WHAT HAPPENED TO HR 5404 – AND THE GOLD BACKING OF AMERICA’S NEW CURRENCY?

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It’s tough being a kid growing up in these times of civil war and deprivation where censorship runs rampant and the many layers of falsehood are often confused for truth. We’ve seen up close the horrors of pain and desperation etched onto the faces of hungry American children and frail elders alike. Our food and water is poisoned, geoengineering is making us ill and destroying the environment in which we live, and fires endlessly burn us out of our homes, jobs, and air. The economy has turned many of us into financial slaves and we can feel the devastation of loved ones falling apart right before our helpless eyes.

Our children are our futures yet they suffer from the darkness of a financial insecurity of which they are yet unaware. Many families don’t have enough money to make ends meet on a monthly basis which means they don’t have the financial wherewithal to keep their families together, to fill their children’s bellies with nutritionally balanced meals, or to clothe them properly from head to toe. Choices with profound implications have to be made under every roof every day. Irreversible sacrifices are being taken. Bills are not getting paid, medicines or food or both are not being bought, and almost all of this has to do with scarcity in the name of the American Dollar

WHAT HAPPENED TO HR 5404?

One of our biggest problems is that the U.S. dollar has basically become worthless, rendering our purchasing power of goods and services in the marketplace to near nothingness. We’ve been fleeced through the last hundred or so years by the United States Federal Reserve, fiat currencies, and the Western Central Banking System. They who run finances have scraped 97% of the wealth out of the U.S. dollar which has benefited their well beings while we the average American family are left with the last three cents on the dollar which is backed by nothing but growing U.S. debt. Which is now more than $21 trillion dollars and that’s not counting the $21 trillion that has been proven missing from the HUD and the DOD. That’s at least $42 trillion right there that our children and their children and their grandchildren will never be able to account for.

Which all the more proves why it is significant that a Congressman from West Virginia has proposed a bill called HR 5404 to gold back the U.S. dollar. According to thedailycoin.org Republican Congressman Alex Mooney has proposed a bill that will “define the dollar as a fixed weight of gold.” Mooney wrote an op ed about it in the “Wall Street Journal”.

That’s right. It has been introduced into congress that America should return to a gold standard. This idea is not new though. Even President Trump told us back in 2017 that he would like to see America return to a gold standard. In a Forbes.com article entitled, “President Trump: Replace The Dollar With Gold As The Global Currency To Make America Great Again”, Ralph Benko writes that bringing back the gold standard would not be very hard to do with a president like Trump.

“Donald Trump shows a strong affinity for gold,” Benko writes. “He has also shown a keen intuitive grasp of how the gold standard was crucial to having made America great.”

So what this means is that our government is soon going to gold back the U.S. currency, right? That’s how it was supposed to be in the very beginning, before the Federal Reserve took over our country’s finances in 1913, right?

In proposing H.R. 5404 the U.S. Congressman from West Virginia criticizes U.S. monetary policy, citing the fall in the dollar’s purchasing power after the gold standard was abolished.

“The United States dollar has lost 30 percent of its purchasing power since 2000, and 96 percent of its purchasing power since the end of the gold standard in 1913,” the bill says.

The congressman goes on to describe the advantages of having a gold-backed dollar.

“The gold standard puts control of the money supply with the market instead of the Federal Reserve. The gold standard means legal tender defined by and convertible into a certain quantity of gold. Under the gold standard through 1913, the United States economy grew at an annual average of four percent, one-third larger than the growth rate since then and twice the level since 2000,” Mooney says.

This would be good for us but nobody even knows about it. Did you? Nobody owns gold, instead everybody trading in dollars that are debt backed, which is what the U.S. dollar is and what America runs on. That’s all any of us own with our present financial system, which is being run into the ground.

Congressman Mooney says that under the Federal Reserve’s 2 percent inflation objective, “the dollar loses half of its purchasing power every generation, or 35 years.” Think about that for a long moment. We own debt that backs our assets and that’s what we bought our houses with. Our families’ homes and our cars were bought with U.S. dollars backed by debt that loses half it’s value every generation.

So what does that really say about everyone’s pensions or real estate that is tied into the U.S. dollar? Is that why we’re struggling so badly to keep our families living in some semblance of the lifestyle we have become accustomed to after we divorce? Is there any such thing as the “American Dream” anymore? If so, should we consider whether this new legislation, H.R. 5404, should become law? Because our old system of monetary value has lost its “value”?

