Category: Legal

Divorce is About Making Good Financial Decisions

Divorce is About Making Good Financial Decisions

By Sam Hubbard
Principal, Coastal Divorce Advisors

While you’re in the midst of a divorce, you’re going to have to weigh a lot of financial choices while dealing with the weight of strong emotions. You can minimize emotional stress by anticipating what decisions you have to make and understanding what’s involved in making them.

Below are common hurdles that people who are divorcing need to be aware of and the factors they need to consider to make confident, constructive decisions.

Can you afford to keep your home?
While you may have a personal attachment to your house, especially since your kids call it “home,” it is ultimately a huge expense to maintain year after year. All too often, the spouse who wants to keep the house only analyzes whether he or she can cover the mortgage and the property taxes, but fails to consider the “oh no’s”: “Oh no, the built-in refrigerator broke,” “Oh no, the HVAC system needs to be replaced, “Oh no, we have termites.”

Unforeseen expenses can cost thousands of dollars and could cause you to lose your house, or worse, push you toward bankruptcy. While a house is an asset, it is ultimately an expense. Make sure to take all homeownership costs – anticipated and unexpected – into account and try to remove emotion when deciding whether you can afford to keep the house.

Should you divide your property down the middle?
When you begin a divorce, it’s only natural to think “all our assets should be split right down the middle.” But since no two assets are created equal, this type of thinking may put you at the short end of the stick.

In a divorce, it’s common for spouses to divide property by what they see as equivalent value. For example, if one spouse gets the house, the other spouse may get the investment accounts, both valued around the same amount.

But tread carefully. Some assets, like certain pensions, may be completely illiquid and cannot be sold or transferred to a spouse. Others assets may have significant tax implications from a low-cost basis or may have large transaction fees (like the sale of a house). Make sure you initiate a complete analysis of the assets before making any decisions.

Do you want to tackle debt before your divorce?
If your spouse ran up balances on your credit cards during your marriage, in the bank’s eyes, it’s a shared responsibility, no matter who did the spending — even if the court decides your ex-spouse is responsible for it all.

Banks can still come after you for payments your ex-spouse didn’t make, jeopardizing your finances and damaging your credit score for years. Making the choice to pay off as much debt as possible before you finalize the divorce is often a good one.

Should you protect yourself from unanticipated events?
If you will be receiving alimony and child support, what happens if your ex-spouse passes away or becomes seriously disabled? Would you be able to support yourself and your kids if you no longer receive these payments? Consider purchasing life and disability insurance specifically tailored for divorce so support payments continue if something unforeseen happens to your ex-spouse.

Should you evaluate your settlement agreement from a current perspective?
When looking at a settlement proposal, what may seem like a great deal now could quickly turn into financial ruin down the road. You need to make sure you don’t evaluate your proposed settlement by your current costs or budget but by how your finances will look in 5 or 10 years.

Projecting your cost of living will help you determine the long-term consequences of a settlement option and whether you’ll be financially well-positioned years after the divorce. Make sure you have accurate projections on-hand and do not rush into signing a proposal just to be done with it.

Can you be disciplined to make financial decisions in unison, not one by one?
When going through a divorce, looking at any single financial aspect in a vacuum and not seeing how it relates to others could cost you. The division of assets and liabilities, tax consequences, inflation, alimony, and child support are all pieces of the settlement puzzle that need to work together to help ensure the most favorable settlement agreement. For example, if you have income from your job and agree to take a large alimony payment, you may be pushed into a higher tax bracket than if you were to increase the amount you receive in non-taxable child support.

Take a careful, comprehensive approach to your finances to have a better chance of coming out ahead.

Sam Hubbard Coastal Divorce Advisors Savannah

Sam Hubbard

Sam Hubbard, MBA, CFA, CDFA is the principal of Coastal Divorce Advisors, LLC, (CDA), a firm specializing in helping clients understand their financial situation and options throughout the divorce process. CDA is an affiliate of Coastal Capital Management, LLC. For additional information, e-mail, call 912-234-3657 or visit This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. The opinions expressed are solely those of the author, who is not an attorney. If you require legal advice, please seek appropriate legal representation.

