March 11, 2014
Every divorce involves a division of the family assets and debts. How this division occurs will affect the future of both parties and their children. So it is critical that both parties fully understand the consequences of their financial decisions. How can you best address these issues?
In the Collaborative process, a trained financial neutral is brought to the Team to assist the parties in reviewing their finances. Both parties will share all their financial information and will provide information on their joint expenses. The expert will provide various scenarios for distribution of assets and debts. This will take into consideration the needs, goals and interests of each party. Tax consequences will also be considered. Armed with full knowledge of the family investments and property, as well as the debts, the parties will be in a strong position to make decisions concerning their financial future.
In mediation, the parties are urged to meet privately with a joint financial expert or to consult individual advisors. Again, it is critical that the parties share all of their financial information, including investments, property values, college and retirement savings and debts. They are encouraged to prepare budgets that reflect the marital expenses and their individual expenses going forward. This will allow the financial expert to assist in recommending options for the division of assets and for alimony and child support, if applicable.
When one or more parties owns all or part of a business, the financial expert is essential in determining the value of the business and its cash flow. The cost often keeps couples from having this done, but doing so avoids inequitable distribution of assets and possible future litigation.
Mediators, even attorney-mediators, are not qualified to provide the financial information that CPAs or CFPs can provide. Their input assists the attorneys, the mediators and the clients.
For more information on mediation and Collaborative Practice, contact Risa A. Kleiner, Esq. at 609.951.2222 or by email at email@example.com