Divorce Financial Planning
So you’re considering divorce? It is unfortunate it has come to this point but we are here to help. If you are like other executives or business owners, or the spouse of either group, then divorce planning is a new concept for you. In fact, it is probably fair to say friends and family have encouraged you to simply hire an attorney and ride the roller coster through the divorce process. That could be a costly mistake. While we do not replace the divorce attorney, we become an integral financial expert within the divorce team. Our Certified Divorce Financial Analysts will help you prepare for your divorce by creating unaudited financial statements, calculate pension values, assess business and private assets, seek equitable distribution scenarios, evaluate the impact of alimony and child support payments, and much more.
Who should be on my Divorce Team?
Entrepreneurs and Executives seeking divorce usually turn to professionals to help them. In many cases these professionals are apart of a team. Unfortunately the divorcing party is usually overwhelmed with the emotions so they are not always aware of who should join their “divorce team”. From our experience, the following members should join a client’s divorce team: 1) Divorce Attorney; 2) Certified Divorce Financial Analyst 3) Therapist (for the divorcing party & for any children); 4) Realtor (for family home); 5) Estate Attorney (to update estate documents after divorce).
What is a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA®)?
According to the Institute for Divorce Financial Analysts “a CDFA® professional is a financial professional skilled at analyzing data and providing expertise on the financial issues of divorce. The role of the CDFA® professional is to assist the client and his or her attorney to understand how the decisions he or she makes today will impact the client’s financial future. A CDFA® can take on many roles in the divorce process like 1) Financial Expertise and Strategy; 2) Data Collection and Analysis; 3) Expert Presenter and Litigation Support.”
What is Divorce Financial Planning?
Divorce Financial Planning is NOT traditional financial planning. Divorce Financial Planning is NOT forensic accounting. Divorce Financial Planning is NOT legal advice. Divorce Financial Planning IS a combination of all of the above (minus actual legal advice). Our Certified Divorce Financial Analysts act as the financial expert on the divorce team and work with divorce attorneys to determine what an equitable distribution should be before the property settlement agreement is reached.
Step 1: Discovery Meeting
At the start of any relationship it is important for both parties to get to know the other party, set proper expectations, and ultimately determine if both parties should move forward. Considering the divorce process is EXTREMELY personal we understand this topic may be difficult to discuss. For that reason we spend time during the discovery meeting learning about you, your goals, your needs, and explaining if we can support you on your journey.
Step 2: Engagement
At the end of the discovery meeting we will know whether we are joining your Divorce Team. If we join your team we will explain our role on the team, how we work with your attorney, what documents we need from you, and our billing process. Finally, we will send you an electronic engagement document outlining the scope of work, the deliverables, and the hourly rate. Once you sign the engagement we ask for you to send an introductory email to the current team members.
Step 3: Analysis and Strategy
After the introductory email is sent we begin working with your divorce attorney and accountant to understand the state of your financial situation. Between the team's help and the documents you provide we will begin compiling draft deliverables as requested by your divorce attorney. These deliverables will be used to guide financial conversations regarding asset division, alimony, child support, and more.