Meritage Divorce

A few words

About Us


Our story starts way back, when our Founder, Cheryl Nielsen began her divorce journey.

     Cheryl’s divorce journey began in 2007 as the great recession was looming.  After acquiring a small empire of financial assets and investing in a large estate on 4 acres complete with a boutique vineyard, she was faced with the daunting task of dismantling all that was acquired.  It became her full time job and what she refers to as a “delicate financial surgery” – one wrong move and the deck of cards would come crashing down.  After the loss, the potential for tax consequences could add insult to injury.   
After consulting with a number of financial and tax professionals on how to dispose of real estate and other assets without triggering unnecessary taxes, she was given less that adequate advice.
Mistakes were made. This began her quest to find better solutions.  Turns out there are divorce tax rules that can be utilized under certain circumstances that mitigate tax ramifications if structured properly.  Why didn’t any of the professionals know this she wondered.
In too many circumstances, tax consequences of settlements are often an after thought when it’s too late to do anything about it.  By utilizing divorce tax rules in the structure of your settlement, and declaring them in your divorce agreement, you can potentially cut Uncle Sam out of your settlement. 
After learning this, Cheryl developed a passion to educate divorcing spouses and and any family law attorneys or mediators unaware of this tax rule.  Cheryl developed a real estate transition planning process to properly provide for the disposition of real estate during divorce and trademarked her service as a Forensic Real Estate Divorce Strategist®.  She held public seminars and attended professional divorce industry networking groups to spread the word.  
In order to have all the appropriate knowledge for this work, she became certified as a Certified Real Estate Divorce Specialist®, and Certified Divorce Financial Analyst®, both recognized in the divorce industry.  
Cheryl often uses the knowledge she’s gained from her personal experience and certifications to educate clients she coaches to empower them to make the best financial decisions. 
After publishing her book, Meritage Divorce, in 2012, this also became the name of her coaching practice.  She is passionate about empowering women to make the best possible decisions during divorce and using this time to align with their authentic selves.  
Meritage Divorce is a culmination of Cheryl’s personal wisdom, and education through various certifications that provide the foundation for many of the products and services offered. Her credentials are listed below. 


  • CDC Certified Divorce Coach®
  • Certified Real Estate Divorce Specialist®
  • Certified Divorce Financial Analyst®
  • California Licensed Real Estate Broker
  • Advanced Trained Mediator
  • Forensic Real Estate Divorce Strategist®
  • B.A. Business Administration
  • Author