Our role as a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst and Financial Planner:
We act as a neutral financial professional to either a couple or individual who may already be in the divorce process of mediation, collaborative or litigation. We help to clarify income available for spousal and child support, identify all monthly expenses, and develop a realistic future budget. It is important to take time to be accurate with the numbers and not omit any monthly expenses or any major expenses that may be looming. What if you agree to accept less support than is really needed? What if you agree to support payments that you cannot really pay? What if one spouse agrees to keep the house in place of a future pension, for example, and then cannot afford the ongoing maintenance required on the house? What if one spouse does not have retirement funds put away? What if future taxes are due on an asset that was not considered when divided? Did one spouse have separate property that should have been financially identified? We can help with these issues and more.
Although we do not provide legal advice or legal documents, our expertise can help cut the cost of a long court proceeding by paving the way to a fair settlement for each spouse. We can become part of the professional team (attorney, therapists, etc.) to financially evaluate different settlement options. We are aware of the specific tax laws that apply to divorce and have background knowledge of the legal issues in divorce. When investments are involved, we can evaluate them as to their cost basis, the tax liability if they are sold, how risky they are to keep, what kind of return they are producing, etc. In other words, we help to identify which asset and liability is the best and most suitable for one spouse to have going forward versus the other spouse.