Divorce and Money

The Value of a Collaborative Divorce Financial Neutral

Money issues are often one the main causes of divorce.  Financial issues can also be one of the reasons the cost of a divorce can spiral out of control. One party’s fear about their post-divorce financial future can cause the divorce process to drag out and take longer than is necessary.  In addition, worries about a spouse hiding assets and not knowing if there has been full disclosure of all the community estate can cause the divorce process to take longer than necessary.  

One of the many benefits of the Collaborative Divorce process is that it includes a financial neutral who can work through the financial issues involved in the case with both parties’ best interest in mind.  This works because the financial neutral is just that, neutral.  They don’t advocate for either party and they don’t’ take sides.  The financial neutral is specially trained in the Collaborative Divorce process and is usually a CPA or Certified Divorce Financial Professional (CDFP).  Working alongside parties’ attorneys, the financial neutral can help develop options for dividing assets which will be beneficial for both parties.  But there is much more to the role of the Financial Neutral in a Collaborative Divorce. Here are three key benefits of having a Financial Professional as part of the divorce process.: 

1. Building a Clear Financial Picture of the Family’s Assets. 

If you and your spouse have significant assets, investments, and retirement accounts, the complexity in determining the true values can make it difficult to clearly see the path ahead. An equal understanding of complex finances is often a challenge for a spouse that has not been a part of managing those assets. Financial neutrals offer their objective insights and that helps both spouses  feel that their financial decisions are made with a full understanding of the family’s financial picture. 

2. Building Post Divorce Budgets

 Financial neutrals can help both parties prepare cash flow analysis and develop a post-divorce budgets to help them understand both the short term and long term implications of the financial decisions that are being made. In building financial options or models the financial neutral helps the couple make sound financial decisions which can relieve the fear that a spouse may have about their financial future. 

3. Keeping Everyone on the Same Page

Communication is one of the most important parts of the Collaborative Divorce process.  The initial stages of the process involve establishing each of the parties’ goals which includes the overall divisions of assets as well as post-divorce finances. Having a financial neutral as part of the team can help  keep the lines of communication open and focused on trying to achieve each party’s overall financial goals  throughout the process

In the Collaborative Divorce process, the financial neutral plays an important role in helping the divorcing couple to fully understand their finances. When you bring a financial neutral in as part of the collaborative divorce team a party can move through the divorce process with less stress and more confidence about their financial future.  

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