Newsletter for May, 2012
Everybody is good at something. Marketers know to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of their clients, corporate strategists do a SWOT analysis, attorneys know what to emphasize and de-emphasize in a case. In the collaborative or mediation world, we as divorce financial planners notice that our clients are also good at something, and where they're not particularly strong. Our client's experience with finance can be wildly divergent; the non-moneyed spouse might come from a non-finance background, whereas the bill payer of the family knows where every nickel is, and why it's there. Providing financial experience equalization is one of the cornerstones of what we do- the attorneys, mediators and mental health professionals rely on this counterbalance between parties. There are plenty of reasons for that reliance, as developing confidence in the decision-making process for the less financially-confident is an important facet for moving forward in the divorce process. The mediator and the attorney need to know that as the case unfolds, all parties have both equal access and equal ability to understand the ramifications of a financial decision. Possession of financial information is only half the battle, whereas deploying it correctly is victory- for both parties.
2012 Annual Conference Sept 21 & 22 at the Doral Arrowwood Resort
ADFP University Sept 2
Content & Early Bird Specials
This year marks the 10th annual conference for the ADFP. It has been an amazing journey to grow this not-for-profit organization over 14 years on the shoulders of only volunteers! With great pride and hard efforts, the ADFP has evolved as the recognized national leader in our financial planning profession. Our expertise and presence among our financial planning peers, legal professionals, and allied divorce professionals is recognized increasingly as our numbers grow, clients benefit from our services, and the divorce process itself is transformed by our expert contributions. Our professional outreach also encompasses strategic alliances with key financial planning organizations such as FPA and NAPFA.
As always, we encourage and invite you to share your ideas, expertise and experiences with us. We need your involvement with the ADFP to strengthen our efforts to promote our mission: (1) To heighten awareness of the benefits of divorce financial planning so that it becomes an integral part of the divorce process; (2) To bring knowledgeable and trustworthy practitioners into the profession.
Please join us for the 10th Annual Conference on Sept. 21 and 22 at the Doral Arrowwood Resort where you can learn new tips and techniques from professionals on the cutting-edge of this exploding profession and earn plentiful CE credits for CFPs, CPAs and CDFAs. Sample topics include:
- Forensic Lifestyle Analysis and Reporting
- Same Sex Marriages and Divorce
- Advanced Case Studies in Divorce Taxation
- College Planning and Divorce
- Trends in Alimony
And do not forget to treat yourself to additional continuing education credits and learning. This year ADFP University Day on Sept 20 will have approximately 9 courses, with many in repeat sessions! We are running three tracks of basic and advanced subjects to ensure your needs and requests are met. ADFP University registrants will have an opportunity to take up to 5 of these courses.
Courses thus far include Forensic Analysis of Personal and Business Tax Returns. Other topics under consideration include: Family Law Software workshops, Estate Planning and Divorce, Retirement Plans and Divorce, Public Relations, Divorce and Special Needs, Setting Up a Divorce Financial Planning Practice, Marketing a Divorce Financial Planning Practice, Managing a Divorce Financial Planning Practice, Real Estate and Divorce, Divorce and Debt, Best Practices and Tools of the Trade. Most of these will also be eligible for CE.
As always, we are open to your suggestions. Please contact Pam Humbert, ADFP Administrative Assistant with your thoughts (email@example.com; 888-838-7773). Remember, this is your conference!
Early Bird Specials:
1. Early bird registrants will receive $50 ADFP Conference discounts. Regular registration costs: $795 for members, $895 for non-members.
2. Early bird registrants will be eligible for early bird discounts to ADFP University courses as well.
2. First 20 Conference registrants will receive a free copy of "Divorce and Money" (Nolo), 9th edition, a $34.99 value.
To register and receive your free copy of "Divorce and Money," you will need to contact Pam directly (firstname.lastname@example.org; 888-838-7773), as formal registration forms are still under development.
We look forward to seeing you at this year's conference!
When the 20-Year Ditch Replaces the Seven Year Itch - Dividing Annuities
By Ginita Wall, CPA, CFP®, CDFA
Many older clients have purchased variable annuities to shelter their investment from current taxation and generate retirement income. Dealing with annuities in divorce requires particular care.
First, let's talk about the players: An annuity contract specifies the owner, the annuitant (who may be the same as the owner), and the beneficiary. An owner can take the proceeds in a lump sum or over the annuitant's lifetime, and a beneficiary can be designated in case the owner or annuitant dies before payments begin.