Like Congressman Mooney says, “American families need long-term price stability to meet their household spending needs, save money, and plan for retirement.”   These are the types of important issues we advise clients about to help them and their families stay ahead of the financial game and move forward in their lives. Meet spending needs, save value, and invest for ultimate retirement.

HOW MUCH GOLD DO WE AMERICANS OWN?

In an interview with the World Gold Council’s Gold Investor former Chairman of the Federal Reserve Alan Greenspan stated, “I view gold as the primary global currency.”

President Trump agrees. It’s been 34 years since U.S. lawmakers even tried to change the way America’s currency is backed, when Congressman Jack Kemp introduced the Gold Standard Act of 1984, which was cosponsored by seven others including Newt Gingrich and Connie Mack. It didn’t pass. 34 years later we have HR 5404.

Will it succeed? It has to if we as a country are going to succeed. Some believe we’ve made positive strides toward making gold backing of our currency a reality. “I think we are building a foundation of expertise — expertise that we didn’t have in 1980,” writes Nathan Lewis in Forbes in an article called, After 34 Years, We Again Have A Bill To Relink The Dollar To Gold“. “That will allow us to restore the united long tradition of gold-based money, when the political time is right.”

The question remains: when will the political time be right? And when it is right, who will be there to tell us how much gold, if any, the U.S. really owns to back the dollar?

 

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VENTURA FAMILY LAWYERS EXPOSE SACHA BARON COHEN AND SHOWTIME ON BEHALF OF DISABLED AMERICAN VETERANS

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Who do we think we are?

We are a boutique California family law firm and mediation center dedicated to serving families and helping them preserve their hard earned wealth. Beneath our professional veneer you will find a team of humble servants of God striving to make a difference in everyday people’s lives. We strive to champion righteous causes, our decades of experience provide us with insight into how better to achieve family values and prosperity, and we write to expose the serious problems and potential solutions thereto regarding the fact major American institutions are making life miserable and often times deadly for American Veterans and senior citizens, two of America’s most vulnerable and valuable social classes.

That’s why on September 6 we wrote an article specifically targeting Sacha Baron Cohen and Showtime when the non funny comedian disrespected disabled American vets in a segment of his failed Who is America? series on Showtime. We blasted the unfunny Brit who had disguised himself as a disabled American vet from Kentucky, fake wheelchair and all, while interviewing former Alaska governor and U.S. vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, whom he stated he was a fan of.

The whole episode was actually a thinly veiled and distasteful political attack against the right. Cohen performed the interview wearing a necklace made of bullets and had a laptop covered in InfoWars stickers, says Breitbart in an August 27 article. Cohen’s disguise was described as being a caricature of a conservative middle-class Trump voter. He was asking Palin “absurd, racist, homophobic, and sexist questions” that were all meant to “mock Trump voters as a bunch of ignorant and offensive kooks,” the Breitbart article says.

Sarah Palin walked out of the interview when Cohen asked her whether Chelsea Clinton had been subject to a government-funded sex change.

Showtime pushed back later issuing a statement denying that the incident ever took place, saying, “Baron Cohen never presented himself as a veteran of the U.S. military to former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin during the booking process or during the filming of her interview, and contrary to her claims he did not appear in a wheelchair.”

VENTURA FAMILY LAWYERS WARN TO RESPECT OUR FLAG

We warned both Sacha Baron Cohen and Showtime that this was no time to show contempt for America or to disrespect disabled American Veterans. We reminded the world that we represent American veterans and all the great things they stand for, and our U.S. government has literally failed to provide to these men and women the adequate housing and healthcare they require to deal with the plethora of serious physical and mental issues they have come home with while fighting for our country.

We asked if we might not benefit more by spending our energies rebuilding America instead of destroying the place American veterans stand and fought for; the only place most of us have ever called home. And while asking these important questions something pretty wonderful happened. It was like deja vu all over again. It was as if the world had gotten our message, and Sacha Baron Cohen’s disrespect of America’s veterans would disappear with a whimper and several lame excuses. At least that’s how we understood the August 27 New York Times article entitled, ‘Who Is America?’ Ends with O.J. Simpson. But Where Was Sarah Palin? that claimed Showtime never aired the Sarah Palin segment in Sacha Baron Cohen’s flagging series.

