Prior to the economic recession, couples that divorced in California often had difficulty with and disagreements about the financial aspect of their divorce. That remains the same today. Now, however, people are not fighting over who will get the family home, the stock options, the retirement plans and the savings account. Instead, they are working out who will take the credit card debt, the student loans and the underwater mortgage.
The point is this: regardless of the situation, money has always been and will always be one of the most complicated, contentious aspects of a divorce. As such, many divorcing couples are now choosing to retain the services of a financial planner, to help them work out not only the details of their divorce but also to help them prepare for life after their split.
The services that will be provided to you by a financial planner largely depend on your specific situation. For example, if you have children, a planner will be able to recommend the best income tax agreement for you and your spouse in order to ensure that you are taking full advantage of child tax credits and other benefits. They can also offer advice on whether to sell your home, cash in stock or a retirement plan and the like.
More importantly, however, financial planners prepare their clients for life after divorce. Going from two incomes to one is a difficult shift, and planners help their clients set and stick to a budget in order to ensure that they are able to pay their bills and prepare for future expenses.
If you are considering using a financial planner but aren't sure of who you should hire, you may want to ask your family law attorney for recommendations.
Source: Detroit Free Press, "Before divorce, get financially prepared," Hadley Malcom, Sept. 11, 2012