Divorce is a stressful, life-altering event. Money problems are also a big life stressor. Now, combine these two parts and they can often end in disaster, if not managed properly. Many people tend to look for financial guidance and help after a divorce, which can be a mistake. The best bet is to hire a financial advisor at the start of the divorce process. In short, divorce lawyers can and do help clients create plans to figure out finances and assets, but they cannot always protect a person’s finances.
A lawyer is well versed in law; unfortunately, all their schooling did not include financial planning. The average divorce lawyer does not have the background or training to give financial advice to their clients; they cannot calculate and plan a person’s long-term needs when it comes to college funds, trusts, retirement money, etc. It is better that each party get his or her own financial advisor to work with them to create the best financial plan based on the divorce process and situation, so there will be no major upsets or surprises.
A financial advisor can make sense of splitting the assets in a way a divorce lawyer cannot. Things that may seem like a “fair” split to the attorneys and clients might actually not be if all financial factors are considered. Some assets will require more costs than others including, insurance payments, maintenance and debt associated with tax liabilities. Some financial situations can be complex, and an advisor can account for all these complexities, possibilities or hidden assets.
The divorce lawyer represents his or her clients, educates them on the legal process, and files documents with the court for them. The financial advisor can create a budget and plan for a person during and after the divorce process, and educate the client on financial information, assets, and taxes. The financial advisor helps the client make informed decisions and based on these decisions the lawyer can help the client negotiate the divorce settlement.
For the best financial outcome, it may be best to work with both a divorce attorney and a financial advisor during and after the divorce. You want to have a full picture of your financial situation, options, and future.
If you’re looking for a divorce lawyer or divorce mediation services, Lori Barkus of Barkus Law has 18 years of experience as a family attorney and will make sure your side is being represented. Barkus Law serves clients in Broward County and other South Florida counties. To learn more about Barkus Law’s services, click here.