SAN DIEGO, June 11, 2014 – Getting divorced is emotional. Financial issues are right at the top of the scale for triggering emotions during divorce proceedings. Fights over money and the fair division of assets like the family home can drag out a divorce for months, even years. The circumstances can become so charged that the parties become violent.
Next to your attorney, a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst is one of your most valuable resources negotiating your future after a divorce. You may think you don’t have enough income or assets to worry about it. Think again. Do you own a home? This is the most significant asset most people own. Will you receive a pension or other type of retirement? What about insurance? These are common circumstances where couples often need expert advice to understand their options and reach a settlement that is fair to both parties and provides security for their children.
The Institute for Divorce Financial Analysts offers its five top reasons you should consider hiring a CDFA during your divorce.
1. Financial analysis conducted early in the divorce process can save time.
The average length of the U.S. divorce process is one year. In a case with complex financial issues, it can drag out far longer. The longer a divorce takes, the more expensive it is for both parties. In the beginning stages, both parties spend a great deal of time trying to get a clear understanding of the financial aspects and terminology of the separation. A CDFA™ can clarify aspects of the pending decisions and help to empower people to make educated decisions throughout the proceedings.
2. A CDFA can help their client save money during the divorce process.
By using a CDFA™ professional, you will get a thorough understanding of the complicated decisions you need to make, and a clearer view of your financial future. Only then can you work with your attorney to craft a legal settlement that fully addresses your financial needs and capabilities. When a settlement is tossed back and forth between attorneys without clarity from clients about what is fair, realistic, and in their best interests it is time consuming. Time is money.
3. A CDFA can help his or her clients to avoid long-term financial pitfalls related to divorce agreements.
Working with a client and their attorney, a CDFA professional can forecast the long-term effects of your divorce settlement. What seems fair today may shift a great deal over time. It’s important to take a long-term view of issues involving taxes, benefits, and retirement. Developing a long-term forecast for your financial situation is far better than a short-term snapshot. Financial decisions must be made that not only take care of immediate family needs, but future needs as well.
4. CDFA professionals can assist their clients with developing detailed household budgets to help avoid post-divorce financial struggles
A CDFA professional can help you think through what the divorce will really cost in the long run and develop a realistic monthly budget during the financial analysis process. Expenses such as life and health insurance, college education costs, and cost of living increases need to be factored in when agreeing on a final financial settlement.
5. Using a CDFA professional can reduce the amount of apprehension and misunderstanding about the divorce process.
Ignorance is not bliss. What you don’t know can hurt you during the divorce process. It can cause emotional stress and can lead people to make bad decisions. People frequently have false expectations their lifestyle will not change after a divorce. Taking a realistic and informed look at your financial circumstances may be painful at first, but in the long term it will ensure a good, stable economic future. It will help prevent you from having long-term regrets about your financial decisions during a divorce. Best of all, it will help you establish a cordial working relationship with your ex-spouse that is in the family’s long-term best interest, especially for couples who need to continue co-parenting their minor children for many years to come.
The Institute also offers a helpful list of 15 questions to ask before you hire a CDFA.
Myra Chack Fleischer serves as Lead Counsel for Fleischer & Ravreby in Carlsbad, California with a focus on divorce, property, custody and support, settlement agreements, mediation, asset division and family law appeals. Read more Legally Speaking in Communities Digital News. Follow Myra on Twitter: @LawyerMyra. Fleischer can be reached via Google +
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