94 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 • 135 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.

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    • 2 min
    0232: How Does Spousal Support Work? - Part 2

    0232: How Does Spousal Support Work? - Part 2

    0232: How Does Spousal Support Work? - Part 2
    Visit us at divorceandyourmoney.com for the #1 divorce resources in the USA and get personalized help.
    In this episode, we are continuing the series on spousal support/alimony, whatever name you want to call it. And the importance of this episode is to cover the different types of spousal support or alimony available. I'm going to go through five different types, temporary support, permanent support, rehabilitative support, lump sum, and partial lump-sum support. So, let's jump in.
    Let's start with temporary support. Temporary support, generally speaking, is - before or during the divorce process - you have a temporary support amount you may be paying or receiving. It's the support you agree upon before the divorce is over. Pretty clear. The important thing to know about temporary agreements, and I say this almost every day on calls or when people are negotiating, whether you're the person about to pay or receive temporary spousal support, be very careful about what you decide. The numbers that you agree upon for temporary support often become the support numbers you use after divorce.
    And so, if you agree to a $1,000 a month, oftentimes the agreement after the divorce will be $1,000 a month. There is a lot less flexibility. Generally speaking, once you agree upon a temporary support number that often becomes the final support amount that you use after the divorce process. So, something to be very careful about there. Permanent support. Permanent support is what it sounds like. Permanent support is support for life. It's generally speaking, not as common as it used to be. If you were in a long-term marriage and you didn't work and you're near retirement age, there may be a permanent support amount, but if you are relatively young, then there usually isn't permanent support.
    It's not something that's automatic or even expected the way it once used to be. That said, it still exists, and that's something that you should be aware of. Every state, of course, as always has its own circumstances in revolving permanent support. Now, there's something between temporary and permanent support that wasn't on my list that I want to jump in, is there's just what your final support amount is. So, it's just what you negotiate. It doesn't necessarily have a fancy name other than your alimony number. So, if your alimony is $1,000 a month for eight years, either paying or receiving, that's just the amount. That's not temporary, that's not permanent, that's just your amount. So, that is the alimony payment. I just want to make that distinction in there very quickly.
    There's something called rehabilitative support. And it's not always known by that name, but I'm going to go through what it means because its meaning is very relevant to many of the discussions that I have, and that you may be thinking about when it comes to thinking about support and what makes sense. So, rehabilitative support is a very simple concept and that is either you or your spouse may need some additional training to get back on their feet and start earning a reasonable living after the divorce process. If they've been out of the workforce for a period of time, or if you've been out of the workforce for a period of time, it might take one, two, five years to get back on your feet or for your spouse to get back on their feet.
    And so, in a rehabilitative support model, what often happens is you pay a higher amount of spousal support or receive a higher amount of spousal support for the first few years while that spouse gets their training. So, if they're going to become a paralegal, go back to college, get an advanced degree, some sort of free training, whatever the case may be. Well, you might say, "Well, I'm going to agree to a higher level of support for the first three years that person gets to get back on their feet." And then it's presumed that after those three years, they'll have their certification, they can