Which means someone was listening to our prayers. The New York Times article fails to mention the Ventura Family Law blog by name, but if they read us they would know that we don’t mess around when it comes to clowns like Showtime or Sasha Baron Cohen disrespecting America any more than former Senate candidate from Alabama Roy S. Moore does, as he has now followed through on his threat to sue Sacha Baron Cohen for a lot of money.

WHY DIDN’T WE THINK OF THAT?

The tide is turning as more people are speaking out on the righteous issues and taking a tougher stance against the dark forces than ever before, which is why the former member of the Alabama Supreme Court sued Sacha Baron Cohen. Roy S. Moore too had been duped by the unfunny comedian, who in a segment that aired on Showtime in July appeared as “Erran Morad,” an Israeli antiterrorism expert, who interviewed Moore.

During the interview Cohen brought out a device, which appeared to be a metal detector wand, but which he claimed was an Israeli invention that could detect pedophiles, says a September 5 article in The New York Times. When the device signaled that Mr. Moore could be a pedophile, he became angry and ended the interview.

Former Justice Moore really hadn’t found Cohen’s disrespectful shenanigans all that funny. To prove it he sued Cohen for more than $95 million in damages for defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and fraud. Showtime, and CBS which owns Showtime, are named as defendants along with Cohen.

There was no mention whether former Judge Moore read our article in Ventura Family Law blog before filing his lawsuit.

 

TIL DIVORCE DO US PART: AMERICANS BORROW RECORD $3.5 BILLION FOR WEDDINGS IN 2017

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Alright the stats are in, and they’re mind-boggling. American adults never cease to amaze me in this kind of stuff. Here, more than one million borrowed money last year to pull off their dream wedding. The average amount borrowed to cover the costs was $3,082. To put this into greater perspective, out of 126 million American adults, last year more than one million (1.13 million to be exact) got married. And they borrowed a lot of debt to do it.

U.S. couples borrowed $3.48 billion for weddings in 2017. Most of the couples turned to credit cards or personal loans to finance their nuptials, an article on Finder.com says. Additionally, one in five (21.4%) U.S. adults borrowed cash from family and friends over the past year in order to see their wedding dreams fulfilled.

DON’T BORROW MONEY TO GET DIVORCED

Why bother? is what I ask. Family and friends are cash strapped as well. You don’t need to create the personal stress on a good relationship. Odds are you’re going to end up coming to see us for a divorce sooner or later anyway, so save your friends, your family, and your money for a rainy day. Invest in gold coins. Don’t go into debt over something unless there’s a greater return and a positive cash flow.

I’ve been telling clients for years that all marriages end up in either divorce or death, so what was your rush in this down-turning economy? “Fifty percent of those who get married end up in divorce,” I would say.

Well, I was told I was wrong on that one. I did the research, and okay, maybe I was a off by a few percentage points. It appears the divorce rate may actually be on the decline, but there could be many factors attributable to that like maybe the fact that the marriage rate is declining as well. However, considering all factors, I believe what Bella DePaulo, Ph.D., author, and expert on single people, says regarding the chances that a marriage will end in divorce. According to DePaulo, the divorce expectation rate for those of us who are presently married is probably somewhere between 42 and 45 percent.

In PsychologyToday.com DePaulo cites a 2014 New York Times article reviewing the national divorce rate. “It is no longer true that the divorce rate is rising, or that half of all marriages end in divorce,” Claire Cain Miller wrote in that article. “It has not been for some time.”

BUT AGAIN, WHY BORROW AT A 55% TO 58% CHANCE OF SUCCESS?

Might as well just flip a coin then. Will we stay married … or won’t we? Heads you win, tails I lose. Do the math. Is it worth getting yourself in deeper debt to contractually bind you to a legal relationship that will end at some point anyway? Death or divorce, choose your weapon.

Right now the financial experts are telling us that the financial system is reaching crisis proportion. We’re being told to save as best as we can and to invest in real assets. We’re being told that the U.S. dollar as a paper currency is going to disappear; that we’re turning into a digital currency society. Experts predict, and financial trends indicate, we’re going to experience a severe credit freeze with banks. On top of all that, some of us are thinking of borrowing money to get married? Are we crazy? Are we American?

Good luck.

For those who must do it now, before it’s too late, there are sympathetic ears and advice. Blair Donovan writes for brides.com, giving some ideas about borrowing money for your wedding.

