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<xTITLE>The Financially Smart Divorce Book Review</xTITLE>

The Financially Smart Divorce Book Review

by John Fiske, J Anthony Licciardello
February 2017 image

This is a review of

The Financially Smart Divorce

J. A. Licciardello, CDFA

         Wentworth Publishing, 2016


      Divorce mediators can greatly benefit from reading and having readily on hand this new book by a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst who understands that divorce should be a planning process. The book is now on Amazon where it has received 11 reviews as of January 1, 2017, all 5 stars, from people getting divorced.

        Listen to one of them:  

"I wish that I had found this book before I filed for divorce. Instead I tried to glean the pertinent information everywhere, but everything was so scattered. So the main reasons that Mr Licciardello 's book has been so useful to me is:
1. It is very specific to a divorcing person's financial decisions,
2. It is presented in a systematic way. This should not be underestimated because my normally logical mind was undermined by the emotional chaos of divorce.
There are a myriad of financial issues that have to be thought through and dealt with my best interest in mind that are very difficult to keep track of.
Moreover, most of us have zero experience with these issues.
This book identifies these issues and lays out a timeline and checklists that are critical to keeping it under control and getting it all done.
It gives me the tools and confidence that I really can do a good job for myself in an empowered way. When I get this kind of help, I can get in gear and be proactive for myself. I am very glad I read this book."

           As a mediator, I would be grateful for such feedback from my clients. The book is accompanied by the forms and checklists in the book in "The Financially Smart Divorce Planner". 

        The book should appeal to divorce mediators. Divorce is a planning process, developing a parenting plan for children and a financial plan for parents. We try to remind our clients tactfully they have a brain as well as a heart, that divorce can involve thinking as well as feeling, that the calculator can be as useful a tool to them as a box of Kleenex. The book divides the divorce process into three  phases, Preparation, Negotiation and Financial Recovery. Each step helps people to slow down, think and organize their papers, thoughts and their whole approach to divorce. What kind of information do I need? What process should I follow? Who should I hire to help me, and why?

         Most of my male divorcing clients fear paying alimony forever. "When am I free? When am I off the hook?" Most of my female clients fear financial insecurity, particularly losing a house.. "I don't want to be a bag lady. I don't want to be out on the street." Anthony's book gives them an antidote to fear, a way of collecting and organizing information to help them make smart decisions about their financial future. 

         I recommend you check it out on Amazon and decide for yourself if you want to tell your clients about this useful guide. A number of my clients have been very grateful for the reference. 


John Fiske

Partner in Healy, Lund and Fiske, now Healy, Fiske, Richmond, & Matthew, since September 1, 1979. From being lawyer and mediator about half and half in the beginning, I am now about 99% mediator and 1% lawyer. I also conduct mediation trainings.

My wife and I took our 3 children, ages 17, 14 and 12, out of school in June, 1978 and we bicycled through Europe and backpacked in Asia for a year, deciding in about April 1979 that when we returned to Boston I would become a divorce mediator. Back home I started  talking to judges, lawyers, therapists, ministers, teachers and anyone who would listen. People thought I was a meditator because no one knew what mediation was, back then. When I said, "I help couples sit and talk and listen to each other and get divorced peacefully," the almost universal response was "That makes so much sense."  Harvard Law School Professor Frank Sander said, "You are riding the crest of a wave, but don't give up your day job."

A Massachusetts probate judge, the late Sheila McGovern, recommended I join the law firm of Healy and Lund. Regina Healy and Diane Lund did what she said, and they changed the name of the firm to Healy, Lund and Fiske. They taught me family law and I taught them mediation. Probate Judge Edward M. Ginsburg believed in the process and sent cases to me. My first mediation began with the wife addressing her husband, their two lawyers and me: "We understand we are some sort of experiment!"

After two years of mediating divorces I had my first mediation training when John Haynes and Steve Erickson came to Worcester. Then Margaret Shaw joined with the Mass. Bar Association in 1985 to provide more divorce mediation training, and Chris Moore did the same in 1987. Diane Neumann, Phil Woodbury and I founded Divorce Mediation Training Associates in 1988 and we have been training people in divorce mediation ever since.  

I have probably mediated about 2,000 divorces, separations and contracts to stay married since 1979. In response to requests from families I have expanded my mediation practice to include a broad range of disputes, from siblings trying to decide questions of care of a relative to a father and son reaching a financial agreement. I have volunteered my services as a mediator to my town government: in one case I helped to resolve a dispute between citizens and a town official. The point: mediation is a creative, efficient process for addressing  human conflict. You get a place to talk. You stay in charge of your life.

J Anthony Licciardello is a Certified Divorce Financial Advisor and President of Wentworth Divorce Financial Advisors based in Providence Rhode Island.  He is the creator of the FreshStart ProgramTM, an advisory service specifically designed to help couples and individuals navigate successfully through the financial maze of divorce.