Now let's talk about the features: All annuities have cash value, and many have two additional features that vary from policy to policy: the stepped-up death benefit and the living benefit. A stepped-up death benefit may lock in investment gains periodically. A living benefit pays a guaranteed minimum income for life, even if the value of the investments falls.
For example, an annuity acquired in 2006 for $100,000 might now have a cash value of just $70,000. But if the annuity provides for a living benefit of 5% a year, the living benefit base is $115,000. If the death benefit added a high-water step up based on market performance, it could have locked in at $137,000 when the market peaked. So looking at the current cash value alone misses the greater value from the benefit riders for which the couple has been paying extra premiums.
Even if the cash value of the annuity is the same as the living and death benefits, the annuity is easy to value but still hard to divide. That's because any funds removed may be subject to back end charges, taxation and even tax penalties. And this applies to a change in ownership, not just distributions. So changing owners, annuitants or beneficiaries requires careful analysis to avoid tax traps.
Once you've figured out how to divide the annuity without back end charges, taxation and penalties, you aren't out of the woods. The insurance company that issued the annuity typically requires that specific language be used in the marital settlement agreement or court order. In some cases, the issuer will even require a separate court order similar to a Qualified Domestic Relations Order. This order must follow criteria established by the issuer and the issuer must approve and accept the order before it divides the annuity.
Seven CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® professionals in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada have joined forces to bring the benefits of financial expertise and financial planning to divorcing couples and their professional advisors.
Our website was launched in June 2011. www.divorcefinancialplanners.ca
This exceptional group of Certified Financial Planners is dedicated to educating and enabling divorcing couples and their advisors to access divorce financial planning expertise. Our group began meeting in October 2010 to explore ways to make divorce financial planning expertise ubiquitous in our communities. On a collective basis these individuals are spreading the word about where and how divorcing couples, and their advisors, can get answers to the essential financial planning questions that arise during the divorce process. The group meets monthly to share best practices and to study new legislation and programs that relate to divorce financial planning for clients.
The Association of Divorce Financial Planners is acknowledged for its work and encouragement of divorce financial planners to work co-operatively in their communities to educate, market and deliver the benefits of divorce financial planning during and after a divorce. www.divorceandfinance.org
The Vancouver, British Columbia group members possess designations and specialized training, in addition to their CFP® designations, that enhance our ability to meet the needs of divorcing clients. Our independent business and licensing arrangements enable each member to offer professional fee only services in neutral, advocacy and/or litigation support engagements. All of the CFP® professionals listed on the www.divorcefinancialplanners.ca website have been trained in the interdisciplinary collaborative process and some are qualified mediators.
D Art Kewin MA JD CFP® and Doreen Gardner Brown, BHEc CFP® AFC
ADFP members and co-founders of the Divorce Financial Planning group in Vancouver, Canada
The Start Over Smart Experience
The Divorce Expo: "Start Over Smart" conference in New York City on March 31 & April 1 was a first class event for the public to attend a wide variety of workshops about divorce. The ADFP was an exhibitor at the event.
In anticipation of this event, the ADFP created a new banner for our booth that is attractive, simple and eye catching. We distributed ADFP brochures as well. ADFP members volunteered and manned the booth to help promote the benefits of divorce financial planning. We gathered names of interested parties for further follow up by our members in respective geographic areas.
In addition to our professional booth, other allied divorce professionals were represented: the New York Association of Collaborative Professionals; the New York State Council for Divorce Mediation; and, several major law firms.
"Start Over Smart" was well thought out for a person going through the transition of divorce - a holistic approach to the divorce process. The mission of the Expo had four pillars: Build a Community of Support, Managing Finances, Helping Your Children through the Process, There is Life After Divorce.
Anything and everything you could imagine regarding divorce and the renewal and reinvention of the self was at hand: Makeovers / Fashion, Dating / Sex, Financial, Parenting / Children, Men's Issues, Baby Boomers, Extended Family Issues and Career. It was a one-stop-shop high energy wave that attracted successfully media attention.
Lili A. Vasileff, Member of the SOS Event Advisory Board, spoke at three different workshops. She talked about "Top Ten Things You Need to Know about Getting Divorced," "Divorce for Baby Boomers" and "How to Protect Yourself Financially in Divorce." Plans are underway already for next year. This event now tested and tangible to the public, presents opportunity next year for our members directly as well as for your clients. We will share with you any news of the future event as we receive it.
