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Financial Tools

Annual Tune Up

Pre or Post Divorce, the right tools can make a significant difference in the path you choose.

A lot can change in a year, and income and expenses - especially with children - in ways that do impact your daily life. We can sort this out.


Our Annual Tune-Up package is for past mediation clients to

re-calculate maintenance and child support figures as well as mediate issues that may have arisen over the course of the last year.

The following quiz can help you determine if you're ready for a quick tune-up to make sure everything is in place for you and your children,

Annual Tune Up Checklist

Answer Yes or No to the Following Questions.

1. Is your maintenance modifiable? Has your or your ex-spouse’s income changed since last year?

Why does it matter?  If your maintenance is modifiable then each year you and your ex should be exchanging financials to recalculate maintenance according to the terms of your divorce.

2. Do you argue over pick up times for your children?

Why does it matter?  Arguing over pick up times will only lead to continuous resentment and stress for both parties and their children.

3. Are Holidays more stressful with uneasy transitions between families and children?

Why does it matter?  Holidays come every year and should be met with happiness and respite. Transitions with children should be dealt with early to avoid future unease.

4. Do you feel like you are paying for more of your child's expenses and extra-curriculars? Are you feeling tired of asking for reimbursement from your ex-spouse?

Why does it matter?  Your children keep getting older and have new interests and needs which come with a cost. If these are met head on, arguments and tension can be avoided.

5. Did you include tutoring, haircuts or other such expenses in your shared children's expenses?

Why does it matter?  During a divorce settlement, emotions are high and there is an eagerness to have it completed.  Many particulars with child expenses and can be missed.  This ongoing annual tune up helps to keep an ongoing positive agreement for both parties.

Annual Tune Up Checklist

It may seem like a daunting task at first, as divorce can feel like an exhausting and emotional roller coaster. However there are certain aspects you don't want to lose sight of like your impending finances.  Analyzing your financial future after a divorce is necessary to build an independent future that you deserve and we want to help you by taking it one step at a time.  

First list item. Add your own content here or connect to data from your collection.

First list item. Add your own content here or connect to data from your collection.

First list item. Add your own content here or connect to data from your collection.


Start with your income.

Take a look at all the sources of income that flow into the household monthly or annually.  If possible look at your last two years of tax returns and take your individual income numbers.  If you do not yet have individual income, leave the income entries blank until anticipated individual income amounts and/or sources are confirmed. Example: Salary, Tips, Alimony, Child Support, Bonuses, Dividends, Retirement, Pension, Social Security


Begin looking at your monthly or annual expenses.

Looking forward to you and your ex-spouse will live in separate households. Each home will incur its own set of expenses. This includes - Household: rent, mortgage, real estate taxes; Transportation: car payment, car insurance;  Children; Health/Medical, Gifts, Sports or Clubs, Subscriptions, etc


 Prioritize your expenses.

With that task completed, you may be ready to tackle other aspects of your divorce negotiation. If you discovered an income shortfall—now that two households require funding—it's time to dig deep. Evaluate each expense and trim or eliminate any that is not essential. Generally speaking you do not want to spend down retirement savings for current income.There may not be time to replace such funds before you are ready to retire.


Draw up a budget and planned expenses moving forward.

You’ll learn that there are patterns in how you spend your money, so set monthly goals for your spending that align with your financial goals. For example, your expense tracking may surprise you when you see how much you spend on take-out so create a plan to make a certain amount of meals at home.  Keep your budget somewhere where you’ll see it: your smartphone or in your planner.


 Revise as needed.

Don’t get down on yourself if you can’t seem to meet your budget goals. You may have underestimated how much you spend on clothing or groceries and may need to make adjustments. The goal is to create a realistic budget that works for you, not punishes you.


Pay yourself first.

Even if you can only afford a few dollars each week, work towards budgeting for savings, especially if you don’t have ready cash available for an emergency.


Know when and who you can ask questions to.

No one is expected to be an expert at everything. To kick things off, double check your work, or provide new strategy, find a great Financial Planner to have as a point to contact.

6 Steps to Feel in Control of Your Financial Landscape
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Sample Budget
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