YOU DON’T GET A DO OVER IN DIVORCE

YOU DON’T GET A DO OVER IN DIVORCE

One of the biggest reality checks for those in divorce is you do not get “do-overs”. Once the estate has been divided, it is divided. Once decisions with minor children have been made, they are made. Sure, you can always spend thousands of dollars to go back to court if you decide you do not like the children’s agreements or want to modify spousal support which was put in place, but that’s just it – you’ll spend thousands of dollars. So now is the time to make sure you are really in the best place you can possibly be for your future.

When you come to terms with this thought, it will hopefully help you see the importance of making the best, most informed decisions you possibly can right now. How many times in life have you longed for a do-over? Don’t make this process something you wish you could have done over. In order to make informed decisions it is important to do all you can to think logically right now.

REACTING EMOTIONALLY

This is one of the BIGGEST MISTAKES made in the divorce process. I know for me; I was completely overwhelmed and exhausted emotionally with the process. I did not know what I was doing, and I felt as though I was going through this in a fog – I just was not myself. I was so stuck in worrying about the future I was not able to take small steps each day to ensure I was on track with the things I had control over.

What this creates is a state of high arousal in the right side of the brain which controls the “fight, flight or freeze” response. We have all heard of this because it’s the basic, instinctual part of the brain protecting us from imminent danger. When we are living in this state of constant arousal, it’s nearly impossible to use the left side of the brain which is our reasoning/decision making part of the brain. We are simply reacting to the events and stimulus without being able to process what is important, so we get angry, afraid, confused and overwhelmed.

What would it be like if you could get help with the emotional part that’s paralyzing you right now? Imagine being able to see the options you might have and the possibilities you never even thought about!

TRY THIS TODAY

Take small steps each day – just one action step to help you feel in control of your divorce process – maybe make a to-do list and check off one small item every day. This can put you back in the left side of the brain where you can begin to think reasonably and clearly.

GET PROFESSIONAL SUPPORT!!

The divorce process requires us to make monumental financial and relational decisions which will impact, realistically, the rest of our lives. It is a wise decision to have professionals help you during this process who are on your side. This help could involve a therapist, divorce coach or group support like Wise Woman’s Guide to Divorce or Divorce Care.

Another area where an advocate can help is with your financials – specifically a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst. If you are younger, the decisions you make today could impact the childhood your children experience including the resources you have to raise them. If you are older, your divorce is a financial negotiation for your retirement years. It is critical to get help with your finances no matter what your situation. That is why we offer complimentary consultations online or the phone for those in divorce to discuss your financial concerns. Contact us today to schedule your time to talk about your concerns and discuss what small steps you can take for financial and emotional peace of mind.

Health Plans – Open Enrollment & Divorce

Health Plans – Open Enrollment & Divorce

If you work for a company which offers health insurance you probably already know about open enrollment.    Updates you choose during this time period will determine your health, dental and vision insurance for the upcoming year and your tax savings in deductible plans like Health Savings Accounts (HSA’s).   While the timing of open enrollment can vary with different employers, open enrollment is generally the period between November and mid-December.  During this time you are able to make changes to your health insurance plans without a major life change.  You can choose to renew your participation in your company’s current insurance plans, switch to a different one, and make changes to participants on your plan for the upcoming year.  Even though it can be tempting to select the plan you had last year so you don’t have to put in much effort, I’d encourage you to pause for a moment and consider if that’s really the best option from a benefits, tax, and budgetary viewpoint.

It Is important to remember if you are still in the midst of divorce, you will likely need to add your current spouse on your health coverage during open enrollment elections for the new year.  If you are under temporary orders (which you likely are) do NOT remove your current spouse from your health coverage right now for the next year.    You can remove your spouse from your health insurance coverage in the new year after your divorce is final as that will count as a major life change.

While you will keep your spouse on your current coverage, it’s important to look at your coverage options and make sure you have the right one for you. After you divorce is final in the new year (or the end of this year), you will remove your spouse from your coverage and this will be your plan for the rest of the year.  Are the deductibles proper for you?  Are you eligible and participating in the HSA? Is this the right plan considering minor children you will have on your plan?  This and other issues are important to consider.

1. Evaluate Life Changes

The amount of coverage you need plays a big role here, especially if you previously covered dependents and/or your spouse and no longer need to or vice versa.  Some other life changes in addition to divorce could make a difference in the plan you choose during open enrollment include births, deaths and medical issues.