ADFP News: Just a reminder- the ADFP Newsletter is only a short briefing. Please visit www.DivorceAndFinance.org for more information!
Northern Greater New York Metro Chapter Meeting May 16th
Save the Date!
The next meeting of the newly formed Northern Greater New York Metro Chapter will take place Wednesday, May 16th from 12:00-1:30 at the offices of Andrew Samalin, Samalin Investment Counsel, 297 King Street, Chappaqua, NY 10514. Attendance is open to all ADFP members. Members in the northern suburbs of NYC, northern New Jersey and western Connecticut are especially encouraged to participate.
At this meeting we will begin planning a joint event with another divorce group in our geographical area and brainstorm ideas for future chapter meetings such as Family Law Software trainings or workshops. We will also set up a schedule for future chapter meetings.
Please RSVP to Pam Humbert at 888-838-7773 or ADFP@DivorceAndFinance.org. Please also give her suggestions you might have for additional agenda items or future chapter activities. Our last meeting was a huge success! Let's keep the momentum going!
As a practitioner, we all know too well the valuable knowledge and benefits we bring to divorcing clients. The need for our services today is greater that ever. Please join us in working together to bring more awareness of our value to the divorce process.
New ADFP Chapter Development Drive
Are you looking for additional support from your peers in the industry but just aren't sure where to turn? Are you looking for a network of professionals to share practice management and marketing ideas with along with improving your technical expertise? Are you motivated to see your practice grow in conjunction with the continued success and growth of the ADFP? The Association of Divorce Financial Planners is looking to expand into your city through the introduction of new chapters. If you are passionate about what we do as professional practitioners and motivated to increase our industry's presence in your geographical area, come help us grow. Organizing a chapter may be just the thing for you. If you are interested please contact Mike Bean CPA, CDFA, VP of Chapter Development at email@example.com or Pam Humbert at ADFP@DivorceAndFinance.org; 888-838-7773 to learn more.
ADFP Greater Boston Area Chapter
The next ADFP GBA Chapter Meeting The next ADFP Greater Boston Chapter Meeting will be held on Thursday June 7th, 2012 from 12PM to 1:30PM in Waltham, MA. Our program will be announced shortly. Please register at http://adfp-boston.eventbrite.ca/
ADFP Greater New York Metro
2012 ADFP GNYM Chapter Meetings will be held from 8:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. at the Benjamin Steak House, 52 East 41 Street, New York, New York (1 block south of Grand Central Station). Meetings are held every other month on the second Wednesday of the month. Please mark your calendars for: Wednesday June 13th, 2012, Wednesday August 8th, 2012, Wednesday October 10th, 2012, Wednesday December 12th, 2012
$25 includes meeting and a full breakfast buffet. Hosted by Chapter Chairs Cindy Thompson & Stacy Francis. To RSVP or for more information call 914-906-2919.
Organizational Meeting for an ADFP Nassau Chapter
An Organizational meeting for an ADFP Nassau Chapter is being held June 13 from 8 - 9:30, at the Marcum, LLP Offices, 10 Melville Park Road, Melville, New York 11747. The meeting is being hosted by ADFP member Jennifer Reik.
For directions and more information please call 631-414-4486 or 888-838-7773.
At this meeting we will have brief introductions including sharing a little about yourself and your interest and/or experience in divorce financial planning and other areas of potential mutual interest (5-10 minutes). Discussion will also include 1) potential activities and benefits for chapter members, e.g. speakers/topics for education sessions (continuing education credits), study groups, ideas for co-operative marketing, case studies, case consultations, mentoring, mixers and other networking events, charitable and pro bono work, courtroom observation, share ideas and experiences, 2) logistical issues such as when and how often to hold meetings and 3) benefits of ADFP membership.
