Preparing for and going through a divorce is stressful for all involved. Financial concerns and uncertainty only add to that stress. Financial planning for divorce can get complicated, and requires specialized training and knowledge.
When you think about it, divorce is primarily about two things: Money and kids. And with kids, its about custody and financial support.
So at least 75% of divorce is about money. Yet, oftentimes neither the attorney nor client has the detailed financial knowledge needed to ensure that a proposed divorce settlement provides the ideal balance of adequate current cash flow and long term security, for adults and children alike.
Pre divorce financial planning
We think it makes sense to sit down with us before you ever see an attorney. We can do a preliminary financial analysis letting you know what you can realistically expect your financial life to look like once a divorce settlement has been finalized. Having a clear financial view of your life after the divorce is critically important to receiving a fair and adequate settlement!
Once you separate the emotional from the financial issues, there are significant tangible concerns you need to prepare for:
- Where will you live?
- What will it cost?
- What are your goals for the children?
- Income sources — where will the money come from?
- If alimony and child support will be involved, how secure, stable, and reliable is the income that backs those payments?
- What will an ideal settlement, fair to BOTH SIDES look like?
- Can you keep your home? Should you keep the home?
Answering such questions during your pre divorce financial planning not only helps ensure a fair settlement, but visualizing a successful post divorce financial life can help relieve stress as well.
We can also help you consider the relative merits of mediation vs. litigation, and prepare you for the negotiations that lie ahead. Being financially well organized and prepared for divorce before you begin the process will help you avoid common pitfalls and can potentially reduce legal costs and fees. You do not want to pay the going hourly rate for your attorney to help you organize and understand your finances!
Support throughout the process – now and beyond.
Things can get very complicated and stressful during the divorce negotiating process. Your attorney means the best for you, but he or she is not a Certified Financial Planner™. As proposals are put forth and considered, let us watch out for your financial best interests.
- We can work directly with your attorney or mediators as your advocate if you wish (this is often the most efficient approach).
- Or, we can simply help prepare and coach you along the way. As your financial advocate, protecting your financial interests throughout the process is our only mission!
Reaching a fair settlement
The average cost of a divorce in the United States is about $20,000. Sound planning can help keep a lid on costs.
We understand that there are usually hard feelings during this process. And it is not unusual for one side or the other to make unreasonable demands. Still, our focus is on helping our clients keep emotions in check and see what is FAIR to both sides.
Why is fair important? Because “bleeding your ex dry” is a recipe for excessive litigation expense, on both sides. And both you and your soon to be ex ultimately suffer the depletion of assets which must be used to pay for excess litigation. Ultimately the court will insist that a settlement be fair anyway, so the faster you get there, the more there will be to go around!
Starting your new life
As you enter the new chapter of your life, hopefully we will have already laid the groundwork for your long term financial needs. As in many divorce settlements, especially involving children, you may find that your situation has changed and it becomes necessary to re-negotiate your settlement. Don’t worry, we can help you with post divorce financial planning as needed.
You don’t have to go through this alone
It’s a difficult time and you need a trusted advisor by your side to help you arrive at a fair and equitable divorce settlement and help you emerge into a bright and secure financial future.
Give us a call at (908) 203-4664, or send us an email using the form on this page. We’ll answer all your questions about pre divorce financial planning. We look forward to speaking with you.
Note: We are not attorneys, and we do not provide legal advice. We can work with your attorney to help craft a settlement that is fair to both parties – but also provide you with the best possible financial future!