TAX CUTS AND JOBS ACT (TCJA) OF 2017 COMPLICATES POTENTIAL SETTLEMENT OF DIVORCE CASES

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The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA) enacted dramatic changes to several tax issues that directly impact how divorces are settled. If you are a high wage earner, or you’re married to one and you’re contemplating getting a divorce, there’s almost a sense of urgency toward you understanding the financial aspects of your divorce and when to file your marital settlement agreement, should you and your spouse reach one.

Heather L. Locus, an owner and wealth manager at Balasa Dinverno Foltz LLC in Chicago, defines on her Website why this could be important to you. “Many high-net-worth couples may want to move quickly in order to preserve some important financial options,” Locus writes. “Couples who finalize their divorce agreements this year have many more options since the most significant rules impacting divorce go into effect on New Year’s Day 2019.” Keep on reading!

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WILL GOD’S AGENDA STIFLE DIVORCE AND REMARRIAGE IN CALIFORNIA?

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Ah, us liberal Californians, you got to love us or leave us, but we’re going to look good either way. That’s because we work hard at it. It takes time and ambition to soak up sun like George Hamilton and remove lines in our faces like Jane Fonda. We like buttocks surgeries because they make us look like Ms. Bumbum and vegan diets because they make us look thin in our mirror’s reflection. Some of us spend lifetimes and fortunes never succeeding but always finding better ways to look even better in our quest to entice the other side.

California lifestyles say “rich” while we work endless hours to make the kind of money it takes to attract a like inclined individual from the opposite sex. This is how it was taught back in the 70s and it’s how it’s still being played out by many today. Once we set our magnet tentacles into this new person of interest, we can then work on what we’ve spent a lifetime being programmed into dreaming about — tying the proverbial knot with a White Knight and living happily ever after. Keep on reading!

HOW MUCH GOLD DOES THE U.S. REALLY OWN AND HOW MUCH WILL IT COST US?

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Two weeks ago we published an interesting article regarding the situation where the U.S. may or may not have enough gold to back our new U.S. currency when it debuts on the international financial marketplace. The United States Federal Reserve Note is soon to be history and it’s only a matter of time before it is replaced with a new U.S. currency that will have to be gold backed.

We received many positive responses regarding the article one of which was from a former client who works in the international institutional banking industry, which is completely different than the commercial banking industry we have become used to here in the U.S. These are the organizations that deal in assets with banking institutions that fund national central banks all around the world. These are the entities that own the real assets of the world, not the green backed paper with the ink that’s printed on it that we trade here in the West and call value. Keep on reading!

DOES THE U.S. HAVE ENOUGH GOLD TO BACK THE NEW U.S. DOLLAR?

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The U.S. dollar as we know it is about to be replaced by a new currency. We don’t know when. It could be this year, or maybe next year, we don’t know. The question is not if? the Federal Reserve Note (U.S. Dollar) will be replaced but when? When it does, it’s going to have to be gold backed with value. Real assets like gold will have to back the new U.S. dollar at least in part for America, and Americans, to get back onto the global financial carousel with economic independence and the ability to coexist with foreign currencies that are backed by gold.

The important question to us as Americans with family members to provide for and a desire to see our spending power grow is how much if any gold does the U.S. actually possess? A legacy of secrecy still surrounds how much gold America has, author James Ledbetter, editor of “Inc. magazine” and the author of “One Nation Under Gold: How One Precious Metal Has Dominated the American Imagination for Four Centuries”, writes for the Los Angeles Times. “Some of the conservative and libertarian figures who demand that the Federal Reserve be audited, for example, grumble that there may be a lot less gold — maybe none! — in Fort Knox than official numbers allow,” Ledbetter writes. Keep on reading!

WHAT IS FAMILY LAW MEDIATION?

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What is divorce mediation?

Family Law mediation is one of the more common methods of negotiating to settlement the legal issues that arise in a divorce. It is not going into court and litigating each issue tooth and nail. In divorce mediation matters, you and your soon-to-be-ex-spouse may hire a specialist in family law as mediator, someone who will meet with you in an effort to resolve your differences and come to a negotiated agreement. The family law specialist acts as mediator and facilitator who will help you and your spouse resolve your issues in a fair and equitable manner.

Mediation of a divorce is an important option both parties should consider as it saves costs and stress for both parties. Mediation is designed to help both parties and has a long list of benefits for families. The benefits include, but are not limited to:

• Mediation usually costs much less than litigation which may require a series of court hearings.
• With your direct participation, mediation should result in a comprehensive settlement of all the issues in your matter.
• Mediation is confidential, meaning there is no public record of declarations or financial information.
• A lawyer of your choice can still give you legal advice during your mediation.
• Your spouse and you are in control of the entire process of mediation.
• The mediation process allows time for you to improve communication with your spouse.
• Mediation will help minimize the emotional damage children may experience during their parents’ divorce.
• Maybe most importantly, mediation allows you to negotiate the terms of your agreement based on your own ideas as to what is fair in your situation and what is best for your family as a whole as opposed to having a solution imposed upon you by a family law judge that is based upon impersonal legal principles.

Mediation is not for all divorcing couples. Matters where there is a history of domestic violence or an imbalance of power between the parties may not be right for mediation. But if your spouse and you are willing to communicate and compromise with each other in a rational manner with open minds you could mediate.

Your Divorce Mediator should be a specialist in family law who will help the two of you stay on track with the issues and in tune to one another, to listen to each other, to respect and understand each other’s opinions. It is important to listen to your spouse’s perspective and to be willing to compromise. Compromise is key to reaching a fair and mutually beneficial settlement in the mediation process.

Being able to empathize with your spouse’s position is important. Hopefully your spouse will do the same. They will feel what it’s like to be you. The idea is that you reach an agreement based on trust and understanding where both of your best interests, and those of the children if there are any, are taken into account and addressed.

This mutual understanding will be drafted by the mediator into a settlement agreement. If children are involved, a parenting schedule or a parenting plan will be needed. Other legal documents will be drafted such as a Petition for Dissolution or Legal Separation, and Financial Disclosure documents. The mediation process allows you and your spouse to decide the terms to live by in a divorce, terms that you agree to live by, without your family having to suffer through the negative emotions and financial costs of a courtroom trial.

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