“First, assess the average loan period you are capable of in order to repay your debt on time,” Donovan writes. “Next, evaluate what the most reasonable interest rate might be. A higher interest rate may seem less daunting if your payoff period is short, as in the case of payday loans. However, if you need several months or years to pay back what you owe then a lesser interest rate may be the most sensible option to cover your wedding day expenses.” Or….

You can get married without borrowing. Have the wedding in a national forest with three witnesses, a minister, and a portable hot tub. Much less expensive without the bar tab and no room for in-laws in the tub. Or …

Forget about getting married, save the money, invest it wisely in undervalued assets, and just be friends. Dutch Treat worked great in the 90s, and it’d work just fine for the two of you heading into the Roaring 20s.

YOU MUST UNDERSTAND CRYPTOCURRENCY IF YOU DIVORCE

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Cryptocurrencies are here to stay so you might as well learn about them. If you’re married, it could be financially beneficial to understand any involvement your spouse, with or without you, might have with this new financial asset class.

WHY YOU SHOULD CARE ABOUT CRYPTOCURRENCY

Why should you care about cryptocurrency like Bitcoin? Because cryptocurrency can be very valuable community property and hidden from you when it’s time for you to divorce and divide your community assets.

What is cryptocurrency? Cryptocurrency is a digital cash system without a central authority. It is a decentralized system. Cryptocurrency is digital currency.

In 2018 this relatively new digital cash system known as the cryptocurrency market is expected to reach a total value of $1 trillion. According to data from businessinsider.com, the market cap of all cryptocurrencies stood at over $700 billion on January 3rd of this year.

Bitcoin is the leader of all cryptocurrencies. It is based on a blockchain. Blockchain is considered a technology that is changing the way people transact business. Blockchain technology allows us to make transactions without any central review body.

Bitcoin currently has the top cryptocurrency market cap at $140,905,000,000. That’s more than a hundred and forty billion dollars in Bitcoin alone. At the time of this writing, the price of one Bitcoin is $8,269.48.

Roger Ver, CEO at Bitcoin.com, calls Bitcoin technology one of the most important inventions in all of human history. “For the first time ever, anyone can send or receive any amount of money with anyone else, anywhere on the planet, conveniently and without restriction,” Ver says. “It’s the dawn of a better free world.”

It’s the dawn of a better free world if you know where all the community Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency your spouse bought are. But, you know, sometimes they get lost. Other times they get hidden out of plain view, which means you don’t know about them.

TRACING CRYPTOCURRENCY

There’s a lot of money out there in a lot of cryptos – at least $700 billion worth – and some of it might be yours. Cryptocurrency can be held in any number of ways. It can be held in virtual wallets and offline wallets. Your best friend can be holding the profits derived from his Lite Coin purchases in his girlfriend’s aunt’s maid’s name. Your spouse could be holding her Ethereum cryptocurrency stash overseas in a business partner’s name – a business partner you’ve never even heard of.

Bitcoin has been defined as, “A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System.” It is considered a cryptocurrency because users can pseudnonymously transfer money directly to one another, peer to peer, without the use of a middleman like a bank, governmental authority, or Western Union. It’s called pseudononymously because users are assigned a string of numbers as their Bitcoin wallet address where they store their Bitcoins.

The problem in family law is that divorces become contentious and spouses sometimes don’t want to play by the rules — instead choosing to hide assets from their spouse that might otherwise be subject to equitable division in a marital settlement agreement.

Any specialist in family law you hire in divorce should routinely request discovery as to all cryptocurrencies that your spouse, and thus the community, might have an ownership interest in, whether you are aware of any being purchased during your marriage or not. If your spouse has suffered what he or she calls large gambling losses, or large amounts of money are found missing from community accounts, you’re going to want a forensic accounting to locate all suspected missing community assets.

Cryptocurrency can be traced back to a single spouse’s separate property just like any other tracing of a community property asset. It’s just that some assets are more difficult to trace than are others.

There are forensic analysts who specialize in tracking cryptocurrency and they can work to connect Bitcoin wallet addresses, for example, with the users’ actual identities. If large amounts of money are being transferred to a cryptocurrency exchange where cryptocurrencies are being purchased, this must be financially accounted for as well.

Same thing for the discovery of large cash withdrawals or transfers that were used to purchase cryptocurrency at peer-to-peer points of sale like localbitcoins.com. If it can’t be determined where that cash went, and your spouse doesn’t produce evidence re what he or she was doing with that cash, you will want an accounting thereof that leads to an equitable division of the community assets that were lost to you due to your spouse’s unauthorized withdrawals that led to the dissipation of community assets.