Entertainment Attorney Charles Bowen Addresses Georgia Entertainment 101 Event

Entertainment Attorney Charles Bowen Addresses Georgia Entertainment 101 Event

(SAVANNAH, GA) Business and entertainment attorney Charles Bowen was a featured speaker at the Georgia Entertainment 101 Event in Atlanta.

Bowen’s presentation “The Economic Impact of the Entertainment Industry on Savannah” focused on the importance of vetting production companies coming to the area as well as positioning Savannah as a top-notch provider of the local services required by productions.

Bowen is recognized within the Savannah film community for his formation of the Savannah Film Alliance in 2015, and, more recently, he founded Southern Gateway Production Services, which offers seamless opportunities for out-of-town producers and movie executives to navigate finding the best crews, talent and location services available in Savannah.

“We started the Film Alliance to promote the film community within Savannah and the greater Coastal Empire through advocacy and action via education, outreach and collaboration,” Bowen said. “My overall goal with both entities is to continue to build upon Savannah’s stature as one of the country’s most desirable and user-friendly filming locations in ways that will greatly benefit production companies while strengthening the relationship between visiting productions and local crew, vendors and service providers.”

Bowen’s presentation highlighted the importance of Savannah’s rising star as a production destination, with local spending on motion pictures and television in the area rising from $18 million in 2014 to an all-time high of $60 million in 2016.

The purpose of the Georgia Entertainment 101 event was to connect top-tier professionals at a targeted and strategic networking event. Key financial, legal, banking and governmental leaders were in attendance as well as studio executives and producers. Other presentations focused on event security, investing strategies, entertainment banking and a look at what’s happening in Savannah.

The invitation-only event, held at the Moonshine Post-Production in Atlanta, was sponsored in part by: Argentum Entertainment, Atlanta Sound Guy, Cinema Greens, Creative Financial Group, Endeavor Sound, FilmTribe, MatchKey Consulting, Moonshine Post-production, Paradigm Security, River Oaks Studios, Sapelo Insurance, Sonesta Hotels and Zoe’s Kitchen.

Entertainment attorney Charles Bowen founded Southern Gateway Production Services with the mission to ensure a seamless experience for out-of-town producers by providing connections with local crew, vendors and service providers. Southern Gateway Production Services is a signatory to all IATSE National Term Agreements. Bowen is recognized within the Savannah film community for his formation of the Savannah Film Alliance in 2015. As the founder of The Bowen Law Group, he has developed a reputation as one of Savannah’s most experienced attorneys in entertainment law. Southern Gateway Production Services is located at 7 East Congress St, Suite 1001. For more information, contact Charles Bowen at or 912-544-2050.

Attorney Charles Bowen, Founder of The Savannah Film Alliance and Southern Gateway Production Services

Attorney Charles Bowen, Founder of The Savannah Film Alliance and Southern Gateway Production Services

Charles J. Bowen
Southern Gateway Production Services

Cynthia Wright
Carriage Trade PR
Cecilia Russo Marketing

Julie Wade Named Executive Director of Park Place Outreach

Attorney Julie Wade Selected as Executive Director of Park Place Outreach Youth Emergency Shelter

Savannah attorney and school board member Julie Wade has been named executive director of the Park Place Outreach — Youth Emergency Shelter, which provides support and temporary residential services for at-risk children and teens in Savannah and the surrounding area.

Wade will succeed Linda Hilts, who’s retiring after 20 years, and will take office on May 8.

“I am honored to be selected for this position, and to build on the excellent programs Linda Hilts began and fostered over the past 20 years,” Wade said. “She became the voice of homeless and unaccompanied youth in our community, and I am eager to continue to work on their behalf.”

Park Place Outreach board chairman Todd Cellini praised Wade’s legal background and her experience in student and child advocacy.

“As a sitting board member of the Savannah-Chatham public school system, she has an extensive understanding of our largest population of at-risk children,” Cellini said. “Having served in various board positions for several non-profit organizations, she also has vast fundraising experience as well as expertise in grants compliance.”