2. Review Beneficiaries

Open enrollment time is a good opportunity to revisit the beneficiaries on your accounts.  For example, if you have group life insurance, you may still have your ex-spouse as the beneficiary.  Once the divorce is final you will need to remove your ex-spouse from the beneficiary designation unless you want your ex-spouse to be the beneficiary, and in that case you will need to re-assign that person as the beneficiary after the divorce is final.  Your ex-spouse will be skipped over on a life insurance policy payout unless they are specifically designated in a divorce decree and/or you rename them as beneficiary on the policy after the divorce is final.

We encourage you NOT to list minor children as beneficiaries on an anything.  Minor’s cannot receive payouts without a court appearance and a guardian. Guess who will be the guardian for your children if you pass while they are minors?  It will be your co-parent or ex-spouse unless they predecease you.  If you want to leave the proceeds to your children you will want to create a testamentary trust (included in your will usually and what I have personally) or a revocable or an irrevocable trust.     All of these involve a trip to an estate planning attorneys office which we highly recommend after the divorce is final.

For now, while the divorce is still pending, list your spouse as beneficiary. You are likely under temporary orders to do so. After the divorce is final it’s time to do some estate planning and likely change the beneficiary.

3. Understand the Benefits of the Plans You Select versus Your Needs

This is a great time to make sure you’re getting the coverage you need and you’re maxing out the tax savings from it.   Take the time to review what’s included in your plans, any tax credits or benefits you’re eligible for, and options outside of your employer-provided plans.  That way, you know you’ll actually use everything you’re paying for.  The reality is, it comes down to saving money and being tax-efficient, especially with an HSA.

Another big issue we see with divorcing couples is the deductible and the corresponding out of pocket costs.  You may have a fight on your hands (and undue stress from such a fight for you and your children) if your spouse is living paycheck to paycheck and you opt for a plan with a huge deductible.  Paying hundreds of dollars to meet the deductible for a simple sick visit to the pediatrician may not go well for an ex-spouse on a limited income or at least be an issue to address while you are in divorce proceedings.  Conversely, if there is a large surgery to pay for or a medical issue to be dealt with which is known for the upcoming year, it’s wise to perform a cost analysis on how much it will cost you to have this covered at a higher percent even with a large deductible versus a lower percent of coverage with a lower deductible.

Medical costs can be an enormous part of the annual budget.  The good news is you have coverage and choices, the bad news is sometimes those choices, especially in the midst of a divorce, can be overwhelming.   To make sure you’re getting the biggest benefit, tax savings, and coverage you and your family actually need, talk to a trained consultant who can guide you through the process.

If you’d like me to help you with health care selections during open enrollment season or any other financial related issues, I’ve opened up more Divorce Strategy Sessions on my calendar in late October and early November for those who are not current clients and want some extra help with financial related issues.   In my Divorce Strategy Sessions, we will discuss your needs, your options and your budget so you can make the best choices for you and your future!!  Click here to learn more about Strategy Calls and schedule yours today!

 

Divorce Myth Busters

Divorce Myth Busters

When going through a divorce, everyone seems to have an opinion – your mother, your father, your aunt, your cousin, your brother’s uncles’ friend, your dog, and anyone else who happens to find out you are getting a divorce. You will likely hear a lot of stories, thoughts, ideas and no doubt myths. In addition, proclamations of how things “always are” or “never are” can be terribly scary. In a time when you’re already going through a lot, you don’t need more stress on your plate.  There are five main divorce myths we have seen with our clients over the years.  This article will discuss the 5 top divorce myths we see and clarify the truth about each one.

Divorce Myth #1:  I don’t need specialized financial divorce support; my estate is simple.

The Truth: It will save you time and money to hire a divorce focused financial professional.

When discussing divorce, finances will always come into play with attorneys and clients. The attorney will be faced with some sort of estate, even if a negative estate, to value and divide.  Some attorneys are very experienced and adept with financials but even those attorneys, at some point, usually suggest the client consult with a financial expert or advisor.  The logical conclusion is to call on the current financial advisor or accountant for ‘free’ advice. However, few accountants, CPA’s or financial advisors in general deal in divorce on a regular basis, so they don’t have the training to handle divorce questions nor do they understand how the divorce realm works.  This really causes problems when dividing retirement accounts and pension plans (two things we do most often) because these professionals don’t understand the complete picture of how everything works together.  Nor do they, in general, understand tracing, separate property, community property or business valuation in regard to divorce laws.  Even worse, we have seen clients frustrated in mediation when the reality of the situation is far different than what the regular financial advisor suggested or stated was needed.  For example, one well-meaning financial advisor told his client she would be okay as long as she received 70% of the estate.  In mediation, 50% of the estate was on the table which brought her a great deal of distress, additional attorney’s fees, the input of a financial divorce related expert and a second mediation. She spent an extra $5,000 just because her well-meaning regular financial advisor steered her in the wrong direction at the onset of the divorce.

