If you are a separating couple choosing a collaborative approach, achieving financial equality can be far more complex than a 50-50 split. Financial miscalculations and oversights could lead to unforeseen obstacles, pressures and costs.
Additional complexities arise if you are presented with a separation agreement. The terms of the agreement, which may include the amount of support paid, how assets are divided and other important details, could have a profound effect on you and even your children’s financial future.
If you would like to explore different financial scenarios and projections specific to your unique circumstances, consider complementing your collaborative team with the expertise and support of a collaborative financial professional.
We Help Solve Complex Financial Problems
When partners separate, financial lives change. Financial equity after separation can be surprisingly hard to achieve, even when both parties agree that fairness is an important goal. There are different ways to divide assets, each with its own short and longer-term financial consequences for one or both partners:
- savings and bonuses
- deferred raises
- investments such as shares, bonds and stock options
- prepaid insurance
- insurance settlements
- pensions and retirement savings
- gifts and jewellery
- antiques and collections
- primary home/property
- second home, cottage or property
- other valuables
Building a stable financial future in the wake of a separation is not simple. Consider some of the potentially controversial elements that lie ahead:
- Child and spousal support
- Dividing debts
- Income tax issues
- Tax implications of divided property
- Interest and fees
- Expenses associated with the separation
- Changes to net worth and lifestyle
Collaborative financial professionals know how to dig down, dig deep and provide you with options that are as favourable as possible for the whole family.
We Help You Make Informed Choices
Your collaborative financial professional examines the documents each person provides and discusses financial goals, priorities and needs with each partner. They will use all the information to help you discuss, analyze and project the outcome of potential settlement options.
If you add a collaborative financial professional to your team, you can expect them to:
- provide insight into pension plans and other insurance investment options
- illustrate financial options with projections for a minimum of 15 years
- educate clients about the tax and financial consequences of giving up certain assets
- counsel clients on budget management during a difficult transition period
Collaborative financial professionals use the information they have gathered to assist lawyers and/or mediators to design a settlement proposal that will maximize your satisfaction by considering the available financial options.
We Support a Neutral, Open Process
A collaborative financial professional is a neutral third party that can educate both partners about their financial affairs, help prepare budgets and net worth statements, and provide useful projections to forecast various options for the future.
Before we begin, we explain the role of the collaborative financial professional in a written agreement. The details of each party’s responsibilities, schedule of engagement, and compensation are made clear to everyone.
Partners must agree to give the financial professional access to their information and documents to make an accurate assessment of their financial picture. Your information is safe with us. Every member of your collaborative team is bound by a confidentiality agreement.
We Are Committed to Collaboration
Collaborative professionals are focused only on finding solutions outside of the court room. If the collaborative process grinds to a full stop because one or both of you decide a contested court proceeding is the only way, all members of your collaborative team, including your collaborative financial professional, will stand down from any future involvement in the case.
Only if related financial services are needed outside of the negotiation process can they be consulted (e.g. individual financial advice or help with implementing the financial aspects of a resolution).
We Believe in Investing in Your Financial Future
In our experience, it is all too common for partners to arrive at an agreement that looks equitable in the short term but fails to hold up over time.
A Collaborative Financial Professional can help you avoid this mistake by helping you analyze the short and long term financial impact of your divorce and the pros and cons of different settlement proposals.
Remember: it is usually less expensive to get it right the first time than to attempt to “fix” bad decisions later.