Under Hilts’s leadership, Park Place Outreach helped more than 6,200 area young people find emergency shelter and thousands more found stability through its non-residential programs. She developed many of the organization’s ongoing services, including the Street Outreach Program team, which offers peer mentoring to resident adolescents and provides counseling, clothing and personal care items to older youth, up to age 21, who are in need but might not wish to come to the shelter.

“My goal over the next few weeks is to meet with the board members and staff, along with community members and supporters,” Wade said. “By helping to ensure a smooth leadership transition, I will be able to focus from day one on continuing to provide a safe and loving environment to the youth who come to Park Place Outreach for assistance.”

Julie Wade Park Place Outreach Youth Emergency Shelter Savannah

Julie Wade

Wade, a native of Atlanta, attended Georgia public schools from kindergarten until college. She attended the University of Georgia and then the University of Georgia School of Law. Currently, she is a lawyer at The Wade Law Firm in Savannah, with a focus on federal criminal defense and civil litigation. Additionally, Wade serves on the Board of Education for the Savannah Chatham County Public School System, a position she has held since 2011. Wade will continue her service on the Board of Education as she assumes this new position with Park Place Outreach.

Previously, she served as an assistant United States attorney for the Southern District of Georgia from 2007 to 2008 as the Project Safe Childhood Coordinator, prosecuting violations of federal law, including child exploitation, firearms, narcotics, fraud, and immigration.

She is chair of the board of directors for Girls on the Run and chairwoman of United Way Women’s Legacy Council. She also serves on the boards of America’s Second Harvest of Coastal Georgia and Educate Chatham Foundation.

Wade is a graduate of Leadership Savannah and Leadership Georgia. She has been honored by the UGA Alumni Association’s 40 Under 40 and as a Next Generation Rising Star by Savannah Magazine and Business in Savannah. She recently received the Coastal Center for Developmental Services’ Vicki Loughrey Volunteer Advocacy Award as well as the John B. Miller Service Award from the Savannah Bar Association.

She and her husband have three children who attend public school.

Park Place Outreach Youth Emergency Shelter, located at 514 E. Henry St., provides support for troubled children and teens in Savannah and the surrounding area. Opened in 1984, the shelter, open 24 hours a day, offers youth, between the ages of 11 and 17, a safe and loving environment. Homeless, abused or runaway teenagers can self-admit themselves into this shelter. The Street Outreach Program team offers mentoring to resident adolescents and provides counseling, clothing and personal care items to teens and young adults up to age 21 that are in need and might not come into the shelter. Whenever possible, the organization’s goal is to keep kids off the street and reunify families. With the generous support of local organizations and individuals, Park Place Outreach has helped more than 6,200 area young people find emergency shelter and thousands more find stability through its non-residential programs. Park Place Outreach is an equal opportunity provider and employer. For more information, visit or join the group on Facebook (ParkPlace) and Twitter (@parkplaceyes).

Park Place Outreach
Youth Emergency Shelter
514 E. Henry Street
Savannah, GA. 31401
912-234-4048 Fax 912-651-3621

Cynthia Wright
Carriage Trade Public Relations

Local Kiwanis Club Announces Upcoming Guest Speakers

Local Kiwanis Club Announces Upcoming Guest Speakers

Skidaway Island Kiwanis Club Announces Upcoming Guest Speakers for the Second Quarter

(SAVANNAH, GA) The Kiwanis Club of Skidaway Island is pleased to announce their spring 2017 line-up of guest speakers. The club meets every Thursday morning at 7:25 a.m. in the Plantation Ballroom, The Landings, 1 Cottonwood Lane, Savannah, Ga 31411.

