Generally speaking, marriage is all about love, while divorce is all about money. Odds are you married for love. You planned your wedding, your honeymoon and envisioned the rest of your lives together. You have a huge investment not just emotionally, but financially too. Perhaps you both worked or maybe one of you worked while the other went to school. Or one stayed home to take care of the children so the other could excel in their career. It could be a combination of all of the above. How do you quantify your contribution? What’s fair? As you try to figure this out, emotions and anxiety may be at all time highs.
First of all, know you are not alone. About 40-50% of all marriages in the USA end up in divorce. It’s a difficult period of time and yet it’s imperative you get your divorce settlement right as it will have an impact on your life for a number of years. You need professionals who have the training, educational knowledge and experience to help you through it. The two main areas of expertise needed in reaching your settlement agreement are:
- Financial – A Certified Divorce Financial Analyst is an expert in all financial aspects of divorce. A CDFA® is able to project the impact of a financial agreement. What may seem fair or equitable, may be nothing of the sort when taking into consideration other factors such as tax laws, for example. In addition, a CDFA® helps your attorney understand the implications of certain decisions, but does not provide legal advice.
- Legal – Unless you are opting for a pro se divorce (no attorneys), you may need an attorney who specializes in family law & divorce. An attorney is an expert in everything that is law. Your divorce decree is a legal document and can only be written by a lawyer.
The divorce process can be anywhere from stressful to a traumatic life-changing event. Consider a therapist to be part of your team to help you cope. A good divorce team will bring you the results you need to get on with your life knowing you have been well taken care of, legally, financially and emotionally.