Will I save money by preparing my own legal financial disclosures in a mediated or Collaborative divorce?
I had a potential client call me yesterday to ask about my services. She wanted to know why she and her spouse couldn’t or shouldn’t just prepare their own legal financial disclosures as she wanted to save money.
I answered that the short answer is yes, you can prepare your own and you will save money on the front end. Costs begin to significantly 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 likely to be incomplete and not as thorough as needed to begin to negotiate the terms of your marital settlement agreement.
You can save money and time and if you engage a neutral Certified Divorce Financial Analyst to prepare your disclosures. Here’s why:
- For a shorter, more informed negotiation process, you will be asked to provide all documents/information.
- You will not pay for two financial specialists. This will help you build trust in each other and allow the process to develop smoothly.
- You are encouraged to raise all issues that are important to you.
- Both of you will be legally protected in the future knowing that all the pertinent information has been disclosed and the divorce judgment will not later be set aside.
- You review and approve all reports before they go to other professionals.
- You can get right down to the negotiation process - the reports and disclosures are settlement ready.
A neutral financial professional can be very helpful at the table when settlement options are discussed. This professional can suggest options you have not considered, and because the professional is neutral, the ideas may be easier to understand than ideas offered by your spouse.
Your divorce process can be expedited, less emotionally fraught, and less costly when all information is provided upfront and understood by both spouses before decisions and agreements are made.
Call a neutral Certified Divorce Financial Analyst today to see if he or she is a good fit.
Judith F, Sterling is a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst and CPA in Marin, Sonoma and SanFrancsco counties.
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