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Alyssa Maine, CFP®, CDFA®

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Getting Your Team Together

It's good to have a team of professionals whose primary goal is watching out for you and your best interests. Regardless of how amicable you and your spouse are, there are important professionals to have on your team. Depending on your specific situation, these professionals may include:

During your divorce, you and your attorney become partners. Your lawyer's primary function is to get the most favorable outcome in your divorce settlement. It is important to select an attorney whose communication style and communication style is a good fit with yours. 

Before hiring an attorney, examine your goals and desires. Think about your future and what you would like for yourself, your children, and your ex-spouse in 6 months, a year, or 5-years. After your initial conversation with your attorney you should be able to answer these questions:

  • Does this attorney listen to me when I talk?
  • Is the attorney interested in what my goals are, or only in his or her own goals?

In the divorce process you should not share an attorney with your spouse. An attorney is an advocate for their client, and because there are most likely going to be areas that your interests differ from your spouse, one attorney will not be able to represent both of you effectively.

Often divorce is the largest financial transaction of one's life. Divorce settlements are in large part financial and your divorce financial planner can explain options, help you set priorities, and lead you through the hard choices ahead. A qualified divorce financial planner will help you achieve a livable and optimal financial outcome from your divorce.

Qualities to look for in a divorce financial planner:

  • CFP® Credentials from the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, indicating a high level of financial planning knowledge and competence.
  • CDFA® Credentials from the Institute of Divorce Financial Analysts is critical for in depth analysis specific to the issues of divorce.
  • Membership in the Association of Divorce Financial Planners (ADFP), committing to continuing education in divorce planning and compliance with professional standards and a code of ethics.

You may want to consider working with a mental health professional and/or a child specialist to help find resolution during an emotionally stressful time. These professionals are equipped with specialized training to help divorcing individuals and their families find invaluable resolution during and after the divorce process.

Accountants or Valuation Experts may be hired to value specific assets or business interests. A forensic account who has expertise in tracing movements or assets and assessing values of businesses and illiquid investments can be helpful or even necessary in your divorce settlement.

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