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A comprehensive resource for information and support before, during and after divorce.

Employed By Life to Working Woman

There is a lot of information out there about how to disguise a gap in your work history, as though it is something negative to be hidden from the hiring manager. It is time to change our thinking and really shine a light on the value that a person Employed by Life brings to the work force. Gaps Happen  Gaps in work history happen for all kinds of reasons, whether forced or planned. Instead of fudging the dates to close the gap in time, use it as an opportunity to list skills that you have accumulated during this transition time, then highlight your accomplishments and skills gained. We firmly believe that every experience can be applied to the corporate world. A person that has spent any amount of time without paid employment typically did not just sit around waiting for the next job to knock on their door. Whether or not their time off was voluntarily, they gained many valuable skills. Combine those skills with a renewed zest for rejoining the workforce and they quite possibly will become the most treasured employee. Examples of Employed by Life Experiences  Raising children is the ultimate job – you making an impact on the next generation. It takes a 24/7 commitment, and all the training is on-the-job. No two days are ever the same. Talk about being able to multitask under pressure! Keeping the attention of a group of 3 year olds for any length of time is like herding ducks. This person must be engaging, the ultimate in multitasking, while giving a presentation and not losing those that are paying attention. They must be constantly on the lookout for those charges that are becoming disinterested or distractedly wandering off. We want that person’s intuitive abilities in my company. They can think on their feet, discern when a client’s interest flags or when that client is ripe for the close. Caring for an aging or seriously ill family member requires another set of underrated skills. Researching the illness, the treatments, the care requirements, organizing medications, patient needs, and nutrition are just a few of the critical tasks. The compassion and commitment that it takes is something that you simply cannot teach a person, and is a beautiful thing when you encounter it. Typically this person is proactive, organized, and fiscally responsible, they tend to enjoy life, and above all they are tenacious (have you ever had to deal with insurance companies to get tests approved or medications covered?). During your time off did you take on any special projects, manage a household, oversee a home remodel, or even plant a garden? All of these activities say something about you and help contribute...

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Craft Your Personal Brand to Create Your Next Job Opportunity

Sharing your message, your personal brand, via social media and public speaking is a critical component to creating your next job opportunity! The steps to creating your next job opportunity may seem overwhelming at times, but is what your are doing now in your job search process getting the results that you desire, and how much time and effort are you pouring into revising and re-writing resumes to send into the black hole of the internet. I agree it is a frustrating and demoralizing process, that is I why I am so passionate about sharing What’s For Work? A website dedicated to helping you craft your personal brand and learn to use social media to create your next job opportunity.  Start by setting up and owning your personal brand by setting up your profile along with a professional looking headshot. Then the work really begins around crafting your personal brand. A top level over view includes the following steps: Write out a comprehensive resume, including all work (paid and volunteer, as well as all activities you have done while being Employed By Life, Do some soul searching when looking at this list – what did you really enjoy doing and be very clear in why you like that job or job function, Identify the companies/industries that you dream of working for, Research what issues or problems these companies/industries are facing today, Start blogging about how you are the solution to the company or industry issues or problems, Learn to use social media and public speaking to get the hiring managers to know, like, and trust you so that you become the candidate of choice. I will be writing more blogs about each of these points over the next few months, ones that will really dive down into the methodology of crafting a personal brand and using social media to create your next job opportunity. Please let know if you have any concerns right now that I can...

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How Does the Divorce Process in California Work?

A marriage is a legal relationship recognized by the state and federal government.  If it is decided that you no longer wish to be in a relationship with your spouse, a formal divorce process is required in California in order to have the court dissolve your marriage. There are several steps that must be taken as part of the divorce process. To ensure your divorce goes as quickly and smoothly as possible and your legal rights are protected, it is advisable to consult with an experienced divorce and family law attorney to guide you through the divorce process. How Does the Divorce Process Work? The divorce process begins when either the husband or wife decides to file for divorce. Divorce proceedings must be filed in a state where one or both of the spouses are residents. To start the process, you will need to go to the family court and file the correct paperwork or have your family law attorney work with you.  A filing fee may be required. While the clerk of court can provide the divorce paperwork, assistance is not provided at the courthouse to complete the paperwork. A divorce attorney can help you complete the divorce filing. After the divorce papers are filed, the spouse who did not submit the papers will be served with papers and a summons. This means that an official of the court will deliver the papers to your spouse (unless service of process is waived).  The spouse who receives the divorce papers must respond with an answer to the court by the required deadline. The next steps involve decisions on issues such as child custody, child support, spousal support and division of marital assets. To facilitate this step, there is a discovery and disclosure period whereby spouses must exchange information on their finances and other factors relevant to the divorce. If either spouse refuses to turn over necessary financial documents, the court can order him or her to do so. The decisions on issues of support, property and custody can be made out-of-court by the two spouses working together to create a divorce settlement agreement. This is the preferred solution as it is less expensive, less acrimonious and much faster. It is also more likely to result in a divorce agreement that all parties involved are satisfied. If the couple is not able to come to an out-of-court agreement on their own, then the couple may opt for a litigated divorce whereby decisions are made by the judge after each spouse is given the opportunity to present arguments to the court. Whether the couple creates their own divorce settlement or the judge decides the issues, the process will be completed when the judge finalizes the divorce  officially dissolving the marriage and the divorce becomes...