    • 14 min
    0231: How Does Spousal Support Work? - Part 1

    0231: How Does Spousal Support Work? - Part 1

    Visit us at divorceandyourmoney.com for the #1 divorce resources in the USA and get personalized help.
    All right. Today, I want to talk about a very basic and essential topic that is worth your understanding and understanding the nuances of it, and that is spousal support. And when I talk about spousal support, I also mean alimony in there as well. Spousal support or alimony is the same term used interchangeably. Sometimes I'll refer to it as spousal support, sometimes I might say alimony, but know that they are the exact same thing. There's a lot of details that you should know about alimony or spousal support, and I want to make sure you understand the basics of it.
    Let's start with just a simple definition. What it is, is a court-ordered provision of money for one spouse after divorce, or sometimes separation as well. Spousal support is a very important concept. You may be on the paying end of support, you may be on the receiving end. But oftentimes, people ask, "Well, why do I have to pay support?" or, "Shouldn't I be receiving spousal support?" And you should kind of understand why it exists. Very simply, one spouse pays the other money, usually on a semi-regular basis. And the reason it exists is that most of the time, both spouses don't have equal resources.
    Usually, one spouse earns more than the other, and to make up for that difference, they have spousal support. Particularly, in a longer marriage where if you've been married for a long time, and if you're getting divorced and one spouse didn't work or barely worked part-time, that income difference can be substantial. Sometimes, in the hundreds of thousands of dollars a year a difference and so spousal support is there to make sure that the lower-earning spouse does not end up without any form of income after the divorce process is over.
    Why it came into play, if you look up the history of spousal support, why it even exists, is actually, once upon a time, you could get divorced but oftentimes, if we are assuming traditional gender roles, the wife would be left destitute. The husband who has had some sort of profession many, many decades ago before divorce laws evolved would work the job, the wife would stay at home if you think of the traditional family as it used to be. Before spousal support, if a wife were to get divorced, the wife would have no money and they would have to start over with basically nothing. They would be destitute.
    And so, spousal support was enacted by just about every state to minimize that from happening and keep that from happening in this situation of divorce, like other evolutions in divorce include no-fault divorce laws, which I've talked about on the podcast. It used to be the case where you had to prove a reason that you were getting divorced. Now you can get divorced for any reason at all in any state. Look, there are pros and cons and what not to everything, but just want to give a little bit of context there.
    Now, the big question that I get asked a lot is, "How much alimony am I going to get?" And the answer to that is it depends. There are numerous factors that are considered. Now, every state has its own nuances to how spousal support is determined. Some of them, it's a little bit more formulaic. More often, it is almost just whatever you and your spouse agree to or whatever a court decides is the amount of support that's going to be paid, and there are very few guidelines. Particularly, for my California listeners... I work with a lot of people in California, a lot of people in New York... Now, I work with people everywhere but in those two states in particular people, the question is, "How much support am I going to pay?" And the answer is, well, we're going to have to figure it out and negotiate it because it's not a hard and fast rule in terms of spousal support. 
    So there are a lot of nuances to the spousal support question and what financial status means, and trying to give a bunch of examples is a little

    • 15 min
    0230: A Restraining Order to Protect Your Money in Divorce (Automatic Temporary Restraining Order)

    0230: A Restraining Order to Protect Your Money in Divorce (Automatic Temporary Restraining Order)

    Visit us at divorceandyourmoney.com for the #1 divorce resources in the USA and get personalized help.

    Almost half the people I talk to on a given day or week have yet to file for divorce. And they are in the planning phases and are trying to figure out their options. Now, I'm never an advocate for divorce, but there's one situation in which I encourage people to file sooner over later. And the reason is because, when you file for divorce, you generally have additional protections when it comes to financial decisions that are made. And specifically, most divorce filings include something that's called a temporary restraining order or automatic temporary restraining order, depending upon your state. And what that means is that neither spouse is allowed to make big financial decisions once the divorce is filed.

    And the reason that's important is oftentimes I hear people saying, "Well, my spouse is thinking about doing this. Should I go along with it? Or how can I stop this from happening? Or how do I protect myself if my spouse does that?" And oftentimes the only answer is, if this is something you're really worried about, you need to file for divorce now to protect yourself and to prevent your spouse from making this particular financial decision that could be very harmful to your future particularly when divorce is on the horizon. And this temporary restraining order or automatic temporary restraining order, as I said, prevents your spouse and you as well, but your spouse from making big financial moves.

    And what are those? Those could be something like selling property, transferring property, borrowing, like taking on a big debt, changing your insurance policies, withdrawing, that's a word I have a lot of trouble with, withdrawing large sums of money from bank accounts, destroying or hiding assets, paying down big debts, taking on big debts, making a big purchase, things like that. And the restraining order, which you get when you file, is there to protect you and to keep your spouse from doing those things. Now, it gets a little complicated because there are two things that are really important notes to think about. The first is that you can still do stuff that's in the normal course of business.

