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Expanding the Financial Professional’s Role in Divorce Cases
With just a few clicks of your mouse, your computer can provide you with countless articles on the role the financial professional can play in a divorce.
Whether acting as a neutral or an advocate, a qualified CFP®(Certified Financial Planner) practitioner can provide invaluable assistance with such issues as budgeting, asset allocation, alimony/child support scenarios and equitable distribution projections.
As I reread the preceding paragraph again, clearly the theme common to the services mentioned all relate to numbers. Whether analyzing cash flow projections, restructuring debt or calculating life insurance needs, it all comes down to numbers!
But, does the role of the financial planner have to be limited to “just the numbers”? Are there ways we as planners can look beyond the numbers to provide even more value added to our clients?
I recently finished a case where the ex-wife was now faced with the challenge of having to get back into the workforce. Like many women, my client had given up her career to stay at home, take care of the kids, and help support her ex-husband’s career (by hosting business dinners, attending business trips and conventions, etc …).
Getting back into the workforce after 26 years was overwhelming to her; questions such as “Who’s going to hire me at age 50?”, “How do I write a resume?”, “How do I even get a job interview?” were being thrown at me as rapidly as a machine gun! Instead of shrugging my shoulders and wishing her “Good Luck”, I saw this as an opportunity to provide my client with resources that could empower her as she starts a new chapter in her life.
Imagine her surprise when I suggested she meet with a specialist who helps women get back into the workforce! I also referred her to a resume writer, a “dress for success” professional (who not only updated her with a new wardrobe, but also referred her to a hairstylist), and gave her a list of computer classes offered at a local community college.
With the input of all these resources, she was able to quantify her passions, narrow her job search and actively pursue a new career. It was truly exciting to see her transformation and I felt extremely grateful I was able to introduce her to qualified professionals.
Whether you work with a financial planner now, or will need one in the future (as a result of a pending divorce or some other life transition), don’t hesitate to ask what services they offer “beyond the numbers” … you might be pleasantly surprised!
Rochelle Forster and Craig Hydahl offer securities through AXA Advisors, LLC (NY, NY 212-314-4600), member FINRA, SIPC, offer investment advisory products and services through AXA Advisors, LLC, an investment advisor registered with the SEC, and offer annuity and insurance products through AXA Network, LLC. AXA Advisors and its affiliates and associates do not provide tax, accounting or legal advice or services. You should consult with your own tax and legal advisors regarding your particular circumstances. Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. owns the certification marks CFP®, Certified Financial Planner™ and CFP® in the U.S. R.I.C.H. Planning Group, LLC is not owned or operated by AXA Advisors or AXA Network. AXA Advisors Financial Professionals may transact business, which includes offering products and services and/or responding to inquiries, only in state(s) in which they are properly registered and/or licensed]
In New Jersey, a separation agreement is any legal document signed by both spouses outlining the terms of the separation. Subjects resolved in a separation agreement can include child support, child custody, debt allocation and asset distribution. Notarizing the document ensures its validity, since there is no such case-type in New Jersey that provides for a "legal separation." Spouses wanting child support during the separation period, however, must file a claim with the New Jersey probation department.
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