If you’re facing a divorce, it can be an incredibly overwhelming and stressful time in your life. In addition to the added emotional turmoil, there are several decisions to make to navigate the course of a divorce. You may be confronting several uncertainties and unsure of how to take the right steps forward.
In these difficult circumstances, it can be extremely beneficial to hire a professional to help handle the financial planning and decision-making throughout divorce proceedings. The right financial guidance can help you secure your future and move on with ease. Some of the things a divorce financial planner can assist you with are:
- decisions about keeping or selling the marital home,
- determining what is personal property versus marital property,
- valuing assets and dividing them equitably,
- understanding the importance of retirement accounts,
- forecasting spousal and child support needs,
- finding solutions to potential tax problems,
- dividing retirement accounts (pension plans, stock options, RRSPs),
- optimizing the division of marital debt, and much more.
To help you hire the right person to help you manage your finances, we’ve compiled a list of the top five things to look for when hiring a divorce financial planner.
1. Divorce finance credentials. Divorce Financial Professionals (Certified Divorce Financial Analysts CDFA & Chartered Financial Divorce Specialists CFDS) are a valuable asset throughout the divorce process, both for the client and the other professionals involved. They have a thorough understanding of the financial obstacles that arise during divorce including analyzing financial status, cash flow, and net worth, evaluating division of property, reviewing tax implications, and evaluating risks.
2. Certified Financial Planner designation. It is important that your Divorce Professional has the right credentials, but it is equally important that they have a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation. The client will be working with a lawyer, so it is important to choose a financial professional with a solid financial background.
3. Experience. Substantial professional financial experience provides the foundation and underpinnings of a highly qualified divorce financial professional. It is important to know how much experience a divorce professional has, as this person will play a fundamental role in the determination of their client’s future financial well-being. If the client is approaching or in retirement, it is important that the financial professional is proficient in retirement income planning as the retirement assets now have to split in two.
4. Strong financial literacy with income tax and accounting background. Hire a financial professional who has a strong background in the areas of cash management, spending plans, income tax, investment, insurance, retirement and pension plans, property division, individual and family financial planning concepts. As rules and regulations constantly change, continuing education in the financial fundamentals of divorce is critical.
5. A good working rapport. It is also important that you can work well and feel comfortable with your financial professional. Do they have good listening skills? Are they empathetic? Do they understand the emotional aspects of divorce?
If you’re looking for financial guidance before, during, or post-divorce, Empowered Divorce Solutions adds value at every step of the process. Whether you are contemplating a divorce or currently struggling with a difficult divorce settlement, we provide educated objective divorce financial analysis and advice that results in saved money, legal fees, and stress. We will work with your lawyer or mediator and tax professional to help you make better financial decisions before, during and after divorce.
For more information about our divorce financial planning services, please click here. If you have any questions about your financial situation at any stage of divorce, or for a free consultation, please contact Empowered Divorce Solutions here.