We have heard many clients tell us their estate is simple and question their attorneys’ request to hire us.  Your simple estate starts with a house, a mortgage, a 401(k) and maybe a few cars.  Seems simple right?  Well, it is, until it’s not.  Do you need money out of the 401(k)? Do you know the rules surrounding getting your money from a spouse’s 401(k), how it works, the process, the penalties and the tax implications? Oh, and then you forgot there is also a pension, there was that account you inherited a few years ago which you put into a joint account, and that rental property you own.  So, a seemingly simple estate which still had financial issues specific to divorce turns into a very complex estate where separate property tracing comes into play.  We see this all the time!

Even with truly simple estates, there are divorce issues to work through.  You want to keep the home – well, who is on the mortgage? Does the party leaving need to buy a new home?  Did you know there are specific rules around how long you are paid child support before the support can be considered income for a new home purchase? Do you know negotiating spousal support can help you in income calculations for rental properties or for buying a new home?  Do you know how to keep your credit from being ruined in the divorce or what will ruin your credit?  Are you aware of how to time your credit hits with loans you will no doubt need when you buy a new house, a new car, apply for a new job or even rent an apartment?

All of these things a divorce focused financial professional will know (and more), but other financial professionals or advisers who do not work in the divorce realm may not consider or even know to think about.  This could cost you thousands of dollars – well more than you are going to pay a divorce focused financial advisor for basic guidance throughout your divorce.

Divorce Myth #2: Mediation costs too much, it’s not worth it.

The Truth: Mediation is a place where you can be in control and ask for resolutions specific to your family.

Mediation is going to be required by the court (in most Texas counties).  You may have one mediation for temporary orders when the parties will decide how much support is paid, who will keep the children and when, what rules to follow, etc. during the pendency of the divorce.  Then another mediation may be requested for a final orders mediation.  Mediation can be your friend – this is where creative negotiations can occur, and the parties can each work through a solution which is a win-win for everyone.

We hear many clients complain about the cost of sitting in mediation all day or the fear having to deal with their spouse in the course of mediation.  We have seen mediation – even paying for your 2 attorneys’ and an attorney mediator and a financial expert – is well worth the cost!! This is the space where you are in control. A well-crafted mediation day will be attended with a plan – what is your starting point, what is your line in the sand, what is it you really want, how can you negotiate from a position of power, etc.  Further, what do you think your spouse really wants in the divorce and how can you give that to your spouse while you get what you want as well?  Mediation is also a place to receive things like longer term spousal support or a disproportionate share of the estate in lieu of something else.  Mediation is your friend in divorce negotiations.

Divorce Myth #3: It’s too expensive to work with a divorce financial advisor.

The Truth: From a cost perspective, a lot of the work we do will save people thousands of dollars.

From a fee perspective, lawyers and attorneys bill by the hour. If they have to research anything, guide you through what they need from you, or wait while you fumble around in a jumble of papers, that time will get tacked onto the bill.    So, from just helping clients get organized and pull together all the documentation they need to have ready before they see their lawyer, you’ll see a benefit of working with a divorce financial advisor. Together, we are able to gather things efficiently and use your time and money with your attorney wisely.  Further, some attorneys will ask a financial expert or advisor to help them create the community estate and value the estate.  The divorce financial expert often has fees which are far less than the attorney.  The attorney asks us to help the client prepare a marital inventory, asks us which items to request in discovery – and we do all of this at a lower rate.  Because we only do the finances, it is our niche and we are usually pretty proficient at it (which means it takes us less time and costs you less money overall).

Then, there are taxes, debt-related interests, dividing pensions, investments, and retirement accounts in addition to executive compensation plans, stock units, stock options or whole life plans attorneys don’t always know the best way to handle. You could be leaving money on the table with how things are divided if you do not have the proper financial guidance.  When I work with clients, I am able to see the best way to help them gain more financial independence and, bluntly, get or save more money in their divorce.   Often, people are afraid to take on additional costs around a divorce, but there are so many financial considerations you don’t know or aren’t aware of which a divorce focused financial advisor can help you with.