    Had a really challenging case lately where the spouses were business owners and they were filing for divorce, and they were trying to figure out how to still continue... They had a very, very successful business, but they buy and sell, I'm just going to use the word property very generally, regularly. I mean, that was basically what the nature of their business is. They buy and sell lots of properties. And so, the question was, under this temporary restraining order, how do we keep running the business the way we need to run the business, given that basically, all they do is large transactions and how to make that work efficiently.

    But other times I hear people saying, "My spouse is about to withdraw a bunch of money or transfer a bunch of money to here or there." And that's when that restraining order comes into play. But the point of all of that is just to say, the restraining order’s first important note is that you're still allowed to pay your groceries, pay your bills, pay your mortgage, do the normal things that you do to run a normal life. It's not meant to stop spending completely because that would be unrealistic. The second thing that you should know is that it's not perfect. And what I say by it's not perfect is, just because you have this restraining order in effect doesn't mean that your bank knows, doesn't mean your credit card company knows, doesn't mean that all of the institutions know what's going on.

    So even though there may be this restraining order in effect, if your bank doesn't know, your spouse could theoretically make some big transfers to different places. And, yeah, that'll come up later in the discussion, but it is not something that automatically goes in place to

    • 13 min
    0229: What Date Do You Value Assets in Divorce?

    0229: What Date Do You Value Assets in Divorce?

    Visit us at divorceandyourmoney.com for the #1 divorce resources in the USA and get personalized help.
    A question that's been coming up quite a bit is what day or what month do I use to value all of my stuff? What day do I pick to value the house, value the retirement account, use what numbers in the bank account? Is it June of this year? Is it April of last year? Is it when I filed for divorce? And or is it when the trial date is coming up? What day do I use to pick to value all of our stuff? And it's a really important question and a really complicated question because the date that you value all of your stuff can have really important impacts. I'll give you just a few examples so you know what I'm talking about. Let's just say you separated two years ago, and now you're finally getting to the divorce negotiation, which is a very common situation.

    Well, two years ago, your house may have been worth $500,000, but let's say now your house is worth $700,000. And you're planning on keeping the house. Do you use the $500,000 valuation from two years ago, or do you use the $700,000 valuation? Or a more complicated subject that I've been dealing with a lot lately is people who have stock options. This one's a very tricky one, but if you have stock options, those options often have certain grant dates where you get more options or certain exercises dates where those options get a lot more liquid or have more value. And so, one of the things that gets complicated is, well, when you're trying to get divorced or you or your spouse has stock options, not only what date do you use to value those options? Because generally speaking, oftentimes those options can fluctuate substantially in value over time, but also how many options are actual marital property versus not?

    And trying to figure that out can be very important. And the reason I bring up this subject is it is something that you should be thinking of. And then the third example that actually happens is a very simple one that actually doesn't have a lot of complications, but something you should be thinking about, which is, let's just say, I was talking to someone this morning about this. Let's just say you and your spouse are going to negotiate things yourselves, and it's relatively amicable, all things considered. And you're trying to figure out, well, what day do we use to pick for the bank accounts? Do we use last month? Do we use three months ago, whatever it is? And we just want to make sure that we're all on the same page and that could be a simple situation, but the point is, is that all of your property fluctuates.

    Oh, and then one more, sorry, I said that one more example, but if you think about a retirement account or a stock brokerage account or an investment account. Investments in your account fluctuate every day. And so if you were to calculate your investments on April 5th, that same investment account will have a totally different value on April 6th. And it could have a very different value in July of the next year. So there are a lot of things to think about when it comes to what date you pick to value assets. And I just want to give you some things to think about. And the important thing about this episode is to know what date to pick and to be thinking about what date to use. And it may give you some thoughts in terms of what timing you should pursue when it comes to your divorce process.

