17 Apr How working with CDFA makes a difference in Divorce

I believe one of the most important roles I have, as a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA)  is  providing a reality check for my clients before , during and after divorce. I am pragmatic and not judgmental. I take the words in settlement agreements and turn them into numbers.  .

Firstly,  I do this  by having a systematic approach  for  pulling together the financial numbers  and information that  they need to start separation discussions whether the are working in mediation, collaboration or traditional negotiations.

Secondly,  I’m focused on finding solutions that work in both the short and long term.  I create projections based on clients goals and possible settlement options , whether that be proceeds from sale of their house , impact of  varies duration and levels of support, impact of future income and savings. These projections  educate and show clients  the  future implications of  what is being proposed. They also show the  the impact of  other decisions clients  have control .

I had a client who was the main breadwinner of the family. She went back to school to upgrade her skills when her husband was downsized from  his corporate job. She found a very well paying position and  has had a number of promotions since starting at  her company. Her husband  found it difficult to get back into the workforce in his previous role. Discouraged, he  started a small consulting practice  but wasn’t having much success in getting clients.  When they decided to separate, her income was substantially more than his. She was very resentful of having to make Spousal Support payments to her husband.  This looked like it was going to stall the settlement negotiations.  I worked with her to understand her current & future spending, her future income   and have her see the impact of various levels of support. I helped her set priorities going forward.  Once  she could see into her financial future,  she agreed to a spousal support payment schedule she  and her spouse could live with  as she now  felt confident about her own financial future.

17 Apr Do I need Financial Advice when I’m going through Divorce?

Divorce is not only the ending of a marriage but it  involves  the unbundling of the business part of the relationship .. separating assets.. the house, retirement savings, pensions, dealing with debts, future  income, future financial goals. If you are facing divorce.you are likely  beginning to understand that there is a legal, emotional and financial aspect of divorce.    You should reflect on where you’re at  and prioritize what professional help you need most.  You may need to  get emotional support from  a counsellor or therapist to prepare you emotionally and financial advice from a divorce financial consultant  who will provide the financial guidance to  have you ready to begin  legal separation discussions

If any one of the situations listed below is your case, you have good reason to get some expert financial advice;   if you face two or more, going without seeking advice, is risky.

Personal

  • You don’t understand your situation
  • You have a good income and a busy schedule, so you would be better off if someone else did the paperwork
  • You want to be sure you’re doing the right thing and have the confidence of knowing it’s being done right

Property

  • The division of marital assets and debts is unequal
  • Home or real estate is being kept to sell later
  • Major asset is being divided or sold
  • You aren’t sure how to value some assets
  • You aren’t sure how to value pension from employment during marriage
  • One or both spouses are self-employed owners of a business or professional practice

Your spouse

  • You can’t agree about important issues
  • You can’t get information from your spouse about assets or income
  • You suspect your spouse may be hiding assets
  • Your incomes differ by more than 20%
  • There are special needs or health problems

 

08 Mar Happy International Women’s Day!

Today is the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day.
I want to celebrate all the women that I work with….
The women facing divorce, who understand that financial information provides them with the clarity and confidence they need to move forward through their separation and divorce.
My divorce professionals colleague… lawyers, mediators, collaborative team members that provide the guidance and compassion that divorcing women look for and deserve.
Happy International Women’s Day to all of you!

05 Oct 40% of Marriages Ending in Divorce…

I was reading an article today by CBC News…

The traditional definition of family is changing in Canada, with 40 per cent of marriages ending in divorce, according to a new study.
For the first time in Canadian history, there are more unmarried people than legally married people age 15 and over in this country, says the study from the Vanier Institute of the Family released Monday in Ottawa. It was based on data from the 2006 census.

The article went on to list… Top 5 reasons couples separate or divorce
1. Different values and interests
2. Abuse — physical and emotional
3. Alcohol and drugs
4. Infidelity
5. Career-related conflict
Source: Vanier Institute of the Family

Interesting that money issues/finances did not make the list of top 5. One could make the case that money/finance has an underlying effect.

The recent economic downturn has proven to be a stressor for families. The higher cost of living means most families now require two income earners to achieve an average standard of living.
More families are also struggling with debt and poverty. Men are also working longer hours and spending less time with their families.

Share your thoughts on today’s “Modern Family”.

09 Sep Targeting Women with Financial Advice

A new study, reported in Harvard Business Review, provided interesting results when it comes to industries/services targeting women. The report states “Despite the vast strides women have made in economic and corporate power in recent decade, women still feel undervalued when it comes to making purchases. It’s still tough for women to find a pair of pants, buy a healthful meal, or get financial advice without feeling patronized.”

According to the survey,” Financial Services”, the report states: ” is the least sympathetic to women.Women feel the industry lacks respect and cite complaints such as poor advice, one size fits all and red tape. There’s a big opportunity for companies that can provide financial education to women, financial advisors that understand and cater to female life events.”

This is exactly why I created Women in Divorce Financial. Am I on to something?