What Role Does a Financial Expert Play in the Collaborative Process?

  •   |   Meghan Freed

Collaborative divorce aims to minimize 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 important issues, of course, is money. You’ll need to reach a series of satisfactory agreements when it comes to dividing your property, assets, and debts. In simple terms, a financial expert can make sure that whole process goes smoothly.

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 he or she needs. First and foremost, a financial expert will act as a neutral party to make sure 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.

First, your financial specialist will take stock of your financial affairs. You will get an exhaustive 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 a breeze compared to the drawn-out discovery process in litigation.

Before making any decisions with you, the financial expert will put a value on all of these assets and debts; differentiate between your marital and non-marital assets; calculate the tax implications of any assets, liabilities, or potential support payments; and look into your spending habits to see how your lifestyle habits will fit into the equation. As an outside party, the expert may be able to spot patterns and come up with ideas that would never occur to someone on the inside.

Once your financial expert has sat down with each of you, learned about your realistic needs, and assessed your financial affairs, he or she will determine the best way to divide the assets 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 meet both of your needs in a fair and intelligent way.

With this outside-the-box thinking, your financial specialist will come up with alimony and child support scenarios. You can work from these scenarios together to negotiate, compromise, and think creatively until you’ve reached a win-win solution.

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 demonstrate the value and benefits of this increasingly popular divorce process.

Freed Marcroft LLC

Freed Marcroft LLC