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Couples Contemplating Divorce can Benefit from an Experienced Financial Mediator

| November 10, 2015 | 0 Comments
Vicky Tomaro of Tomaro Financial Group

Vicky Tomaro

Tomaro Financial Group
1704 Maxwell Drive, Suite 203
Wall, New Jersey 07719

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Vicky Tomaro Helps Couples Navigate the Divorce Process

WALL TWP., N.J., Nov. 10, 2015 – New Jersey couples who are looking to untie the knot are turning to mediation rather than spending years in litigation and racking up thousands in attorney’s fees. As a financial mediator, Vicky Tomaro, president of Tomaro Financial Group, helps couples navigate through the divorce process so they can move on to the next level.

“My role is to help couples split their assets, not to settle the divorce,” said Tomaro. “But once they’ve gotten past the financial issues, then they’ve alleviated one of the biggest battles that couples encounter.”

With her in-depth knowledge in the financial arena, Tomaro acts as an unbiased mediator in divorces. She helps couples determine what is really most important for their children and/or for their own futures. She guides them through the decision-making and problem-solving process to bring about a resolution, sometimes before attorneys are even involved.

“The dissolution of a marriage is an emotionally charged time and it’s not easy taking one household and splitting it in two,” said Tomaro. “I help couples understand the financial implications of their divorce.”

Couples benefit from working with an unbiased mediator who can prepare them for the financial consequences of their divorce. Tomaro spends an average of five to 12 hours with clients to review their financial situations and explain how divorce will impact their income, lifestyle, home and retirement planning. Once they’ve reached a financial agreement, they can consult with an attorney who will handle the legalities of the divorce.

“A divorce doesn’t have to drain a couple of their time and money,” said Tomaro. “My goal is to set realistic expectations and educate clients while guiding them through the difficult decisions that need to be made to reach a fair settlement.”

Dividing Assets

Understanding how assets get divided in a divorce can be challenging, according to Tomaro. “Both parties need to be willing to disclose all of their financial records or else the process doesn’t work. I talk to the couple together and individually to find out what’s most important to each of them.”

Tomaro creates an outline of what is agreed upon which the couple can bring to their attorneys. If a question should arise about alimony, then “I work very closely with the attorneys,” she said, “and usually cover everything from beneficiary designations to retirement plans and life insurance policies.”

Couples typically have questions about retirement assets, keeping their home and how alimony is structured. In some scenarios, for instance, it may not even be possible for a spouse to keep the family home and qualify for a mortgage.

Sometimes even simple arrangements such as splitting an IRA fund can become a nightmare if certain precautions aren’t put into place before the divorce is finalized. For example, Tomaro recalls a case where a woman went looking for her share of an IRA 10 years after her divorce decree. “The money was gone as the husband had spent it,” she said. “This should have been handled at the start.”

When a couple isn’t sure what type of professional they need, Tomaro is a resource to help refer the right professionals who can work together in a collaborative setting. This includes attorneys, mediators and accountants.

Located within the Tomaro Professional Center, Vicky Tomaro has brought together a collaborative mix of tenants who offer complementary disciplines and resources that are helpful in settling a divorce agreement. Tomaro is also a member of the Jersey Shore Collaborative Law Group which offers collaborative divorce as an alternative to going to court.

Avoiding Costly Mistakes

In order to avoid costly mistakes, Tomaro offers the following financial tips for individuals going through a divorce.

1. Gather information about marital finances. Understanding how assets get divided in a divorce can be challenging. At the beginning of any marriage, people should show an interest in the family finances. But if that’s not the case and you’re at the point where you are contemplating divorce, many times the person who was handling everything may no longer want to show you everything. You need to start taking a look at tax returns, and getting copies of financial statements and retirement plans. It’s to your benefit to be informed at the onset of the divorce process. Staying abreast of your assets and liabilities makes it easier to divvy things up and create a realistic plan for a new life.

2. Don’t take financial advice from friends and relatives. Although they seem well-meaning, they don’t fully understand your specific financial scenario. Their advice may often be detrimental because it can affect your logic. Don’t make decisions based on other people’s advice. Each person’s divorce case is like a fingerprint; it’s specific to their life, assets, income and expenses.

3. Seek out a financial advisor who specializes in divorce. Finances are so important in a divorce, second only to the children. An advisor can save a client time and money by assessing a couple’s financial picture and determining how the divorce will impact their long-term finances.

4. Stay on top of household expenses. Make sure bills are getting paid on time because this could affect your credit score after the divorce. This is an emotionally charged time and any unnecessary spending can create a financial mess. Think first before you start spending out of anger. Bills need to be paid.

5. Know the difference between marital and pre-marital property. Don’t co-mingle funds that were acquired prior to the marriage. For example, if one person owned a house previously, and the couple takes out an equity loan, then once the spouse signs the equity line, they have co-mingled the house. In another scenario, if one spouse enters a marriage with an inheritance and puts the money into a joint account, then the money has been co-mingled and it becomes marital property.

6. Work with professionals that make you feel comfortable. Divorce cases can be complex which is why it’s important to work with professionals who have the right skill set for your needs. Work with attorneys who are knowledgable and have a specialty in divorce.

7. Consider working with a life/divorce coach. It’s stressful time and many times logic goes out the window. A coach who specializes in divorce can bring reason back into the picture and help divorcing couples get through the process.

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*Securities offered through TFS Securities Inc., Member FINRA/SIPC a full service Broker Dealer located at 437 Newman Springs Road, Lincroft, NJ 07738, (732)758-9300. Investment Advisory services offered through TFS Advisory Services, a service of TFS Securities, Inc.

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