BOTTOM LINE IS TO SEARCH THEN SEIZE

Once you find the missing monies invested in hidden places, you have to get them out. That’s your family law specialist’s job, and that’s not always automatic. You might need passwords, usernames, and mnemonic seeds. If your spouse has played in the cryptocurrency market without you, it is possible your spouse has hidden a cache of profits derived from cryptocurrency business transactions in accounts under pseudonyms, other persons or business names, or they could have been transferred abroad.

If your divorce specialist has to go to court in an effort to retrieve hidden assets, your attorney will need to make a clear showing of how the money was transferred from a bank account or from some other community property asset to purchase the community cryptocurrency assets in dispute. When you hire a specialist in family law they can move the court for orders to exert pressure on your spouse to give up control over the hidden cryptocurrencies, and if that is not honored, the court can order an unbalanced division of community assets that will account for your share of the missing cryptocurrency.

PRESIDENT TRUMP’S DECEMBER 2017 TAX PLAN ELIMINATES DEDUCTIONS FOR ALIMONY PAYMENTS

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The burden of paying spousal support is about to reverse.  That’s because there’s a new tax law called, Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), that was passed by Congress in December 2017, that has effectively abolished tax deductions on alimony payments beginning January 1, 2019.  Under the new Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, alimony payments will be neither tax deductible for the paying spouse nor taxable in the hands of the recipient spouse.

This new law will apply to payments that are required under divorce or separation instruments that are:

(1) executed after December 31, 2018, or,

(2) modified after that date if the modification specifically states that the TCJA treatments of spousal support payments (not deductible by the payor and not taxable income tax by the recipient) applies forthwith.

This new alimony provision is not retroactive, and it does not apply to divorces and separation orders entered into before 2019.

Until this new law, paying spousal support could be considered a “win-win” situation for both divorcing spouses.  The payor receives the benefit of a reduced tax obligation and the payee receives the benefit of more income than might otherwise be forthcoming if the payor spouse wasn’t receiving the benefit of the tax deduction.

This change in law could now prove expensive for individuals who must pay spousal support, because the tax savings normally derived from deducting spousal support payments can be substantial for high-earners.  One of the biggest disadvantages of the new tax law is that it could affect the desire of a higher-earning spouse to settle with their dependent spouse, since the deduction acts as a great motivator for the higher wage earner to agree to help support the spouse with less income in the first place.

WINDOW IS STILL OPEN

There is still a window for the payor to receive deductions for spousal support payments, but that window is closing.  If you are involved in divorce proceedings, or you are thinking about divorcing, and you want deductible spousal support treatment for some or all of the payments that you will make to your soon-to-be-ex, the TCJA gives you a huge incentive to get your divorce agreement wrapped up and signed by December 31, 2018.

On the other hand, if you anticipate being the recipient of spousal support, you have a big incentive to put off finalizing your agreement until next year, because the payments will become tax-free to you.

Either way, you should contact a specialist in family law, someone who is experienced in divorce tax issues, to get the best tax results for yourself.  Tax-wise, waiting too long could turn out to be an expensive mistake for years to come.

Lastly, be warned that many otherwise competent divorce lawyers are not up to speed on many of the new tax changes.  So don’t assume that just any family law attorney is capable of guiding you to the best tax results in your divorce.  Do your homework.  Contact a specialist in family law who is up to date on the latest tax changes that might affect you.  Find out who can best represent you regarding your spousal support requirements, and other family law-related issues.

MARRIED WOMEN SHOULD UNDERSTAND THEIR FAMILY FINANCES BEFORE DEATH OR DIVORCE PART THEM FROM THEIR MONEY

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I recently read a timely article at bloomberg.com, talking about the difficulties many post divorce women face financially, due to them not having participated in the handling of family finances while they were married.  Back then, their spouses handled the finances, who turned out to be better equipped in dealing with family related financial issues after the divorce was completed. Now, as newly single women, many wives who had left the money matters to the men, wish they hadn’t.

In Rise of ‘Gray’ Divorce Forces Financial Reckoning After 50, Suzanne Woolley writes of how “too many women” let their husbands make the long-term financial decisions, which has left them vulnerable when separation or death strikes.  That’s why it’s so important for any woman, married or not, young or old, to take the time to learn about the finances that affect them and their families, before death or divorce throw ungodly financial surprises upon you.  This is a regular instance with many family law clients. Many women, looking deer-lost in headlights, not having really any clear idea of the true nature of their family finances, seek legal advice related to family financial matters.  Surprise and shock are common responses when discussing the issues surrounding the division of community property. Issues related to income, expenses, assets, and debts might be clouded, personal property and community property commingled, or assets going unaccounted for.

