Divorce is complicated. It can be overwhelming and emotionally devastating. It can also be financially devastating if you are unable to make informed decisions throughout the process. There’s a saying that if marriage is about love, then divorce is about money. If you do not know what you or your spouse have for retirement assets or how much money your spouse makes, it becomes almost impossible to negotiate in your and your family’s best interest. Attorneys are legal experts, but when it comes to the financial and tax issues in a divorce, it makes sense to work with a financial expert, like a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst® (CDFA®). Working with a divorce financial professional from the beginning, ensures that the correct information is being obtained and analyzed so that any settlement being proposed is being based on facts and not on emotions.
There are three questions that need to be answered during the divorce process:
- Where are you today? – What are your assets, liabilities, income and expenses that need to be considered in the marital division?
- Where you will be at the time of divorce? – Will there be child support and/or alimony and how will this affect your income and lifestyle post-divorce? What assets will you receive and will they sustain your needs and goals?
- Where will you be 5, 10 or even 15 years down the road after divorce? – Will it be a successful transition to post-divorce life? Are you going to be okay?
If the above questions are addressed during the divorce, then you will most likely be able to sign your separation agreement with confidence and peace-of-mind. Only a divorce financial professional who is proficient in the divorce field can provide the clarity needed when answering these questions. Understanding the consequences of the settlement that is being proposed to you is key to transitioning to a successful post-divorce life.
So, do you need a financial professional on your team when going through a divorce? In most cases, the answer will be yes.