Collaborative divorce minimizes the stressful, time-consuming aspects of other divorce methods. You’ll have to cover a wide range of issues throughout this cooperative process. One of these critical issues, of course, is money. You’ll need to reach a series of satisfactory agreements regarding dividing your property, assets, and debts. Simply put, a collaborative financial expert can ensure that the whole process goes smoothly.
Financial Expert and Collaborative Divorce
Money can be a stressful topic of conversation in any setting. It can be difficult to ask for what you want—and to give your ex-spouse what they need. First and foremost, a financial expert will act as a neutral party to ensure your money-related discussions are fair and on-topic. Your financial expert will typically be a CPA (Certified Public Accountant) or CFP (Certified Financial Planner). When you can consult with and defer to someone with specialized financial knowledge, it can benefit both of you in many ways.
Take Stock of Financials
First, your financial specialist will take stock of your financial affairs so that you can make decisions. Together you’ll prepare a list of your income (from work or cash flow from other sources); the assets you both own (like your house, bank accounts, stock, and retirement plans); as well as the debts you both owe (like loans, mortgages, and credit cards). This part is typically much more efficient, a drawn-out discovery back and forth in litigation.
Prepare Financial Affidavits
Before you make any final decisions, the financial expert will help you value these assets and debts and prepare your financial affidavits. They will also potentially differentiate between your pre-marital and marital assets; calculate the tax implications of any assets, liabilities, or potential alimony payments; and look into your spending habits to see how your lifestyle habits will fit into the equation. As an outside party, the financial neutral may be able to spot patterns and develop creative ideas that would never occur to someone on the inside.
Run Scenarios and Present Options
Once your financial expert has sat down with each of you, learned about your realistic needs, and assessed your financial affairs, they will determine the best way to divide property while benefiting each parent and child as much as possible. As a neutral and unbiased party, the expert will not favor one parent over the other but try to make recommendations to meet both of your needs fairly and intelligently.
With this outside-the-box thinking, your financial specialist will develop alimony and child support scenarios. Then, you can work from these scenarios together to negotiate, compromise, and think creatively until you’ve reached a win-win solution.
Read: Stock Options & Divorce
Overall, a financial specialist can provide you with a clear understanding of your finances, save time, and use a creative approach to benefit everyone. If you’d like to know more about collaborative divorce and how it can work for you, contact the law office of Freed Marcroft. We would be happy to explain the value and benefits of this increasingly popular divorce process and help you decide if it’s a good option for you.