By developing understanding of your financial affairs you will be better prepared to make the big financial decisions that you might have let your spouses make when you were still married.  Understanding family finances better helps to avoid the “nasty surprises” at the end, that your divorce lawyer will have to help you clean up.

Woolley notes some interesting facts relating to women and their investing, citing statistics from a survey found in a report called, “Own Your Worth,” which was released by UBS Global Wealth Management.

  • 56 percent of married women still leave major investing and financial planning decisions to their spouse.  
  • 61 percent of millennial women said they leave investment decisions to their husbands.
  • 54 percent of baby boomer women leave investment decisions to their husbands.
  • Twice as many men as women in the UBS survey said they were highly knowledgeable about investing.
  • Three-quarters of the women surveyed said they don’t know much about investing.

Woolley’s article also cites a stark difference between married women and women who were divorced or widowed regarding the “making (of) major financial decisions” during their marriage  She cites, for example, that:

  • 59 percent of widows and divorcees regret not taking part in long-term financial planning when they were a couple.
  • 85 percent of married women who weren’t active in making long-term financial decisions said their spouse knows more about financial issues than they do.
  • Eighty percent of women said they were content with how financial responsibilities were handled in their marriage.

The report concluded that a majority of married women are still handing over to their spouses important financial decisions that will profoundly affect their futures.  Women and divorcees who now find themselves alone wish they had been more involved in finances while they were married, says the UBS Global Wealth Management Report. Nearly all of them advise other women to get more involved early on and “break the cycle of financial abdication.”

WOMEN SHOULD BREAK THE CYCLE OF FINANCIAL ABDICATION

The UBS report cites “eight out of 10” divorced or widowed women who remarried as finding themselves to be “more active in the financial decision-making in their current relationship.”  Ninety-four percent of widows and divorcees surveyed insist on complete financial transparency with their spouse.

Again, for all women who are trying to make it work financially, you have one financial bottom line, and that is if you haven’t already — get involved now!  Wake up to the economic realities we all face right now in trying to move our families forward in a healthy and prosperous way. When the divorce comes about, you will be prepared in important aspects.  Remember that subsequent marriages have a higher rate of dissolving than do first marriages. So understand the income, expenses, assets and debts formula your family operates under now.

If you are a married woman, be involved with your husband when making all financial decisions.  You’re signature and / or consent is going to be required for most family related financial instruments, so you might as well understand what you are signing, and why.  If a divorcing woman understands her finances, and she can communicate rationally and intelligently with her spouse, come time for the divorce, she can conceivably steer the mediation of the division of the community property and in the long run save her and her family a lot of money and emotional expense.  If she needs an attorney or divorce mediator to help her with the process, she can always hire a family law specialist.

PROPERTY DIVISION IN DIVORCE IS ABOUT ASSET PRESERVATION

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One of the primary issues a family law specialist deals with in divorce is helping his or her clients resolve their financial issues.  An experienced family law attorney can help you not only divide your property and assets, but your debt and liabilities as well.  A divorce attorney will utilize the best methods to put your entire family in the best financial position possible as you move forward into unfamiliar post-divorce territory.

Sometimes the community possesses complicated financial assets, like investment and retirement accounts or stock options, and a forensic accountant might be brought in to help analyze, value, and divide your property.  A forensic accountant can help unravel the essential financial formulas that might affect not only the division of community assets, but also child support and spousal support.  Forensic accountants can be expensive, however, and they’re not right for all divorces.  In a divorce case, a little common sense can go a long way when it comes to dividing community property.  The key is to think about how you’re going to preserve what you have in this dramatically volatile economic environment we live in.

My belief is that we are in the middle of the greatest economic free fall that we’ve ever experienced in this country during my lifetime.  The United States Congress says that the U.S. dollar has lost 96% percent of its value since its inception in 1913.  Some economists say that we are in the middle of witnessing 90% percent of the global wealth changing hands of ownership.  Whose hands are your wealth going into?  Will you and your family have anything left?

