Choose Collaborative

As a volunteer mediator of the court I worked with a family that has gone through five years of litigation and have spent their marital savings on attorneys fees, minor’s counsel and custody evaluators. Their child has developmental heath issues in the process of litigation.
The problem with the court system is that it could be used as a sword by an angry party. Jealousy and anger makes some people blind to the cost of litigation destroying everything that are assets to the family including the children.
Plan your divorce; don’t take the popular path of the war zone, #Choosecollaborative.

Is Date of Separation an Issue?

Date of Separation becomes an issue when you are litigating your divorce.  It surprises me how many times men and women who were so smart to build successful businesses and accumulate wealth, invest in big law firms litigating every issue; and they don’t balance potential fees and costs or the risk of loss and the amount of gain or likelihood of any gain. Perhaps they don’t really want to divorce.  Why else do they pursue years of entanglement with their spouse?

Well, for people who do not want to potentially destroy their wealth and family because of their need to prove themselves right, I recommend you contact me to consider your other options before you contact big law firms for a litigated divorce.

Litigation is about competing and taking positions and Collaborative Process is about collaborating in favor of familial and financial interests.

Emotions drive parties to sacrifice all that is important to them to prove they are right and the other is wrong. In a Collaborative process, emotions are addressed to protect and preserve all that is important to both clients without judgment or blame.  Since the Judge decides according to the law, lawyers can and do hold a separate litigated trial just on the issue of Date of separation costing clients over a $100,000, without any guarantee of benefit for that expenditure.

Date of Separation can impact fiduciary duties the parties have toward each other.  Under the law, Date of Separation also can impact the extent of interest in a property depending on whether the property was acquired before or after the date of separation.  Property acquired during the marriage and before the date of separation is presumed to be Community property owned by both spouses; there is no such presumption for properties acquired after the date of separation; and a second possible impact is  the increase in the value of property due to a parties’ efforts.  During the marriage, the spouses’ efforts and earnings are community property and after the date of separation, the efforts and earnings are separate property.

In a Collaborative process, the parties are not limited by the law and division by a Judge under the law.  The parties can make any agreement that provides the most benefit to both parties involved.  The agreement / Judgment can be worked out with the support of our financial experts taking into account what is important to each party, different tax considerations, and what solutions will provide the most financial benefit in the division of assets and debts.

My name is Michelle Daneshrad, I am a Certified Family Law Specialist.  For more information, contact my office Smart Divorce Options 8189910519.

What Issues Will Involve You In a Divorce

If you are considering divorce, there are the issues involved in a divorce and THEN there are issues that you find yourself involved depending on the process.

The issues common to divorce no matter the process are child custody and visitation, child support, spousal support, attorney fees, and asset and debt division.

The issues that you don’t know that you will have in a divorce through the court system are: paying attorneys fees for your attorney to travel and wait in court for hours; having no control over your fees; having to pay for two forensic accountants; two appraisers, one, two or three custody evaluators, thousands of dollars for discovery, fighting in court about getting documents that you may already have.

Why? Well because when you hire a litigator or traditional divorce attorney then many times it becomes about them winning the case and their reputation. It is about winning battles until you get to the war. By then, unless you have millions of dollars in assets, you usually get wiped out by the end of the divorce process.

The issues that you deal with in a Collaborative process are how to talk to each other in a way that will bring out the best in your spouse and have him or her want to cooperate with you; how to talk to the children about divorce; what future you want for yourself after divorce so we could use the plan to guide us in working out the property division and support settlement agreement. Being requested to forgive your spouse so you can move on.

Let’s do the math. How much are you spending to get what?

You want to ask yourself: Do I want to spend the next few years giving money to attorneys and experts fighting each other? Do I also want to compromise my time, energy, and attention on a game of competition for the thrill of a couple of family law attorneys?

What am I getting? Is the possible humiliation and punishment of my spouse worth all that I am investing? Is the unpredictable outcome worth all my current and future time and energy and money?

How much else am I compromising by not spending my time, energy, and attention on wealth building?

How much is the value of the wellbeing of my children?

How much is the value of my peace of mind?

Or do I want to really get divorced and end the marriage efficiently. Is the future I want for myself the goal or is giving control to a couple of attorneys my goal?

A New Approach to Prenuptial Agreements

You have built your career and your wealth and now are ready to get married. You met the one you want to marry. You may have your own concerns about what happens in case of divorce. These concerns may come from your own prior marriage and divorce. They may come from advise from your counselors, friends, and family, or they may come from the stories you heard from people who have gone through divorce.

You now have a dilemma. You want to start your marriage with trust and dedication. And you are afraid if you tell your fiancé that he or she needs to sign a prenuptial agreement, they may think that you don’t trust them. You are concerned about damaging the trust or the foundation of your marriage.

Let me give you a perspective about premarital agreements that will actually strengthen the trust and foundation of your future marriage.

Premarital agreements allow for couples getting married to discuss difficult and important issues in a way that makes their relationship stronger. As future married couple you are financial partners. Most couples getting married avoid talking about the financial matters and therefore start a marriage on a weak foundation.

At Smart Divorce Options, we support you in an open, honest, and intimate way of communicating about marital financial plans and arrangements. You want your marriage to be based on a relationship where you can talk to each other about anything. You let your spouse know that you have these concerns from what you have heard or from your past experience. You want to let them know that you are 100% committed to have a trusting loving relationship and you want to address each other’s concerns together.

The key is your vantage point. If you talk about your concerns from the vantage point of “in case of divorce,” that will be a plan based on fear. No plan will be a productive plan based on fear.

I suggest a conversation about finances based on future dreams and goals. For example: I want this set aside for that and I want to build this with you for our marriage. In building this partnership, being open and honest with your finances is a big deal.

You want your plans to be future based not fear based.

Michelle Daneshrad, CFLS
(818) 991-0519