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Top Ten Divorce Tips

1.    Copy Your Records Before your divorce, be sure to make copies of all of your financial records.  Keep them in a safe place away from your spouse.  These records include, but are not limited to, personal and business income tax returns (last three years), business records, account statements from investment firms, banks, and pension offices, pay stubs, life insurance information, annuities, credit card statements, stock certificates, and receipts for purchase of larger items.  Copy anything to which you might need to refer.  Obtaining copies of records via the discovery process while in the midst of a divorce is much more difficult and can be expensive. (Wendy W. Spencer is a CFP®, and CDFA™ in the Denver, CO area.) 2.    Obtain Copies of Credit Applications Obtain copies of any credit or mortgage applications from your bank or creditors, particularly those that have been completed 12 months prior to your separation.  If the application was joint, then it will list assets, liabilities, and income for both spouses.  Those applying for loans or credit tend to list all possible assets and income in order to qualify for the credit.  As a result, this may be a very good source of asset discovery when one spouse believes that the other is withholding information on marital property. (Karen Odom is a CPA, CDFA in High Point, NC.) 3.    Identity Check Verifying accurate personal, financial, and business information is critical to maintaining your identity.  It’s important to check data reporting services, such as credit agencies, as well as banks and investment/insurance companies, to ensure that your name, address, and other personal information are correct.  Google yourself!  Find out what information, if any, about you is on the Web.  You can contact the Webmaster for sites where you find inaccurate information.  Contact your local post office and utilities as soon as you or your (ex) spouse plan to move to provide a forwarding address and to ensure that you continue to receive your mail. (Maureen D. Hale is a CDFA based in Chicago, IL.) 4.    Marital Debt Debts that were obtained in the name of both spouses before a divorce (meaning both husband and wife signed a document or application saying that they were responsible for the debt) remain the obligations of both parties after a divorce, no matter what a divorce decree says.  Creditors are not party to your separation or property settlement agreement.  Therefore, if your ex-spouse does not pay a debt that he or she was responsible for according to your divorce decree, then YOU are responsible for the debt. (Todd Curry is a CDFA(tm) in Charlotte, NC.) 5.    Cancel “Joint” Lines of Credit If your divorce...

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How to prepare yourself to deal with the financial realities of divorce

More often than not, the standard of living of both spouses drops in the first few years after divorce. Why? Because the same cumulative income and pool of assets now has to support two households instead of one. Unfortunately, most people don’t prepare themselves financially or emotionally for that consequence. So what can you do to better prepare yourself for this inevitability? The answer is simple, but it’s not easy to put into practice. Divorce is an inherently stressful process. To alleviate some of the stress, it’s important to be proactive and in control. Here are the “Lucky Seven” things you can do to help prepare yourself for your post-divorce financial future. 1. Expect your income to drop after the divorce is final. You should expect your income to drop after the divorce is final. Develop a budget based on needs– not wants – and keep in mind that your expenses need to stay within your post-divorce income. Consider all sources of income – including spousal and child support, keeping in mind that they won’t last forever – as well as investment income. To develop a budget, use a detailed worksheet so you don’t overlook any expenses. The best source for the expense information is your check register, if that’s how you pay your bills. Remember that not all your expenses are paid monthly; some insurance premiums or tax bills might be payable quarterly or annually, so make sure to account for those as well. (To help get you started, fill out the “Monthly/Annual Expenses” worksheet, which is available online at www.institutedfa.com.) The last step in preparing a budget is to ask a reasonable and critical friend or family member to review your budget and challenge the expenses that seem unreasonable. You have to agree to keep an open mind and not to get mad if he/she challenges one of your items; remember that this person is trying to help you. 2. Consider whether you can afford to keep the house. Here are the traditional options for the matrimonial home: One spouse stays in the house (with the children, if any) and buys the other spouse’s share by: Cash-out refinance Giving up another asset Property settlement note The spouses sell the house during or after the divorce process and split the proceeds. In many cases, one spouse – usually the wife – wants to keep the house. Though this might be emotionally satisfying, it usually makes little or no financial sense. The equity in the house is illiquid, meaning it won’t pay the bills. In today’s housing market, sometimes the matrimonial home can’t be sold in a reasonable amount of time – or for a reasonable amount of money....

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