One great example is a divorce we acted as the financial expert in.  Our total fees for the divorce was $5,000.  In the process, we saved the client $60,000 in tax savings between the brokerage accounts, the timing of the divorce year end and the claiming of children in just one year!  It was a huge success for the client with the cost a fraction of the real, cash value savings we provided.

Divorce Myth #4: Divorce has to be horrific and awful.

The Truth: Divorce will be upsetting, emotional and stressful, but it does not have to be the worst experience of your life draining your soul.

Knowledge is power.  We encourage all divorce litigants to become educated on the process, the mandates and their rights.  We offer Wise Woman’s Guide to Divorce and Wise Guy’s Guide to Divorce education workshops just to educate those beginning or in the midst of the divorce process.  This is critical!  When you know what you are facing, you may not feel so lost and in the dark which should help you as you navigate the process.

Additionally, every situation is unique. If someone had a hard divorce, it is because of their individual circumstances.  We encourage those in the divorce process to not listen to others who had horrific experiences.  It reminds me of when I was pregnant and women (sometimes strangers) felt the need to tell me their worst, most horrific birthing stories.  Really – I didn’t need that.  You don’t need it now.    Polite pass on the divorce horror stories and educate your self so you have a more informed divorce path from a position of power and strength.

Divorce Myth #5: I can’t afford a therapist.

The Truth: Having a specialist who is trained to help you sort through your emotions will benefit you both now and in the long run.

While I am not qualified to give you therapeutic advice, I can absolutely encourage you to seek out a therapist to support you during this time. A good therapist can help you sort out your feelings and explore any mental and/or emotional impacts this time may have for you.   In addition, a therapist is a great ally to help you sort through the emotions in a safe place so you can negotiate from fact, not from feeling in the mediation or the negotiation room.

Having a therapist as a specialist for your mental and emotional health makes sense.   As mentioned, running up the bill when you’re disorganized because you’re only working with an attorney and not a financial expert as well, you’re also going to incur more hourly billing.  The same is true if you use your attorney as your therapist.  Let your attorney do what they do best and hire someone else to support you where they are going to make the most impact. You will save yourself money and sanity.

Next Steps

It’s okay (and perfectly natural) if you used to believe these divorce myths. A lot of clients come to us with these questions and more. If you’re wondering the best path for you to take, schedule a complimentary call so we can bust some of your divorce myths and help you come to a more peaceful solution to your divorce.    Call us for a complimentary consultation to discuss your specific needs today.

Dividing Annuity Assets in Divorce

Dividing Annuity Assets in Divorce

Dividing community property, or property jointly owned by a married couple, can often be a complicated process, with your financial options dictated by potential tax implications. While some things may be easy to divide, others are not. Some belongings are sentimental, while others — such as annuities — involve complicated financial calculations. Annuities not only involve moving ownership from one person to the other or joint title to single title, they often also involve moving or potentially deleting critical living benefits, guarantees and/or death benefits as well as surrender penalties on top of potential tax liabilities. That is a lot! Annuities in divorce are complex to say the least. We will attempt to unravel the complexities of annuities as they relate to divorce or at least guide you on what questions to ask.

Annuity Phase

While there are multiple types of annuities (fixed, fixed index, variable, immediate and deferred) all types of annuities are typically in either the accumulation phase or the distribution phase. The different phases will determine how value and divide the annuity in a divorce situation.

Accumulation Phase

If an annuity is in the accumulation phase, it is growing. The annuity may be growing by a simple fixed rate – aka a fixed annuity or by a variety of factors in the fixed index or variable space. The key take-away is there is only growth in this phase. Income has not yet started. This is a critical factor in divorce negotiations. In the accumulation phase the annuity can have three main parts – the actual cash value, the guaranteed benefit amount and the death benefit.

Cash Value

This is the actual cash value. This is real money and should be the value on the marital inventory. This value may have a surrender charge affiliated with it which should also be reflected on the marital inventory. If you do not see a surrender charge on the statement, it is wise to call the carrier and confirm no surrender fee exists. Also, if the contract is still under surrender charge penalties, ask the carrier if they will waive the surrender charge in the case of a divorce where the account is divided between the spouses. We have found quite often they do not waive any fees even though the division is pursuant to a divorce.

