When you are generally in good health, you don’t need to see a cardiologist. Your family doctor can handle your needs. However, when you have a serious heart problem, you see a specialist because they have the training and experience to provide you with the best advice. It’s the same thing when it comes to your finances. When everything is fairly status quo, working with a traditional financial advisor is great. However, when you’re going through a divorce or have recently come out on the other side, you need financial advice from a specialist.
People think their attorneys should know these things to get them the best settlement. The reality of the situation is: the attorney doesn’t necessarily know any better. It isn’t because they’re trying to harm you, many of them truly don’t know any better because they’re not numbers people; that’s not their specialty. You wouldn’t seek out an attorney for medical advice, would you?
There are so many things to consider when it comes to divorce and financial planning, working with a specialized divorce financial advisor will get you a much more stable and fulfilling result.
As an Accredited Financial Counselor, a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst, and a mediator, I’ve worked with hundreds of people who have had complicated situations and have gone through the struggles and heartbreak of a divorce.
That is my specialty, whereas the other people you meet in the divorce process are working in their specialty. Just like attorneys, if they aren’t trained in finances, they aren’t considering all of the financial implications of the decisions you’re making.
One commonly negotiated asset is a pension and no two pensions are the same. They each have their own rules. Dealing with a pension is a normal part of financial planning. However, how pensions are divided in a divorce is not. Unfortunately, most attorneys have limited knowledge about pensions. Further, the process of dividing these accounts is different depending on which is in question.
Then, there are retirement accounts and other investments to consider. If it isn’t correctly identified in your agreement and your steps aren’t laid out for you, it could cause big post-decree issues. (I’m getting more and more calls about those everyday!)
A divorce financial advisor knows the ins and outs (or will do a great deal of research to learn everything they can) about your plans to guide you to making the best choices that are in service to you and your future. After all, you’ll be standing on your feet again and will need to make sure your financial world is stable so you can move on.
Many folks put all their money in savings, knowing they’re missing out on actually doing something more substantial with their finances, but not knowing who to turn to. A divorce financial advisor will help you define your goals and guide you to accounts that will help you meet them in your new, post-divorce reality. Further, they’ll know how to guide you around money mishaps so you can manage your dollars well, especially when you’re recently divorced.
Whether you want to invest, plan for retirement, or improve the quality of the financial decisions you make, a divorce financial advisor will help you put your money to work so you can make the most of your settlement dollars.
Going through a divorce on your own is incredibly stressful and overwhelming. I’ve been on the other side of it and know firsthand that if you don’t have helpful, sound guidance, it can have a negative, lasting impact.
When you’re going through a divorce (or you’re at the beginning or end - it’s all mind-boggling!) you’re most likely so overburdened with the process. There is no way you can be expected to understand the complications that could arise and figure this all out for yourself on a good day, let alone when you aren’t in the right frame of mind.
A divorce financial advisor can be a person to turn to for support, guidance, and sound advice. They’ll help you create a written financial plan and think through questions you didn't even know you had to answer.
After working in the financial world for many years, I know a great deal and have established relationships with other specialists to use as a resource for you. Bottom line: you don’t have to figure this out on your own.
Part of what inspired me to specialize in divorce financial planning was seeing the divorced women come into the traditional financial advising company I worked for. Their agreement wasn’t in their best interest, so their only financial option was to blow through their assets after their divorce because they didn’t have a good plan in place.
When I realized there was a better way and I could provide financial guidance during divorce, I knew I had to step in. After all, I didn’t realize there were specialized divorce financial advisors even though I worked in financial advising. I thought, “If I’m in the financial world and I don’t know it’s a thing, how does the average person know?”
Having a specialized divorce financial advisor to guide you through the financial aspects of your divorce will help you come out on the other side with a sound settlement and a strong plan for how to make wise financial choices to set your future on the right path.
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