    And another way to think about the date that you value the assets is your separation date. And the goal in your divorce is to have a date where all of your assets, all of your debts are valued as of that date. So there is no confusion. So things go up in the future, that's not something that gets discussed. If things go down in the future, that's not something that really gets discussed either. The goal is to have it consistent going forward. Now, what is extra complicated about this topic is two things. One is that every state has very different

    • 13 min
    0228: How Do You Keep Separate Property Separate? (Or Prove Separate Property is Actually Marital Property?)

    0228: How Do You Keep Separate Property Separate? (Or Prove Separate Property is Actually Marital Property?)

    Visit us at divorceandyourmoney.com for the #1 divorce resources in the USA and get personalized help.
    It's been a few months since I recorded a new episode and not because I haven't been working, but because been working a little too much and got behind on the podcast episode. So apologies for that. Thank you to all 0f the people who I've been speaking to over the past several weeks and months, there've been lots and lots of good questions and, and coaching calls coming in. And I want to get back in helping educate you on the different intricacies of the divorce process. And this episode specifically, I want to talk about some subjects that have been coming up quite a bit.
    And the first one I'd like to talk about is how do you keep your separate property separate? And also, how do you know if a separate property or what's being called separate property is actually marital property. And if you've been listening to other episodes, you know what I'm talking about in the context, but the big issue is, let's say you had some money.
    When I say property, it could be something like money. It could be a physical property. It could be, a retirement account, a car, whatever. Let's say you had something before you got married. How do you make sure that if you're now, unfortunately, facing divorce, that is still considered separate property? What kind of things can you do? Or should you be doing? And conversely, if your ex-spouse, for instance, is saying, well, this is separate property, but, but you think it's actually something that you should be splitting between the two of you. How do you broach and go down that discussion? It's a very common topic that comes up every, every few days in terms of people that I get to speak with. And there are a few things to consider here.
    And let's take it from the perspective of you have some separate property. Maybe you got an inheritance as a, maybe you had something when you got married, there's a lot of different types of separate property. How do you make sure that it stays separate? A few things.
    The first is to keep good records. Now keeping good records, doesn't ensure that something is separate, stay separate. However, keeping good records can ensure that you can at least be able to prove the argument one way or another in terms of what is going on. So you need to make sure that you can keep good records. Now it becomes a challenge when sometimes you've been married for, someone called me, I spoke to just the other day, who'd been married for 31 years and there was a separate property question and there's no way to get the records. And so we were talking about some advanced strategies in terms of, getting affidavits from a parent who's still around and, and other siblings who are on the receiving end of this inheritance when everyone got the same amount, et cetera, et cetera. In lieu of being able to have actual records, they had to approach a different direction.
    But if you have things like bank accounts or old account's statements, some of these institutions keep account statements for, for a decade or more, or if you walk straight into your bank, sometimes they can pull if you've used the same bank for a long time and they're still around. Oftentimes they have good records that go back further than what you may build, ask or access online, or just to get when you stroll in, if you just talk to a casual person at the bank. But anything you can do to get old records, old communications that indicate when you received some form of property and how much it was at the time it can bolster your case.
    The second thing is to avoid co-mingling is a term that if you listen to the podcast, you should've heard before. But co-mingling is just the idea that you may mix your separate assets with your marital assets. Simple as that. And what does that mean? Well, let's just say you got an inheritance and then you got an inheritance of $100 and you put 50 of it into your j

    • 17 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
135 Ratings

135 Ratings

Hilart JG ,

To the Point and Very Informative!

I love this podcast. If you need quick financial advice on matters that occur during a divorce, this is the podcast to listen to. I consider myself financially savvy but I still learned a lot of practical advice from this podcast.

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.

mark80908 ,

Good info but hard to listen to

The info provided is mostly quite useful. Unfortunately the speaker has such a “hesitant” speaking style I had a difficult time listening to him for long periods of time. He puts a pause between nearly every word and I tried to make it through the entire podcast but eventually gave up. It’s a shame since what he had to say was good, just challenging to listen to.

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