The purchasing power of the U.S. dollar, which is what we live and eat on, is down to an all time low, so low, in fact, that the U.S. Congress is contemplating bringing back the gold standard to back it.  At this time, more than ever, income, expenses, assets, debts, savings, and investments, should all be at the forefront of the minds of family law attorneys helping you divide your community assets in a divorce.  If you as a divorcing spouse aren’t considering your personal state of financial affairs, as it relates to your family’s future financial reality, and the value of the assets that you can take with you in your split, you could be in for some major surprises and disappointment.

TRUE INVESTMENT CAPITAL ONLY COMES FROM SAVINGS

Unemployment in this country is at an all time high.  Even if you have a job, inflation affecting everything you buy probably keeps you from being able to actually save money.  One of the greatest issues for family law attorneys in dealing with divorce is financial disagreement between the spouses, which is compounded by the fact spouses just aren’t saving enough in real value, so they end up fighting each other tooth-and-nail to squeeze every ounce of wealth they can out of whatever community asset they have left.  So be it for inflated assets.  Sets of silverware are being split down the middle because divorcing spouses have not been saving.  They’ve barely considered the true valuation of their assets up to this point in their lives.

Savings are important because they form the cash cushion that gets us through difficult economic times.  We get the best value out of our assets by saving for them first.  A lack of savings is one of the major problems we face not only as individuals but as a country during these economically challenging times.  Economic researcher Chris Martenson, PhD, MBA, says that savings are important nationally because they are utilized for the formation of investment capital; that is, the property, plant and equipment that create actual future wealth.

Same thing applies to spouses in a marriage.  If you are going to want to be able to invest in the “property, plant and equipment” of your future, so you  have some future wealth to be able to preserve for your family, without having a giant debt load attached to it, you’re going to have to save for it first.  True investment capital can only come from savings.

INDIVIDUAL’S SAVINGS RATES AT ALL TIME LOW

According to Martenson, savings rates have plunged to historic lows, “levels last associated with the Great Depression.”  Martenson says the personal American savings rate has steadily declined in America since 1985 to the present.  The decline we have experienced as a country and as individuals has resulted from “a culmination of a multi-decade erosion of savings as a cultural attribute of American citizens,” Martenson says.  Now, many of you are realizing this in your own lives, where you’re having problems making ends meet on a week-to-week basis, with nary the time nor thought given toward investing in yours or your children’s futures.  The truth is, you can barely deal with financing the now.  And you’ve probably got a lot of debt to go with it.

Martenson, a futurist and co-founder at PeakProsperity.com, believes that what a history of persistently declining savings tells us is that there is an “implicit assumption” by the majority of people in this country that unlimited credit will be available in the future, and so we don’t need to save now.  We have assumed a lifestyle where we have largely substituted a “save and spend” mentality, with “a buy it now on credit” mentality.

All debt across all sectors in this country, and personal savings of individuals, shifted in opposite directions in 1985, with the gap widening dramatically ever since.  “Our national tolerance of debt shifted drastically upwards beginning in 1985 right as our national approach to savings was beginning its long decline towards zero,” Martenson says.

The marketing of our financial system has created in us a belief that in order to have a grander and brighter future, we are going to need more money, which equates to greater debt, so we can buy things.  We have become a country of mass consumers fueled by credit availability.  Everything is about beating the Joneses, now, the future be damned, and the Joneses have a lot of credit at their disposal.  The idea has been ingrained in us that low savings plus high debt equals prosperity, or what Chris Martenson calls, “at least a perpetual feature of our future economic landscape.”

THE BOTTOM LINE FOR DIVORCING COUPLES

The bottom line for most Americans has become that of low savings rate and high debt, which is a major problem because it means that most divorcing spouses have a very thin safety cushion to ride out the economic hardship we are experiencing at this time.  This equates to the fact that most people have failed to invest in their families’ futures.  Dealing with the present while preparing for the future has posed a difficult task for most Americans, and, as a result, divorcing spouses have little left to divide.  They’re not alone in this.  A lack of savings is a nationwide problem.

Our bottom financial line to get through these difficult times has to be pretty straight forward from here.  Save as much as possible, now, and get out of debt.  Many financial forecasters predict that a credit freeze is imminent.  Prepare for it.  Know the truth of what’s really going on in the world, and with our banks.  When possible, move those hard-earned savings into assets that will hold or increase in value during this time of the declining U.S. dollar.  The theory behind hard earned savings, and the investment thereof, should include a ‘smart plan’ on how to preserve those assets for future family needs.

 

 

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