The first time I ever met Elaine Koby Moss, I felt like we were instant friends. Elaine is just that kind of person: warm, kind and caring. Elaine and I were have a mutual friend who told us we should meet because both of us have a niche in who we speak to in our careers: divorced women. I give emotional support, Elaine offers financial advice for divorce. She is a Vice-president and Senior Advisor for Vestor Capital in Chicago, specializing in holistic wealth management and planning for women facing life transitions, including divorce. Here is her guest post:
A Checklist for Protecting your Lifestyle during and after Divorce
by Elaine Koby Moss
Anyone who has ever gone through a divorce will tell you what a stressful time it is. Dealing with emotional pain, the affect it is having on your children, the legal process, and the fear of your new life is overwhelming to say the least.
Then there are the financial issues that come with a divorce; an aspect that perhaps can end up being the most stressful part of the process. Do I have to go back to work? Am I going to have to move out of our house? What happens to our joint savings? These are just a few of hundreds of questions that need to be addressed when figuring out a fair and equitable settlement.
Here are 4 important steps you can take to make the process easier and to improve your chances of walking away feeling secure in your divorce:
1. If you are a stay-at-home mom, and wish to remain as such, understand that you have the right to do so. Illinois law views marriage as a partnership, and recognizes that “homemaker services” are as significant as “financial contributions”. Value what you do as a stay-at-home mom, especially if you have young kids who are dealing with extensive changes as is (i.e. the divorce). Their mom going back to work right away might not be the best thing for them. That said, should you choose to go back to work, that’s OK, too. Just know that the decision should be yours and no one else’s.
2. Understand what your assets are and where they are. In other words, this is the time to educate yourself on every asset you have and where the assets are. Make a list of the investments that includes the institution where it is held and a contact name and phone number. Also, no need to “hide” anything, because during the discovery period of your divorce, it will all be uncovered.
3. Figure out what your expenses are and the amount of money you need every month to maintain your current lifestyle. This takes a lot of time and thought, and might take a couple weeks to figure out. In other words, don’t rush it. Make a detailed list of all of your expenses. Really think about what you spend. You deserve to continue living in the manner of which you’ve grown accustomed, and you need to make sure your monthly income needs are accurate and fair.
4. Contact a financial advisor and interview him or her. Make sure you like and trust the person. Also, get references if you can. An advisor will help you develop a financial plan, which is crucial. It is very important to understand what your situation will look like in the years to come. A professional advisor can allocate your funds in the right combination of short-term, medium-term and long-term investments, as well as protection/insurance. It is also important that the advisor educate you on where your money is being invested. Don’t accept, “Don’t worry about it. I’ll handle it.” A good financial advisor will make sure you understand all of your options, and educate you so that you have the confidence to make the ultimate decisions.
What I think is really unique about Vestor Capital is that all of the advisors in the firm invest their money in the same products as their clients. So, in essence, they are standing by their investment choices with immense conviction. Thanks for the great post, Elaine!
Elaine Koby Moss is a Vice President and Senior Advisor at Vestor Capital. She has extensive experience in advising high-net-worth clients and providing holistic wealth management and planning to clients. She has a particular focus on working with women, especially those facing life transitions such as divorce. Elaine has been in the financial services industry since 1986. Prior to joining Vestor Capital, she worked for Bear Stearns, and Tucker Anthony. She holds a Bachelor’s degree with a concentration in Political Science from Tulane University. To contact Elaine, visit vestorcapital.com or email: email@example.com