Divorce financial specialists educate and empower clients on the financial aspects of their divorce settlement and help them plan financially for the future. Having a neutral specialist who understands the emotional issues of divorce can be very helpful to both parties in coming to an equitable agreement in a civilized manner.
In a Collaborative Process, a financial specialist is a neutral person on the team who is responsible for gathering and organizing financial data, assessing the levels of financial understanding of each spouse and providing them with the help they each need, identifying financial issues specific to the case, identifying financial objectives of each of the parties relative to the divorce, managing their financial expectations, and assisting the team with its evaluation of the various settlement options.
There can be a considerable amount of data to collect and analyze, including financial affidavits, tax returns, budgets, debts, spending patterns, and assets, including real estate, retirement accounts, and stock options. Financial specialists also assist in valuing business holdings.
Based on the financial data, the financial analyst can produce forecasts, based on various assumptions, of cash flow and net worth to assist the parties with arriving at an equitable settlement that makes sense over time.
Financial specialists facilitate the communication between the parties on the financial issues. They can meet with the two parties and be involved in 5-way meetings with attorneys or coaches.
How a Financial Specialist improves your separation process:
Open communication and information sharing underpin the work Financial Specialists perform for their clients in the Collaborative process, which enables clients to negotiate mutually agreeable solutions while simultaneously acknowledging the highest priorities for all.
Financial Specialists can help with various aspects of your Collaborative separation process.
Financial Specialists who are Chartered Business Valuators (CBVs) generally assist with determining the fair market value of privately-held businesses and calculating income available for support purposes (Guideline income), upon which support payments can be negotiated with your Collaborative legal team.
Financial Specialists who are accountants, financial planners or both can assist with gathering and distilling into an understandable format all the financial aspects of your family so that you can:
get an accurate picture of your current financial situation, and:
choose the best financial options for your future.
Financial Specialists can help make confusing numbers understandable and can help you fully comprehend the financial implications of your negotiated settlements.
Traditional separation (in a litigation context) does not consider how your current or post-separation financial situation relates to your unique family needs. Further, information sharing does not underpin the litigation process, and the unbalanced financial knowledge often in relationships will likely persist throughout the separation process.
The Financial Specialist in the Collaborative Process ensures all financial information is shared, which helps create an atmosphere of trust, bringing you to the best, most long-lasting financial agreement for your family.
Must be certified financial planners, general accountants, or chartered accountants
Where property and income are in dispute, the lawyer can involve a financial specialist for accounting purposes
Can provide neutral advice about the financial consequences of agreements, proposals, etc.