Resolving Family Disputes Respectfully

Financial Specialist

Why do you need a Financial Specialist on your Collaborative Divorce Team?

Breaking up a relationship involves a lot of big decisions, and many of those decisions are about money.

Agreeing on how to divide your shared assets can be a major source of worry, confusion and conflict—and this goes for all couples, whether married or unmarried (common-law), same or opposite sex.

To make the smartest decisions for your family's future, you need to know where you stand now and what your options are. A Financial Specialist saves you time and money by helping you:

  • Get an accurate picture of your current financial situation
  • Choose the best financial options for your future

A Financial Specialist helps you plan a fair and harmonious distribution of your assets for the long-term security of your whole family.

In non-collaborative divorce, there's often an atmosphere of mistrust and conflict around money issues. Couples withhold information from each other and don't communicate. The goal for each spouse is to get the best deal for themselves, so they're working against each other. This can raise legal costs by slowing down the process.

The goal in Collaborative Divorce is to create the best, most long-lasting agreement for the whole family. The Financial Specialist makes sure all financial information is shared and helps create an atmosphere of trust. This brings you to the best possible agreement as quickly as possible.

What is a Financial Specialist and how can they help you?

A Financial Specialist is a certified financial professional who has special training in Collaborative Divorce (FDS or CDFA ), and often in mediation as well.

Most Financial Specialists are Certified Financial Planners. They can help you:

  • Gather all financial information so you have all the facts and nothing is hidden
  • Understand what you own and what your best financial options are
  • Level the playing field by educating the partner with less financial knowledge
  • Be aware of your long-term risks and consequences so you can avoid costly mistakes
  • Identify tax issues
  • Create a budget and retirement plan
  • Plan debt repayment

Depending on your situation, you might need a Financial Specialist with different expertise. For example, if you have significant tax issues, a Chartered Accountant can help. Or, if you own a business, a Chartered Business Valuator can value it for you.

How do Financial Specialists work with you and/or your Collaborative Team?

Financial Specialists meet with you, your partner and your team in whatever way moves the process along most quickly and effectively.

Most often, they meet with you and your spouse first. If the two of you have a lot of conflict or if one of you needs more help understanding your finances, they can meet with you separately.

They might also meet with you and your lawyer together. They may even work directly with your lawyer.

What kind of agreement do I make with my Financial Specialist?

When you enter the Collaborative Process, you are asked to sign a Participation Agreement with your lawyer. You may also be asked to sign an agreement with your Financial Specialist in which you agree:

  • To commit to the Collaborative process
  • To not go to court
  • If you ever do go to court, you won't use any disclosed information against each other and your Financial Specialist cannot be subpoenaed
Read more about Participation Agreements