Spoke with a wife this morning looking to get some information about a divorce. She had done a fair amount of internet research and wanted to know more about Collaborative Divorce and mediated divorce. She landed on our website www.winwindivorce.org and reached out to me.
I asked her to fill me in as to what was going on and what she had learned from her research. When she was done, she asked my take on her options.
She could go with a traditional divorce where she and her spouse each hire attorneys who will represent them. Many times, these attorneys will “go after” the other party and their money. As I described this she exclaimed, “that is exactly what happened!” “We are pretty amicable and have already decided on what assets we want. We just need a CDFA® to help us with the details. But each of the three attorneys I spoke with wanted me to go after his pension”.
Turns out she was entitled to part of his pension and the litigating attorneys wanted he to go after this money. She didn’t want that as she had more than enough money of her own. Her money was non-marital and she didn’t feel the need to take part of her husbands’ pension if she didn’t need it. She made that very clear but it fell on deaf ears.
From there I explained the beauty of collaborative process is that it allows the couple to work out what is best for the couple. Our collaboratively trained attorneys are there to guide and make sure each party is represented and makes good decisions. They can do this because a CDFA®, Certified Divorce Financial Analyst, who is specifically trained in all things divorce, will run all of the numbers and provide a black and white picture of the finances. The CDFA® can then run scenarios based on various decisions the couple make.
Finally, I explained that the collaborative process is also focused on the kids. Afterall the last thing any couple wants is for their disagreements to spill over onto the kids.
From there I directed her back to our website and asked her to contact a couple of our attorneys and interview them. I wanted her to feel empowered in this process and let her take the reins going forward.
This article was submitted by Donald Morris CDFA® and financial advisor. Donald also serves as president of winwindivorce.org. He can be reached at 614-339-1000