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Want to Save Money in Your Collaborative Divorce? "Spend" More Money!
As a CFP professional focusing on the financial planning needs of divorcing couples, I see how clients struggle to keep fees associated with other professionals’ participation in their case to a minimum.
Those familiar with collaborative divorce know this type of divorce is based on a team approach; in addition to hiring two attorneys, many couples need to hire a forensic accountant to determine a business’ net worth, a financial neutral to run projected post-divorce cash flow scenarios and even a child specialist to protect the emotional needs of the children.
With all these collaboratively trained team members committed to the “kinder, gentler” divorce, some couples may conclude the result of having to pay for all these professionals will neither be “kind” or “gentle” to their wallet!
Knowing the desire to minimize costs associated with divorce, why would anyone even suggest a couple “spend more money” on additional team members in order to save money in a collaborative divorce case?
The best way to answer this question is to pose the following scenario: You’ve decided to run a 10K race. Beside the fact that you haven’t run in over 10 years, you don’t even own a pair of running shoes!
Where do you start?
Obviously, your ultimate goal is to finish the race when you want, with the least amount of pain. To that end, you will take whatever steps are necessary (ex. purchase the proper footwear, implement some type of training schedule, hire a coach, join a running blog, read training manuals, etc), anything to help you succeed in your endeavor.
That’s exactly how it is with team members involved in a collaborative case; collaborative professionals want you to finish the divorce when you want, with the least amount of pain (financial or otherwise).
I believe the collaborative model gives divorcing couples the best chance at minimizing costs because of using a team approach, not in spite of using a team approach.
I have seen first-hand how team members can work together to resolve issues quickly in a fair and equitable manner. Collaboratively trained attorneys seek the right balance between advocating for their clients and resolving issues; financial neutrals clarify the most complicated financial matters and divorce coaches look for ways divorcing couples can effectively communicate without rancor and malice.
The team’s goal is to combine their collaborative training and individual areas of expertise to settle divorce cases quickly and equitably. The result of such a unique team approach lends itself to settling divorce cases sooner than what is usually seen in litigated cases, thus saving the divorcing couple money in the long run.
So, in addition to being known as the “kinder, gentler’ divorce, collaborative can also be known for saving divorcing couples money!
Rochelle Forster and Craig A. Hyldahl, CDFA 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. Individuals may transact business and/or respond to inquiries only in state(s) in which they are properly registered and/or licensed. R.I.C.H. Planning Group, LLC is not owned or operated by AXA Advisors or AXA Network. CFP and CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER are certification marks owned by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. These marks are awarded to individuals who successfully complete the CFP Board’s initial and ongoing certification requirements. PPG-100663(02/15)(exp.02/17)
New Jersey is an equitable distribution state, meaning that the division of property in a divorce is to be done fairly, not necessarily equally. The court can take into consideration any factor it deems relevant when dividing property, but it must consider certain factors, such as how long the couple was married and the age and health of both spouses, the income or property brought to the marriage by each spouse, the standard of living that was achieved during the marriage, and the extent to which one spouse may have deferred career goals, among others.
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