Everyone wants to spend as little as possible on a divorce – even more so if the divorce is not something you want.
I had a potential client call me to ask about my services. She wanted to know why she and her spouse couldn’t or shouldn’t prepare their own legally required financial disclosures to save money.
The short answer is yes, you can prepare your own and you will save money - at least in the beginning. Costs begin to add up though when both your attorney and your spouse’s attorney or your mediator begin asking questions about your disclosures because your disclosures are incomplete or are not as thorough as needed to begin to negotiate the terms of your marital settlement agreement. Thorough disclosures including all relevant financial documents mean spouses are ready to begin negotiating to a settlement.
You can save money and time if you engage a neutral Certified Divorce Financial Analyst to prepare your disclosures. Here’s why:
- The spouse with the least knowledge of their family’s finances will be educated to the same level as the spouse who handled the money.
- The savings reaped when doing your own disclosures are often more than offset by spouses, attorneys, or mediator needing more information and spending more time trying to understand the entire family’s finances.
- Complete and thorough disclosures lead to a quicker and less costly divorce.
- Both clients will be protected from a divorce judgment set aside.
- Savings and trust occur when one neutral Certified Divorce Financial Analyst works for both clients.
- Clients review and approve the reports and disclosures before they go to the attorneys and/or mediator.
- The reports and disclosures are settlement ready - meaning we can get right down to the settlement process.
Call a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst today to get your specific questions answered.
Judith F. Sterling is a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst, Certified Public Accountant, and Collaborative Financial Specialist practicing in Marin, San Francisco, and Sonoma Counties.
Photo credit: Ann Buscho, Ph.D