Divorce Finance Pro – Services & Resources

Divorce Finance Pros for Divorce Financial Planning:

>> Divorce Planning Checklist <<

>> 11 Critical Financial Mistakes to Avoid in Divorce <<

>> Family Law Software: free online financial divorce calculators <<

Divorce is never easy.

There are often difficult issues that must be resolved. You and your attorney need to create a solid game plan with a clear goal in mind. You will need professional support as you enter mediation, collaboration, divorce court, or a settlement.

Alimony. Pensions. Child Support. Divisions of Real Estate and Property like Stock Options or a Business.

Each of these have long-term tax and financial impacts. Proper evaluation of options will help in getting you back on track.


Top Five Reasons for Hiring A CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM During the Divorce Process

1) Financial analysis conducted early in the divorce process can save time.

The average length of the U.S. divorce process is one year. In the beginning stages of the process, both parties spend a great deal of time trying to get a clear understanding of the financial aspects and terminology of the separation. A CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM (CFP®) can explain all financial aspects of the pending decisions and help to empower their client to make educated decisions throughout the proceedings.
2) A CFP® professional can help their client save money during the divorce process.

By using a CFP® professional, you can have a clearer view of your financial future. Only then can you approach a legal settlement that fully addresses your financial needs and capabilities. A legal settlement that floats back and forth between attorneys without the client having a clear understanding of all financial ramifications can be detrimental, time consuming and expensive. CFP® professionals can educate their clients by providing a thorough knowledge and understanding of the often-complicated financial decisions.
3) A CFP® professional can help their clients to avoid long-term financial pitfalls related to divorce agreements.

Working with a client and their attorney, a CFP® professional can forecast the long-term effects of the divorce settlement. This includes details of all tax liabilities and benefits. Developing a long-term forecast for their financial situation is far better than a short-term snapshot. Financial decisions must be made that not only take care of immediate family needs, but retirement needs as well.
4) CFP® Professionals can assist their clients with developing detailed household budgets to help avoid post-divorce financial struggles.

A CFP® professional can help clients think through what the divorce will really cost in the long run and develop a realistic monthly budget during the financial analysis process. Expenses such as life insurance, health insurance and cost of living increases must be taken into consideration when agreeing on a final financial settlement.
5) Using a CFP® professional can reduce the amount of apprehension and misunderstanding about the divorce process.
Misinformation and misconceptions about the divorce process can be detrimental. Many have false expectations that they will be able to secure a divorce settlement allowing them to continue with their accustomed style of living. Financial divorce analysis helps to ensure a good, stable economic future and prevent long-term regret with financial decisions made during the divorce process.


Steve Stanganelli is trained as a Divorce Financial Neutral for Collaborative/No-Court Divorce.

ABOUT THIS SERVICE

• Collaborative Practice, including Collaborative Law and interdisciplinary Collaborative Divorce, is a new way for you to resolve disputes respectfully — without going to court — while working with trained professionals who are important to all areas of your life.

The heart of Collaborative Divorce (aka “no court divorce”) is to offer you and your spouse or partner the support, protection, and guidance of your own lawyers without going to court. Additionally, Collaborative Divorce allows you the benefit of child and financial specialists, divorce coaches and other professionals all working together on your team.

As a financial neutral, the advisor recuses himself from any post-divorce business relationship with either party and removes any potential for conflict of interest related to future investment management services.


Services for the Divorcing Client:

We make every effort to:

  • Provide you with financial education that gives you a clear view of the options available to you
  • Evaluate your personal assets
  • Determine your spouse’s assets
  • Analyze the value of shared assets, such as your house and securities
  • Assist you in making informed decisions about the impact of various options on your post-divorce finances.

We provide advice in key areas:

  • How assets can be equitably divided
  • When “equal” does not mean “equitable”
  • Selling or retaining the house
  • Insuring and protecting child support and/or alimony plans
  • 529 college savings plans
  • What you should expect to keep
  • What your spouse may expect to keep

We plan for your future:

  • Your financial rights and responsibilities
  • Tax and estate issues
  • Your personal household and lifestyle budget
  • Your retirement and savings options
  • Financial analysis of the impact on your new lifestyle

You’ll begin your new life with:

  • Peace of mind
  • A blueprint for the future
  • The knowledge that you have made the best possible decisions for you and your family

Services for Attorneys:

Our services include:

  • Presenting powerful, specific case exhibits in the form of spreadsheets and graphs
  • Providing professional financial support covering all financial contingencies
  • Analysis of income and asset data to determine the impact of various settlement proposals
  • Help in addressing the specific needs of a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO)
  • Testifying as an expert witness if needed

Services for Other Financial Professionals:

While most financial planners and accountants excel in their chosen field, most may have little or no training specifically related to the financial issues of divorce.

