7 August 2018 FT — Articles to Read

7 August 2018


Question: According to MSN:Money, what are 40 secrets only divorce lawyers know?


Chinese police lock down financial district – Pg. 4

–        Investors who had lost money in the recent collapse of P2P platforms had organized a protest in Beijing yesterday, ….

–        China’s online P2P lending market is the biggest in the world, with $175bn in loans outstanding at the end of last year, …

–        But over the past two months a wave of defaults shocked families who believed their investments were safe


Renminbi decline overwhelms central bank intervention as Chinese stocks slide – Pg. 17

–        The renminbi resumed its drop yesterday as the downward pressure on the Chinese currency overwhelmed the first effort from the country’s central bank to temper its four-month slide

–        In contrast to notable renminbi drops in 2015 and 2016, the currency’s 9% slide against the US dollar since April has yet to alarm global investors, who believe it is in the crosshairs of both the trade war and attempts by Beijing policymakers to reverse a recent tightening in monetary policy as the economy slows

–        Some $2.3tn has been wiped off the value of Chinese stocks since their high in January


Answer: (1) Don’t let emotions dictate your financial decisions (Prof Note: I remember a student calling me with a problem.  It started like this, “Prof, I did what you say do not do, I bought a house with my gf.”  I said, “Great, now marry her!”  He said, “Welllllll, she’s not my girlfriend anymore.”  I said, “Ok, talk to me…”  He said, I have this spreadsheet showing I have contributed 91.7% to the household expenses you would be proud!”  I said, “I am proud.  Now give her half, move on with your life and listen to me from the beginning!” J), (2) Everything is fair game (Prof Note: Make certain you know what “everything” is!); (3) Make big purchases before filing; (4) Keep track of your spouse’s spending (Prof Note: The devil is in the details); (5) Gather key evidence before filing (Prof Note: I have advised so many, female and male, on this.  Everyone wants to confront the other person.  Get your ship ready to sail first!); (6) Get property appraised before you part ways; (7) Don’t hide assets (Prof Note: Be transparent but also be strategic); (8) You can write off alimony payments on your taxes (Prof Note: I thought, but am not a tax accountant, this was negated with the tax changes); (9) If you receive alimony, you must report it; (10) Watch out for Hidden Tax Implications; (11) Get job training or update your education before filing (Prof Note: A spouse that works at home for the family has value!  Replacing the person that cooks, cleans, drives carpools, loves on everyone when they are sick, is priceless…remember this!); (12) Familiarize yourself with your finances before you split (Prof Note: I recommend both spouses understand the finances.  In fact, part of my estate plant explains my finances); (13) Consider mediating your divorce (Prof Note: One of my good friends is a divorce mediator.  The few people I have sent his way have spoke highly of him and the services provided); (14) Know what your biggest asset is; (15) If your lawyer recommends a PI, hire one (Prof Note: In my family saga I hired two PIs.  What a joke!  All they did was google search.  I would have been better off hiring two 12 year olds!); (16) The most expensive lawyer isn’t always the best (Prof Note: It is important to have benchstrength.  Single practioners are just that, single.  Benchstrength baby!); (17) Understand debt obligations; (18) Don’t forget about beneficiary designations (Prof Note: Change your Will!); (19) Pay court-ordered attorney fees; (20) Consider your income before asking for all deductible items; (21) Take advantage of free legal advice (Prof Note: Remember, you generally get what you pay for); (22) Be mindful of the date when initiating divorce; (23) Design a joint parenting arrangement wisely; (24) Plan finances for after the divorce; (25) Have a paper trail; (26) Division of property can be complex; (27) Retirement accounts are not worth the balance; (28) Division of property depends on where you live; (29) Some states are better for getting a divorce; (30) Be mindful of the worst states for divorce (Prof Note: Remember, the most important finance decision one makes in life is their spouse!  Also remember the greatest destroyer of wealth is NOT a financial crisis but rather….DIVORCE!!!)