you can realize that $10 a month can add up pretty quickly, much less if you have an expense that's $50 a month or $120 a month or more. And so you need to really think about those expenses and what you may be able to cut.
    The second thing is if you have debt of any kind, be it a credit card, student loan, personal loan, mortgage, whatever, you can negotiate with your lenders. Under normal economic environment times, people were not as willing to defer or adjust your payment schedule, but now given the millions of people in very tough situations, and you may be one of them, there are ways to lower your payments in the short-term so that you have some flexibility and in the long-term, you're going to make up for it. But doing and cutting what you can in the short-term can be helpful.
    When it comes to a student loan or a credit card or personal loan, you can pay ... Sometimes they'll let you just pay the interest. Maybe you can't pay the principal balance, so if you have ... I'm just going to make up a student loan, for example. Well, let's say you pay $1,000 a mont

    • 16 min
    0218: A Simple Breathing Techniques to Manage Stress

    0218: A Simple Breathing Techniques to Manage Stress

    Visit us at divorceandyourmoney.com for the #1 divorce resources in the USA and get personalized help. 
    This week, I want to cover a slightly different type of episode. How can you manage stress the instant you are experiencing it?
    Oftentimes life can feel overwhelming, and finding ways to manage all of those feelings without shutting down is essential to our well-being.
    Here’s a technique that I find helpful and in fact, use frequently to manage stress – it’s very simple.
    It’s a deep breathing technique where you count to 10. What do I mean by that? Listen to this latest podcast for more on this guaranteed technique to help you ease stress the minute you feel it.

    • 7 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
91 Ratings

91 Ratings

Kendra in Austin ,

Super Helpful with Actionable Tips

Shawn breaks down financial difficulties people face when going through the divorce process and provides REAL and actionable tips to solve them. Listening to one of his podcasts is like getting coached in real life! I highly recommend listening if you need financial guidance during your divorce.

luludtr ,

Great!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Just Great!!!!!!!!!!!

first and foremost ,

Great Help

I spoke with three financial advisors on the phone and could none of them could answer my questions or provide any guidance. Shawn is a wonderful resource for divorce. It was refreshing to bounce ideas off Shawn and get his feedback during the 30 minute consult. He helped me make a decision that I was struggling with and confused about.

Setting up the consult was really easy and I emailed him a document ahead of time for reference during the call.

Thanks Shawn!

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