We will support your client relationship by providing as needed expertise in this area.  And we will respect your relationship with the client and not compete with you after the completion of our engagement.

Planning for Divorce FAQ’s

Q.) What are the typical issues?
• Alimony vs. child support. Alimony is tax-deducted by the payor and taxable to the recipient, whereas child support is neither.
• Whether to sell the house or keep the house.
• How to divide retirement assets while keeping long term life goals in mind.

Q.) Whom do you work for?
I can be hired by an attorney or by the client. But I always work with the attorney, no matter who hires me.

Q.) Whose side are you on in a divorce?
If you are my client, I am on your side, part of your team. I work for either party. It’s not “How can I get that man or woman.” It’s about dividing property equitably so that both parties can get on with their lives.

Q.) Why not just have the lawyer or mediator do it?
Attorneys are not necessarily trained to handle the present and future financial complexities. I am a support to the attorney or mediator.

Q.) Do you support Collaborative Divorce?

Yes.  Steve Stanganelli has completed special training as part of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals curriculum.

Q.) What is the biggest financial challenge that is typically faced by couples going through divorce?
Unequal knowledge and understanding of financial issues. Significantly greater knowledge of finances by just one partner puts the other person at a disadvantage. It is important that the financially less knowledgeable partner has help getting up to speed.

Q.) What is the most prevalent danger of not planning the financial split in a divorce?
• Taxes. Someone who has not done adequate divorce planning may find surprises at the other end. If it’s done properly, taxes cannot be eliminated but they can be mitigated.
• Another danger is getting control of an asset that you cannot support such as a home, investment property or business.

Why other financial, insurance, legal and tax professionals refer their clients to Divorce Finance Pros at Clear View Wealth Advisors, LLC…

1.) You will retain your relationship with your client(s), and throughout we will respect that relationship..
2.) Divorce financial issues are unique and require specialized knowledge and skills.
3.) We work with couples and individuals in all phases of the divorce process.
4.) Divorce Finance Pros offers fee only divorce financial services including information preparation and analysis of settlement alternatives.
5.) We do not offer or sell investments, insurance, or annuities. And we are not affiliated with any broker dealer or insurance company.
6.) We do not offer or provide legal services or advice.


Additional Resources and Useful Links:

Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines (2009)

Massachusetts Child Support Worksheet

Massachusetts Probate and Family Court Forms

Massachusetts Financial Statement – Short Form

Massachusetts Financial Statement – Long Form

Massachusetts Council on Family Mediation

Massachusetts Bar Association

Massachusetts Collaborative Law Council

International Academy of Collaborative Professionals

All written content on this site is for information purposes only. Opinions expressed herein are solely those of Steve Stanganelli of Clear View Wealth Advisors, LLC and the editorial staff. Material presented is believed to be from reliable sources and we make no representations as to its accuracy or completeness. All information and ideas should be discussed in detail with your individual advisor prior to implementation. Fee-Only financial planning and investment advisory services are offered by Clear View Wealth Advisors, LLC., a registered investment advisor in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and Steve Stanganelli, a fee only CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER (tm) Professional serving clients throughout the Merrimack Valley, North Shore and Greater Boston and surrounding communities in Massachusetts, including Amesbury, Newburyport, Haverhill, Andover, Wilmington, Woburn, Burlington, Waltham, Ipswich, Topsfield, Medford, Melrose, Malden, Wakefield, Stoneham, Salem, Revere, Lynnfield, Peabody, Marblehead, Danvers, Cambridge, Beverly, Saugus, Somerville, Boston, and in the following counties: Essex County, Suffolk County and Middlesex County. Clear View offers independent financial and tax advice and receives no commissions or referral fees for the sale of insurance, annuities or investment products. Personal financial planning services may include tax planning, college funding, divorce planning, retirement income, Social Security claiming strategies, investment reviews and self-directed IRAs. The presence of this web site on the Internet shall in no direct or indirect way be construed or interpreted as a solicitation to sell or offer to sell investment advisory services to any residents of any state other than the state of Massachusetts. Clear View Wealth Advisors, LLC is registered to provide investment advisory services to residents of Massachusetts or where otherwise legally permitted.