Divorce can be a highly emotional process. However, it’s also a financial one. Whether you have a single home and a couple of retirement and investment accounts or you have multiple properties and millions of dollars in other assets, you need to understand what you’re dividing and how your division of those assets (and debts) will impact your life going forward.
While the last thing you may want to consider is having to pay yet another professional when you divorce, consulting with a financial advisor can ultimately help you be more financially stable. In fact, there’s a whole category of financial advisors dedicated to helping people who are divorcing. Attorneys and their clients often seek guidance from a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA).
A CDFA or other financial advisor can help you in a multitude of ways. These include:
- Determining what your expenses will be following divorce
- Developing a budget based on those expenses, your income and support or other assets you’re seeking
- Listing your financial goals (saving, paying off debt and so forth)
- Inventorying your financial assets so that you can determine what you want to take out of the marriage
- Determining whether an asset (like the home) is worth trying to get or if it will be a financial burden down the line
A financial advisor can help you think through these things clearly at a time when it may be difficult for you to even imagine what your life will be like as a single person again. By being able to look clearly at your current and future financial situation, you and your attorney can better develop a strategy for seeking a settlement that will help you have financial stability and reach your goals following your divorce.
One more note: Just as you wouldn’t share a divorce attorney with your estranged spouse, you shouldn’t share a financial advisor with them. If the two of you have financial, tax and/or investment advisors, now is the time to get your own. You want people who are looking after your interests alone. Your attorney can provide some recommendations.