Guaranteed Value or Living Benefit Amount

In the accumulation phase, this is the living benefit amount. Many contracts offer a certain amount of guaranteed growth for future income. For example, some annuities may guarantee 7% growth, compounded annually with possibly even a high-water mark (meaning the annuity will capture the highest day of market gains in the annuity contract that year plus add the 7% guaranteed growth on top of this value). Sound too good to be true? What is the catch? This amount is not real money – it cannot be withdrawal in a lump sum. It is the value for which a future income stream is derived. In our same example, let’s say the contract grows by 7% guaranteed compounded annually, and when the client is age 65 a 5% income stream can be taken, guaranteed for life off the 7% compounded number. (In some cases, the income stream will also double for long term care needs for a certain amount of time.) In divorce, the guaranteed amount is often erased if the annuity is divided. This can cost the overall estate hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Know if there is a living benefit and if so, what happens if the annuity is divided between the spouses? The living benefit number is often quite higher than the actual account value, but this is not the number to be listed on the marital inventory. It is a phantom number used to derive a set amount of income at a future date. However, because there is an account value it is the actual cash value which is listed on the estate spreadsheet. The annuities are designed to deplete the cash value over time when the income begins if you live long enough, so this number is not listed on the inventory when the annuity is still in the accumulation phase.

Death Benefit

Sometimes annuities have stand alone death benefits or death benefits attached to the living benefits. This means a certain amount is guaranteed at the death of the annuitant. In some cases, the death benefit is the reason an annuity is sold as life insurance was not an option or was too expensive. It is important to know if an enhanced death benefit exists and if so, know this and other relevant facts. Who is the annuitant? What is the death benefit exactly? What happens in the case of divorce if the contract is divided or moved to the non-annuitant spouse? Now that the couples are divorcing, is the death benefit still relevant or should other options be considered? The death benefit should be on the latest annuity contract statement. However, it is not listed as an asset on the marital inventory as it will only be pain in the event of the annuitant’s death.

Income Phase

If an annuity is in the income phase, it is in distribution. The distribution may be a systematic withdrawal stream on a guaranteed basis, a systematic withdrawal on a non-guaranteed basis or annuitized. This set of facts is vital to know in the case of a divorce.

Systematic Withdrawal – Guaranteed Basis

This should be the most common situation with an annuity. The income from the living benefit has been triggered. In the example above, the 5% income stream at age 65 has begun off the 7% compounded annual growth the annuity provided. If this is the case, the annuity may not be divisible without significantly hurting the amount of income the annuity provides on a guaranteed basis. Contact the carrier to determine how, if at all, the annuity can be divided, and the income stream kept intact. The income stream however may be divisible. The division of this works much like a pension on the estate spreadsheet where a net present value of the future income stream is calculated, and this is the number on the marital inventory.

You can also forego a net present value calculation of the income on the marital inventory and split the income 50/50. We recommend contacting the annuity carrier to determine if division can occur at the carrier level so there is little, if any, interaction between the parties. You will also want to ask the annuity carrier what happens if the annuitant dies. The wife may not receive any payout if the annuity is based only on the husband’s life and he dies or vice versa. Some payouts are based on joint life and some are on single life which were determined at the income stream’s inception. It is vital to understand what happens in the event of one spouse’s death.

Systematic Withdrawal – Nonguaranteed Basis

If this is the case, you can likely divide this annuity. It may not be attached to a living benefit guarantee. This is the least likely to exists and rarely seen, but it is a possibility. It is important to call the carrier and determine your options if this set of facts exists with your annuity. The issue will be mainly surrender charge penalties when this annuity is divided if it is still in the penalty period. We would also ask if there are any issues with the annuitant – is it joint annuitant or single annuitant and will this be possible if you change to the spouse who wants the asset or if you divide the contract in half.

Annuitized

If this is the case, the annuity cash value no longer exists – it is only an income stream. Older contracts typically have this. Most newer contracts do not require annuitization because the contract corpus is gone – it belongs to the annuity company. The valuation of this is now just like the valuation of a pension plan. The carrier may have the income based on joint life or single life. They may divide the income in half but when one spouse dies, the income stream may cease for all. The carrier must be contacted to determine what happens at the death of the owner and/or the death of the annuitant. These facts are important to know as they relate to the income stream after one spouse dies. If you do not want to divide the income, one can calculate a Net Present Value of the future income stream as one would a pension and this number should be indicated on the marital inventory as an asset to be offset with other assets.

Owners and Annuitants

Aside from the issues we stated above in valuing and dividing annuities in the accumulation and the income phases, the named owner and named annuitant could alter the course of the annuity division. It is vital to know who the owner is and who the annuitant is (they may not be the same). These set of facts may determine what happens to the contract when this is divided to the non-owner and/or non-annuitant. Some contracts are jointly owned the with joint annuitants or jointly owned with single annuitants – and each carrier can handle dividing these differently. A simple call to the carrier and a discussion with a member of client services advanced team should straighten out these issues, we just want you to know what to ask for.

