The numbers inevitably lead a person down the path of reason.
As you are going through the divorce process, I am able to advise you and your divorce attorney on the long-term financial impact and consequences of proposed divorce settlements. It is often the case that a settlement may seem fair today, but is not at all equitable in the long run. I help you understand why that may be the case and offer alternatives.
I am able to help you answer critical questions, during critical times, like:
- Will I be able to pay my bills?
- How much will I have for retirement?
- How do I understand these accounts?
- What is this pension worth?
- What is the right amount of child support and alimony?
- What is the value of my contribution to the marriage?
- How do I preserve my current standard of living?
- What tax issues should I be concerned with?
- How can I be sure this remains fair in the long run?
I will analyze all financial documents, yours and your spouse's, for potential financial abuses like:
- Evidence of hidden assets
- Over withholding
- Salary/bonus deferrals
- Frequent movement of funds among accounts
- Undisclosed income tax credits or carry-forwards
In addition, some of the issues that will be addressed in a complete analysis are:
- Reconciliation of payroll statements
- Review of income tax returns
- Assistance in developing a budget
- Impact of inflation in future years
- Valuation of pensions
- Review of business assets
- Separately owned assets
- Evaluation of current investments
- Future appreciation of assets by classification
- Needs assessment of insurances
- Division of marital property
- Disposition of marital home
- Division of debt
- Special tax considerations
- Buyout calculations for property and/or alimony
- Child support
- Projected Cash Flow for each of the next 20 years or more
- Projected Net Worth for each of the next 20 years or more
A complete report of your Financial Analysis will be prepared and presented to you and your attorney. I am always available for follow-up questions. Revisions may also be requested as negotiations progress and new settlement alternatives need to be analyzed for long term outcomes.
Keep in mind that while your marriage may be over, you and your spouse have a financial partnership as well. My focus is on helping you to arrive at a settlement that is equitable, in the long term, as if the financial partnership had continued based upon your current joint assets.
Services are provided in one of several ways, depending upon the divorce process you have chosen. In traditional divorce litigation, I may work for one of the divorcing parties, in cooperation with their divorce attorney. It is also possible for your attorney to contract with me as a financial consultant on your case. As a Certified/Advanced Divorce Financial Analyst, Certified Fraud Examiner, and Master Analyst in Financial Forensics, I am highly qualified to appear as an expert court witness if required.
A second possible scenario for your litigated case is that you and your spouse, and each of your attorneys, agree that financial mediation services would help to both further your understandings of the financial issues as well as resolve them. As your financial mediator, I am an objective third party, trained to facilitate respectful dialog, as well as illustrate the long term outcomes of various settlement options either of you may propose. In the event that financial mediation does not lead to resolution, I cannot have a further role in your case, nor can I be called as a court witness for either of you.
Regardless of how services are provided, the results are useful to both spouses. My analysis follows an established objective methodologies by which I simply "let the numbers talk." Your report will illustrate the future effects of a proposed settlement, upon the financial well-being of both husband and wife, and allow you to determine if that is truly the desired result, or intent, of what is being proposed.
As a first step, I can provide you with an initial one hour consultation, with no obligation. There will be a charge for the hour at the time of the consultation. The time we spend together will help me to understand as much as possible about your situation, answer any questions you may have concerning my services, and enable you to develop a better perspective of the financial issues in your case. Divorce financial analysis services and financial mediation services are provided on an hourly basis, requiring an initial retainer. Click on "Fees" above for more information.
03/24/2017Choosing an Attorney
I am often asked for attorney referrals by potential clients embarking on the divorce process. My usual response is that I am better able to make referrals after meeting with you, understanding something about your situation, what you prefer in the way an attorney will represent you, and getting to know you is a limited way. Even after all that, I will provide at least three names of attorneys for you to interview, assess and make your own best decision. An attorney is not a commodity. This is...
01/25/2017Preparing for Divorce
You have decided this divorce needs to happen. Now what do you do? Prepare yourself. The following are some steps to take before you pull the trigger and set things in motion. Take care of deferred needs like dental work, new eye glasses, replace the tires, fix the roof, etc. Money is going to get tight, real soon, so better to know these things are taken care of. On the other hand, you will need to save some cash for the expenses of the divorce process: hiring professionals like a financial...
What assistance can you expect from your current financial planner or advisor during your divorce? The short answer is "None." Your divorce presents a clear ethical dilemma and/or conflict of interest for your current financial professional. They must simply "sit it out," wait for the divorce to be finalized, then resume services, if you wish them to do so. Whether they realize this, or acknowledge as much, is up to them. However, this message is to help you make more informed decisions regarding...