Pamela Friedman, Certified Divorce Planner Extraordinaire

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According to Pamela Friedman’s bio she has over 20 years of financial planning and investment experience and is currently a partner with Silicon Hills Wealth Management, LLC and has an amazing experience in marital financial planning – which also includes planning for the risk of divorce and educating clients who may be unfamiliar with financial issues and investing during and after divorce.

First, let me be perfectly honest… after several divorces, one pre-nup, and one post-nup, I wish I had met Pamela Friedman years ago. If a couple has had serious discussions about getting married, it is important to consider the process of pre and post nuptial agreements; and while the discussion can be extremely difficult, by not talking about the possibilities puts you two in a very difficult situation.

Pamela is very serious and clear about how couples should look at the business of marriage and all that happens when you are led by emotions – which if the unspeakable should happen you don’t want to be emotionally debilitated because you didn’t devise a backup plan. I know, marriage is supposed to be forever, but in some cases it isn’t.

According to Pamela, “if you are considering the sheer possibility of getting married I would advise having a discussion about what can be the realities of life and death. I know, when you are about to plan a wedding these are the last things brides want to think about, which is the point. A certified divorce planner assists couples who are getting married to help in developing a strategy in case of divorce.”

My conversation with Pamela was quite fascinating to say the least, but it certainly made sense. Every couple needs to understand the laws of the state in which they live – everything from alimony, child support, and property disbursement. In other words, have an “exit strategy,” ask a lot of personal questions and develop a pre-nuptial – which is an assessment of where you both are financially.

From understanding what financial position you inherited from your parents or their parents to each person’s current financial position, particularly debt with full disclosure. Another financial issue: children from a previous marriage or relationship – we forget about the child support and how they will be treated in a will. Also, who is going to manage the household budget and money management? And, what about retirement planning to how will the decisions be made on major expenses or even more importantly, investments?

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Marital agreement, this was an interesting nuance in case of blended families; which I wasn’t  aware existed but is quite interesting – a marital agreement which can separate assets, as well as put said assets such as a house in a trust in case of a divorce versus should one of you dies, particularly if there are children involved.

Pamela is not your worst nightmare, seemingly trying to divide before the union, rather a clear voice of reason. Too often we are so giddy in love that we don’t think about  the what if’s of life. … those nasty words that can change your life on a dime – that is if you aren’t a planner. There is a lot to getting married that has nothing to do with the ceremony and the two of you must treat the rest as business. Once you have contacted someone who has the expertise to advise you properly you will both rest easier…and then Pamela will pronounce you “Financially Fit.”

Marsha Reeves-Jews
Marsha Reeves Jews is the Editor-At-Large for World Bride Magazine and is a wedding planner at the Frederick Douglass-Isaac Myers Maritime Park Museum in Baltimore, MD and for private clients.

Ms. Jews is the host and Executive Producer of Keep It Moving w/Marsha Jews, a weekly radio show on WEAA 88.9 FM, a national public radio station on the campus of Morgan State University.

Ms. Jews was the President/COO/Associate Publisher for Career Communications Group, Inc. (CCG), a ten million dollar multimedia company. As Associate Publisher, Ms. Jews managed the day-to-day operations for all aspects of two publications: the Black Engineer and Information Technology magazine and Hispanic Engineer and Information Technology magazine; co-produced and designed the conference workshops, panel discussions, awards ceremonies and plenary sessions for The Black Engineer of the Year Awards Ceremony and Conference; and was co-founder and co-producer of Women of Color Technology Awards and Conference.

As former Executive Director of the Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre Foundation of Maryland, Inc., Ms. Jews was responsible for the overall management of the statewide organization and for presenting the world renowned Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre’s annual Baltimore performances, community outreach, fundraisers and the year-round AILEY/Camp for at-risk middle school children.

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