Guests are encouraged to attend the weekly program, and the organization is always accepting new members. To make a reservation for a particular program, please call Chris Butler at 912-443-1492. For more information on the Kiwanis Club of Skidaway Island, visit


Thursday, April 27
Bill Hubbard, Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce

Thursday, May 4
Herb Windom, Anecdotes of Early Skidaway Island

Thursday, May 11
Jennifer Mykins, Army Combat Aviation Battalion

Thursday, May 18
Dr. Johnston, Medical Program

Thursday, May 25
Jerry Davis, Revenue Logistics, Supply Chain Expert

Thursday, June 1
Dan Pavlin, Buy Local & Landings Race

Thursday, June 8
Andrew Wilford, Patent Attorney

Thursday, June 15
Chris Roberts, Local Artist

Thursday, June 22
Allison Newberry, Mars Theatre

Thursday, June 29
Gary Sanchez, AT&T Regional Director


Kiwanis of Skidaway Island

Kiwanis Club of Skidaway is a service organization comprised of 133 men and women in the Savannah area. Since 1988, the club has raised and distributed more than $1.4 million and invested more than 300,000 service hours toward their mission of supporting at-risk children in our region.

Media Contact:
Cecilia Russo

Savannah Business Attorney Charles Bowen to speak about “The Legal Risks of Live-Streaming Videos” at the SMART Luncheon March 7

(SAVANNAH, GA) Business and entertainment attorney Charles Bowen of The Bowen Law Group will speak on Tuesday, March 7 at the Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce’s Small Business Council SMART Lunch Series.

Bowen will present the second installment of the two-part series “The Legal Risks of Live-Streaming Videos” during the monthly luncheon at the Savannah Morning News auditorium, 1375 Chatham Parkway.

Bowen’s presentation comes as the rise in popularity of livestreaming apps such as Periscope and Meerkat, along with new features in mainstream apps such as Facebook, has inspired many smartphone users to get into the livestreaming game, broadcasting any event live using their device. While these apps ban users from posting content that violates others’ copyright, trademark, privacy and publicity rights in their standard Terms of Service, their warnings are often ignored.

Bowen will address these issues and the challenge of privacy concerns from a legal perspective, particularly when it comes to commercial use.

“Some users have tried to claim that the Digital Millennial Copyright Act’s ‘safe harbor’ provisions should shield them from liability, but that law only protects the livestreaming service itself, not the actual broadcaster,” Bowen said. “That law, which YouTube constantly relies upon to protect itself, states that streaming services are protected if they respond promptly to rights owners’ takedown requests and don’t have ‘constructive’ knowledge of infringement. But this will not protect you from an infringement claim if you knowingly broadcast illegal material.”

Bowen also will review basic livestreaming rules and how ignoring them could land some users in legal hot water.

“Livestreaming is likely here to stay, as it seems to be a perfect fit for today’s smartphone-carrying, internet-connected world,” said Bowen. “The best advice I can give is simply to be smart and use common sense. Do not broadcast copyrighted material that you do not own, do not be creepy and invade people’s privacy and procure releases if you are using your broadcast for business purposes.

“If you follow these simple rules, you will very likely protect yourself from any potentially expensive legal claims.”

The luncheon will begin with registration at 11:30 a.m. and the program at 12 p.m. The cost is $12 for Chamber members. For more information or to RSVP, contact Stephanie Painter at or 912-644-6458.

Based out of Savannah, Charles Bowen is a business attorney who focuses on commercial and entertainment law and also offers comprehensive mediation services. Bowen attended Mercer University in Macon, Ga., where he graduated summa cum laude with honors in both psychology and political science. Upon graduating from Georgetown University Law Center in 1995, he moved to Savannah and established a corporate law practice. Bowen was named “Business Advocate of the Year” in 2015 by the Savannah Morning News. He won the “2016 Helen V. Head Business Leader of the Year Award” presented by the Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce. He also chaired the 24th Annual Kiss-a-Pig campaign on behalf of the American Diabetes Association. Bowen has received the Martindale-Hubbell® AV® Preeminent™ rating, the highest rating based upon confidential surveys sent to other attorneys. He also has been selected by the members of the State Bar of Georgia as one of Georgia Trend’s 12th Annual Legal Elite in two categories: Business Law and Corporate Law. He is the author of three eBooks. With panoramic views of the city and the Savannah River, The Bowen Law Group is located on the top floor of the Manger Building at 7 East Congress Street. For more information, call 912.544.2050 or visit Follow The Bowen Law Group on Twitter at @bowenlawgroup.

Charles J. Bowen, Founder
The Bowen Law Group

Cynthia Wright
Carriage Trade PR
Cecilia Russo Marketing