Summary

We highly encourage you to reach out to a professional who not only understands annuities, but also understands divorce laws in your area. A Certified Divorce Financial Analyst is the perfect person to have on your team if you or your spouse own an annuity and you are walking through a divorce. We at Divorce Strategies Group understand annuities and divorce finance and can help as well. Contact us for your 30-minute free consultation today.

What does Divorce Mediation Involve?

What does Divorce Mediation Involve?

In Texas, divorce mediation is a confidential process where a neutral third person (the mediator) helps divorcing couples reach a divorce settlement. The mediator facilitates communication between the parties to promote settlement and understanding between them. Mediation addresses child custody, child support, visitation, spousal support, and property division. The mediator does not act as a judge, attorney, or financial advisor, but assists the spouses in reaching a voluntary agreement.

Denise French founded Divorce Strategies Group, LLC in 2014 and since that time we have continuously guided clients through the divorce and mediation process. We believe mediation is an excellent tool for divorcing couples, especially when there are contentious issues. Our goal is to help you reach a satisfactory agreement with your spouse, without having to endure a lengthy, costly trial.  Save time! Save money! Get on with your life.

How does Mediation work in a Texas Divorce?

The goal of mediation is to work through all the issues of your estate and the issues with minor children. An attempt at mediation is strongly recommended and often even required in many Texas counties.  In mediation, you will most likely be in separate rooms while your mediator(s) walk in between the rooms.  Sometimes, the parties will be in the same room, if they wish to be and it is productive.  Without minor children, expect to mediate for a half day. When minor children’s issues are involved, expect to spend an entire day in mediation.  At the end of mediation if agreements have been reached a binding, legal document called a Mediated Settlement Agreement or MSA will be signed by everyone.  This document is irrevocable and binds your agreements legally.  The fight is, in essence, over at this point which typically brings much peace and relief.  The MSA is also a tool used to push your agreements through the court system as a judge cannot typically overturn a property drafted MSA.

After the MSA is completed a divorce decree will be drafted by an attorney which reflects the agreements you made in mediation. The divorce decree (which you will review and also need to sign) along with the MSA are presented to the judge in court (or remotely due to COVID-19) and used to finalize your divorce.    The mediation document is usually 6 – 10 pages long while your actual divorce decree is 30 – 50 pages long.

Why Should I Use Mediation to Settle our Divorce Conflict?

  • Mediation is flexible – While we have a process, we acknowledge every family and every divorce is different.
  • Mediation is future oriented – We are going to focus on where you are headed, not where you have been. Everyone in divorce has some type of pain or fear. We understand and we are happy to listen and help you heal. However, in mediation we will focus on the future.
  • Mediation works – Mediation has a high success rate, especially when both spouses are open to compromise.
  • Your information is protected – Mediation is confidential.
  • You and your spouse are in control of the outcome – Your future in not the hands of a judge hearing only a tiny fraction of your life story.

What sets our firm apart?

The founder of Divorce Strategies Group, LLC, Denise French, has been divorced herself and understands what you are going through!  Her divorce was costly and long.  Sadly, it was also damaging to her family, her finances and her children.  She strives to help litigants avoid the heartache her family endured.  This is personal for her.  Denise is not a lawyer.  She is a financial expert in litigation and fully understands divorce finance in Texas.

Denise works alongside several family law attorney mediators.  These mediators, along with Denise, will walk you through every aspect of your child issues and your financial issues to help you achieve a win-win solution for your family.  Our partner attorney mediators are Denise Khoury of Guajardo, Khoury Family Law and Manny Caiati of Caiati Law & Mediation.

Denise is a Credentialed Advanced Mediator through the Texas Mediator Credentialing Association with hundreds of cases both as a mediator and as a financial expert in mediation.

The decisions you make in mediation will have lasting, lifelong ramifications for your children and/or your lifestyle and financial wellbeing. We have a proven, 7 step process which involves the help of a financial expert and a family lawyer – both of whom are also mediators. Together, this is a place where you can work through all the child custody issues as well as the financial issues without the fight in court and with proper guidance.

Contact Divorce Strategies Group today!

Before you contact a divorce lawyer, call us.  Need more information about divorce and mediation? We invite you to contact our office for a complimentary consultation. We are here to help you in every way possible!