Divorce and Women – Building a Winning Divorce TeamOn August 19, 2019 by Raul Dinwiddie
Hello – I’m Jeff Landers. Welcome to today’s episode on: Building
your Divorce Team How you handle your divorce will significantly
impact the rest of your life. Even though it’s an emotional time, you
have to think rationally –especially when it comes to your personal finances. In short, you have to Think Financially, Not
Emotionally®. But, for many women, that’s easier said
than done. Too many women make terrible financial decisions
when they are in the throes of a divorce. But it doesn’t have to be that way. You need to treat the divorce as a business
negotiation –which is exactly what it is. Someone once said that marriage is all about
love, and divorce is all about money. They were right, and that’s how you must
negotiate your divorce settlement agreement So Is there a secret to surviving divorce
with your finances intact? Yes, there is!
The secret is this: Build a winning divorce team. Years ago, divorce was a simpler process that
typically involved only the divorcing couple and their lawyers. But, times have changed and divorces are much
more complicated with 401Ks and stock options, deferred compensation and business or partnership
interests. So, when you’re facing a divorce, please
take my advice: Get all the help you can. Yes, it will cost you more in professional
fees, but it will be more than worth it to protect your long-term financial well-being. You need to build a solid divorce team that
includes these three essential players: 1. A Matrimonial/Family Law Attorney –
I suggest you interview at least three candidates for this critical position.
attorneys who exclusively handle divorce cases or devote at least 75% of their practice to
divorce. During the interview, talk openly about the
individual complexities of your case –and be sure to talk openly about each lawyer’s
qualifications and fees. Ask each candidate how many cases he/she has
recently handled, how many have been settled and how many have gone to trial.
What were the outcomes of these cases? Find out if he/she typically represents the
husband or wife. What
percentage of each?
Will he/she personally handle all aspects of your case, or will your case be passed
to a more junior attorney and/or paralegal (and at whose rate will you be charged)?
And, here’s one more important piece of advice:
Remember to make certain you feel personally at-ease with whomever you choose. By its very
nature, divorce is a delicate and emotional experience. You need your attorney to be a
trusted, supportive and forward-thinking resource before, during, and even after, the divorce
is complete. 2. A Divorce Financial Planner
As the financial expert on your divorce team, the divorce financial planner should work
hand-in-hand with your divorce attorney. A divorce financial planner’s job is to
take care of the critical financial tasks that are beyond the scope of
the divorce attorney’s expertise, and that
task can range from preparing the financial affidavits to projecting the financial and
tax implications of each divorce settlement option.
At a minimum, your divorce financial planner should have the Certified Divorce Financial
Analyst(CDFA) designation. Do not use a regular financial advisor, financial
planner, CPA or accountant. Instead, you need someone who has a complete
understanding of, and specialized training in, divorce.
If needed your divorce financial planner should also have the necessary contacts to bring
in additional specialists, including: • A forensic accountant. Are you concerned
about hidden income/assets/liabilities and/or the possible dissipation of marital assets
(vacations taken by your husband with his girlfriend and gifts he might have bought
her)? A forensic accountant helps explore these concerns and may also be very useful
when one or both spouses own a business or professional practice where, unfortunately,
it is rather easy to hide income/assets and/or delay revenues and increase expenses (pad
the payroll, fictitious charges, etc.). • A valuation expert. Once you have “real”
numbers from the forensic accountant, a valuation expert can determine the worth of a business
or professional practice. A valuation expert can also establish the value of an advanced
degree or training, stock options and/or restricted stock, etc.
• A real estate appraiser. The marital home and other real estate are often among the
largest assets that need to be divided. A real estate appraiser determines the value
of the marital home and can also appraise vacation home(s), commercial real estate,
land, etc. 3. A Therapist/Counselor. Many people describe
divorce as an emotional rollercoaster. Your divorce team should also include a qualified
therapist who can help you cope with your feelings as you navigate the ups and downs
along the way. Divorce isn’t easy, but you don’t –and
shouldn’t –have to go it alone. Build a top-notch divorce team and you’ll
have the professional expertise and support you need to secure your financial future. Thanks for tuning in – I hope you found this
episode informative and helpful. If so, please Like this video and subscribe
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where you’ll find an abundance of other important and FREE information on the financial aspects
of divorce – exclusively for women.