Q: I am very concerned about my financial future. How do you help clients prepare for life after divorce?
A: We educate you regarding your circumstances, help you negotiate a fair settlement and along the way provide clarity regarding the impact of all the financial decisions you will be making.
Q: If I hire you does that mean I don’t need an attorney?
A: No, we always work with attorneys. Divorce is a legal process that requires legal expertise. Our team specializes in the financial aspects of divorce.
Q: When is it best to contact you?
A: Sooner is always better. Delaying until the process is underway can severely limit your options.
Q: Why can’t I use my accountant or financial planner?
A: Divorce is an extremely specialized and complex field when it comes to finances. Unless your other advisors have dedicated their careers to this specialty, they probably will not be equipped to meet your needs.
Q: How long does it take to get a divorce?
A: In California, there is a mandatory 6-month waiting period between the date of filing and the date the divorce can be final. In litigation, access to the court system can delay the process significantly. Alternative Dispute Resolution allows the couple to control the timing.
Q: What are the two biggest mistakes you have seen made in divorce?
A: (1) Retaining an attorney and embarking on an adversarial course before considering other options. (2) Failing to understand the impact of taxes on divorce settlements.
Q: How will my social security be impacted if I divorce?
A: For the higher wage earner, it will have no impact: you will receive your full benefit. If you are the lower wage earner or have never worked, and you have been married for at least ten years, and you remain single, you are entitled to 50% of your spouse’s benefit or your benefit, whichever is greater.
Q: My spouse and I are still talking, how much should we try to work out on our own?
A: Regarding co-parenting issues, many couples can save time and money by working together. When it comes to the finances we have found that when clients have set ideas of how their settlement should look it can actually be counter-productive. This can create unnecessary problems, further increasing animosity and expense. Do you both fully understand your family’s finances and the long-term impact of what you are agreeing to? Receiving the input of a CDFA allows you to make informed decisions leading to durable agreements.