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Connie Featured on Law and Money Talk Radio on Blog Talk Radio

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“Divorce Financial Planning with Analyst Connie Walsh” Connie Walsh (Wheaton, IL) has been in the financial industry over 25 years, including 12 years on Wall Street. Connie is an analyst who helps clients work with the ramifications of settlement options and planning for the future.Connie Walsh, CFP is a Certified Financial Planner and a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst.

She helps individual and couples in the midst of a stressful transition, so that they gain control over their financial future. Connie is an advocate of “Financial Mediation” and “Collaborative Divorce”. A frequent speaker in Chicagoland groups, Connie has earned a strong reputation for her knowledge and experience in divorce finance.

Our acclaimed guest was featured in a Fox News Video parked on the resources page of Walsh Financial.

The Illinois Department of Public Health reports that 2,176 residents DuPage County and 10,200 residents of Cook County were divorced in 2009. Statewide, there were 32,460 couples divorced in 2009. Using graphs, spreadsheets and proprietary software, Chicagoland Divorce Financial Analyst, Connie Walsh helps clients discuss settlement options and make sound financial plans.

Should you keep part of your pension? What about the house? Do you need to increase your retirement savings? Connie will talk about several subject areas in which she counsels clients. Divorce financial planning is popular in mediation and collaborative practice as well as traditional litigation.

See Connie Walsh on Fox News discussing the role of a divorce planner

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Breaking Up Is Hard to Do

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Divorce planners help navigate a smooth course through troubled waters

West Suburban Press,  2005
by Christine McCurdy, Correspondent

(Excerpts)

The mere mention of the word “divorce” often unleashes a host of emotions for those who have been personally touched by this process, causing many of them to become overly defensive or emotional.

They may vividly recall their own painful marital breakups, or have a close friend or relative who is currently going through a divorce.  “Divorce-talk” may even bring back old feelings they experienced as children when their own parents split, making them unwitting players in a turbulent drama not of their own choosing.

Yet as rocky as the road through divorce can be for all parties concerned, there are ways to make the journey a bit less harrowing.

(Wheaton-based business owner Connie Walsh, owner of Walsh Financial Divorce Solutions, LLC, is a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst), who can help with the practical aspects of the divorce process…… The mother of two children, Walsh has more than 25 years experience in the financial industry under her belt, including time spent in the heart of New York City’s financial district.  (Ten years ago she received her certification as a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst  from the Institute of Certified Divorce Financial Analysts.)

“I was going through my own divorce experience when I decided that this might be an area I could get into that would be a natural addition to the financial planning I do,” Walsh explained.  “There are so many different aspects that come into play when you are going through the divorce process, and using a professional to guide you through the maze can be quite beneficial.”

According to Walsh, “divorcing couples need to learn about financial aspects of what will ultimately become their separate lives – such as the tax consequences their divorce will create; the relative benefits of receiving liquid funds immediately instead of (retirement assets) in the future; pension benefit disbursements; and mortgage issues, to name but a few.”

“It’s not a matter of one party getting more than the other, it’s a matter of making a client aware of their options now, and the consequences of what choosing those options will have on them many years in the future,”  Walsh said.  “(We) educate clients on their choices and the possible outcomes of those choices, and makes clear the settlement scenarios that are being proposed.”

“…I work with attorneys and mental health professionals, so that we may all combine our knowledge and talents to ensure the best possible outcome for the client,” she added.

Walsh, who has worked with clients from all economic backgrounds, noted that statistically, 30 percent of divorced women will be on welfare three years after their divorce.  “It is important for divorcing couples to understand that they must have all of their bases covered,” she said.  “And that includes legal, emotional, and financial issues.”

Starting Over, What will be “home” after a divorce?

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Chicago Tribune, Sunday, April 18, 2004, Real Estate Section

Excerpt:

“When her  11-1/2-year marriage ended in divorce last year Cindy T. worried about the prospect of moving with her two children into a smaller house and, worse in her eyes, a different school district.

An at-home mom, Cindy figured there was no way to hold onto the three bedroom tri-level house in Naperville where her kids had spent most of their childhood.  Shopping the neighborhood, she quickly determined she couldn’t afford to stay within the boundaries of their school district, where she and her kids felt at home.

My maternal instincts wanted me to do the right thing for my children, “she says.  “I wanted to keep them as stable as possible, with the other transitions they were going through with the divorce, but I couldn’t see how I could ever afford another house.”

Divorce is a rough transition, no matter how amicable it is, and splitting up the family home is a complex process fraught with both emotional and financial costs.  Because our homes mean so much to us as shelter and haven, the house can take on even more significance at a time in life when we seem especially exposed.

The solution for Cindy, it turned out, was far easier than she imagined.  Keeping the house she was already in – something she had ruled out as way too expensive – wasn’t all that hard to swing with the help of Connie Walsh and a mortgage broker, referred by Ms. Walsh, who knew what kind of loans were available to make it happen.

Cindy kept the house with her kids’ circumstances.  “It made me feel that I was doing what’s best for my children, keeping their lives as predictable and stable as possible,” she says.  “it brought me a lot of peace of mind that I was doing my job.”

Money Matters - Divorce Tips

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Chicago Tribune

Inset to the article linked here.

As a certified divorce financial planner, Connie Walsh is supposed to be coolly disconnected about the numbers, but she often finds herself in the hot seat anyway.  Marriages break up over lots of things, but it’s frequently money that makes the divorce itself so hard.  It’s Walsh’s job to look at the pot of income and assets that had supported one household and determine how it can now stretch to support two.

Clients are filled with anxiety.  A lot of people know they’ll have to downsize because of a divorce,” says Walsh.  We look at a lot of timing issues…..

Tips for divorced or the soon-to-be:you

  • “Say the father departing with his share of the equity in a $400,000 house wants to stay in the neighborhood of his children’s school but find’s there’s no way to do it in a $200,000 house.  But maybe he can do it for about $325,000, and with an adjustable rate mortgage that is within his grasp.  We look at timing issues, “ Walsh says.  “Maybe he only needs to be in the neighborhood for four or five years, until the child finishes school.  He can use an ARM to take advantage of lower interest rates,” making higher priced houses more affordable.”
  • “If you’re going to maintain an ownership interest in the marital residence but not live there, talk to your attorney about preserving your capital-gains deduction.  If you are gone from the house for longer than three years before your ex-spouse sells, your deduction could disappear unless your attorney arranges to have the ex’s time in the residence count for yours.
  • If one spouse stays in the marital home, it will have to be refinanced in order to get the other’s name off of the mortgage.  We have yet to find a lender that will just take the ex-spouse’s name off without refinancing.
  • Don’t assume that having to pay child or spousal support means you’ll have to rent during those years.  An ARM can help you get into the (housing) market, and mortgage interest deductions and property tax deductions may bring your total outlay on housing in line with renting.
  • Put down at least 20% down payment in order to avoid private mortgage insurance (PMI) and other fees.
  • On the other hand, women sometimes err in the other direction, believing they’ll be safest if they pay down the mortgage entirely with their settlement.  In fact, aside from developing a credit history by having a mortgage payment track record and gaining the tax deductions, you would free up cash flow for an emergency fund and investing.  If you get a mortgage at 5%, what you are actually paying after deductions is about 3.5%.  Thus, if you can make more on your investments  than 3.5% you should be ahead of the game.”

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