Considering Divorce? Read This Before You Call A Lawyer! By Vickie Adams“Why would I meet with a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst™ (CDFA) before I contact an attorney?”

Divorce can be something you have mulled over for a long time, or perhaps divorce was something that was not even on your radar. But regardless of how you arrived here, it stirs up lots of emotion.

Studies show that when we are in a highly-emotional state, we are hindered in our ability to do critical thinking. Simple tasks become overwhelming and a natural reaction is to reach out to an attorney immediately for help. However, securing your financial foundation as an individual, no longer part of a couple, is crucial before you are officially divorced.

By on-boarding a CDFA™ first, as part of your team, you can save time, stress, money, and improve your chances of achieving the financial outcome you desire. As an experienced professional in the economic impact of divorce, this is what I can do for you:

  • Gather, organize and analyze all relevant financial materials
  • Give you a fair assessment of your assets and financial situation
  • Help you identify the difference between marital assets and separate property
  • Project several scenarios forward, showing you what’s in your long-term interests
  • Provide a more factual outlook to bring with you when you meet with your lawyer

“But… won’t an attorney help me with that?”

Once you’ve retained your divorce attorney, you will be asked to complete complex financial disclosures. These are sworn, written documents that reflect items like income, expenses, assets and liabilities. They are submitted to the court as part of your filing. If you inaccurately complete these forms, or forget to include information and details, you will lose out. To ensure the best result, I will prepare your financial affidavit and statement of net worth.

“What happens if I don’t present an accurate financial picture to my attorney?”

It could be the difference between a financially successful settlement or one that’s considerably less so. These calculations are the basis for spousal support, child support and ultimately your property settlement. In these instances, tangible data replaces generic arguments.

Even small mistakes in documenting your actual financial picture might prevent you from emerging post-divorce in the best possible position. This can have huge effects on your lifestyle for years to come.

In addition, if you fail to provide complete disclosure, you may be liable for the value of any undisclosed asset plus legal fees. If material information is misrepresented, or even simply overlooked, part or all of your agreement may be set aside and your settlement may be open to attack for a very long time.

When it comes to compiling and documenting the most accurate information, I will be your trusted advocate to ensure you avoid these disastrous pitfalls.

Divorce lawyers are experts in Divorce Law. We should not expect them to be experts in financial planning, too. More often than not, a divorce lawyer is unlikely to have the extensive training in divorce and post-divorce finance compared to someone who works exclusively in strategic divorce planning. As such, they can not provide this critical analysis in the same comprehensive and cost-effective manner as a financial professional who does this work exclusively.

As a CDFA™, I give advice that’s specific to your situation. I take the time to consider all financial variables, your preferences and your lifestyle when planning for your independent financial future.

Are you considering divorce? Call me today, and let me provide you with a factual financial foundation.

Vickie Adams Divorce Financial PlannerVickie Adams, CFP®, CDFA