ADFP to Co-Sponsor National Meeting of Academy of Professional Family Mediators
Following on the heels of our Annual Conference (September 20-22) the newly formed Academy of Professional Family Mediators (APFM) will be having its Founding Conference in North Falmouth on Cape Cod from September 27-30. As a Co-sponsoring organization our members get a substantial discount. For a complete Conference description and registration details go to: www.apfmnet.org/pg10.cfm
Mediators and Divorce Financial Planners enjoy an inherent synergy in the support they provide divorcing couples. The APFM Conference is an exceptional opportunity to form alliances with the members of this newly formed organization (APFM). As APFM grows there will be future opportunities for collaboration between the two organizations to promote the benefits of Divorce Financial Planners and APFM Mediators working together with couples going through divorce. APFM welcomes our members to become Associate Members of the APFM (check the website at www.apfmnet.org). If you have any questions about APFM or the upcoming Conference feel free to contact Ken Neumann (KenNeumann@TeamMediation.org) or Rod Wells (firstname.lastname@example.org).
AICPA/AAML Conference on Divorce
Date: May 10 - May 11, 2012
Location: Aria Resort & Casino
Las Vegas, NV
Recommended CPE Credit: 18 (main), 3 (optional)
Pre-Conference: May 09
The 2012 AICPA/AAML National Conference on Divorce is a comprehensive, high-level event designed to offer a broad array of key insights and diverse perspectives from experts in both the accounting and legal worlds. Gain the additional value of dual perspectives on divorce issues, as top CPAs / financial experts and attorneys lead the way with cutting-edge insights and analysis.
Jointly sponsored by the AICPA and the AAML (American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers), this intensive program provides innovative ideas and timely solutions to help you succeed in a myriad of circumstances - to settle cases, value businesses, split marital assets, identify fraud, utilize electronic discovery & evidence, locate foreign assets and develop strategies to handle high-profile and unique cases. Most sessions will be presented by both a CPA or financial expert and an attorney, who will present a diverse set of perspectives and insights. This format allows both CPAs and attorneys to expand their knowledge base and gain key insights. As a result, you'll walk away with new solutions to fit your clients' needs, and new methods to achieve proficiency, growth and profitability to your firm.
ADFP Ohio Chapter Meetings
The remaining ADFP OH Chapter Meetings will be:
Friday June 1, 2012
Friday August 3, 2012
Friday November 2, 2012
Generally they take place in Columbus but that is subject to change based on attendance. We meet from 9:30 AM - 1:30 PM. Lunch is available for a charge. For more information, contact:
Amy L. Whitlatch, CFP(R), CDFA(TM)
Request for Case Studies
At last year's annual conference, the final session focused on various challenges with actual divorce cases. The entire audience participated in problem solving the cases and some exceptional solutions were shared that we all learned a great deal from.
Due to the popularity of this session, the ADFP is once again offering it for the 2012 conference.
We are requesting all practitioners to think of some of the more challenging cases they have had that would provide an excellent opportunity to learn from.
Please forward your fact pattern and your solution to the problem (if you have one) to Bill Donaldson who will once again facilitate this session. His email is
Thank you in advance for helping us put together an exceptional program.
Other Divorce News:
The Cost of Marriage and Divorce
Divorces Drag on Even After Reform
How States Differ on Divorce Laws
10th Annual ADFP Conference
September 20-22, 2012
May - June 2012 Event Calendar:
|Association of Divorce Financial Planners (ADFP)
Northern Greater New York Metro Chapter Meeting
Greater Boston Chapter Meeting
Greater New York Metro Chapter Meeting
New York, NY
Nassau Chapter Organizational Meeting
|National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA)
NAPFA National Conference
1/2 Day Seminar: The Effects of Divorce on an Estate Plan
NAPFA Northeast NE/MA Regional Symposium
Protecting Portfolios From Catastrophic Market Declines
|Financial Industry Regulatory Authority(FINRA)
FINRA Member Meeting
District Compliance Meeting
Long Island, NY
District Compliance Meeting
District Compliance Meeting
New York, NY
District Compliance Meeting
|Society of Financial Service Professionals
Helping Your Clients Create Their Charitable Legacy
Retirement: Your Client's Last Change to Get It Right
Avoiding Common E&O Exposures in Your Office
Breaking Through The Implementaion Impasse
|American Bar Association (ABA
Get a Clue: The Ethical Use of Private Investigators in Family Law
Financial Services & Competition Symposium
New York, NY
7th Annual Arbitration Training Institute
|National Association of Estate Planners & Councils (NAEPC)
1/2 Day Seminar: The Effects of Divorce on an Estate Plan
Family Wealth Counseling
Santa Ana, CA
Any questions? Comments? Please feel free to contact our Editor-In-Chief Andrew Samalin, CFP® Andrew.Samalin@SICounsel.com.