What I say to the first noted potential clients is that I, as a neutral financial professional, promise them they will know everything financially related to their divorce prior to any decision making. It is my job to lay out all the assets and debts and income and expenses in simple and understandable form to both clients and any mediator or attorneys. It is also my job to educate my clients about taxes, tax filing status, health and life insurance, Social Security, pension values, and the consequences of dividing assets that have tax related issues.
The time leading up to your wedding will be filled with love, excitement, and optimism. Whether you’ll be keeping things sweet and simple or going big with the ceremony and celebration, I hope you enjoy the fun experience of planning your special day. So, what role do prenuptial agreements play in this exciting time? Some engaged couples are under the impression that prenuptial agreements lead to an admission that they’ll end up getting divorced. Nothing could be further from the truth.
We discussed using a Collaborative Divorce process where Julie is separately represented by a Collaboratively-trained attorney with prior experience on various spousal support outcomes. We could involve mutually agreed upon mental health coaches and/or neutral financial professionals to look at emotional concerns and property division settlement options. This would save them both the cost of hiring different experts to testify in court at $500 or more an hour, while also paying their litigation attorneys’ fees to cross-examine each expert, and waiting 90 days for the judge to make a ruling. And the ruling could be quite unfavorable.
If you both enter into a Collaborative Divorce process in good faith, don’t rush out to file for divorce or panic if you are on either side of the “ten year” marriage. Trust that you and your spouse can create an appropriate agreement that doesn’t depend on a knee-jerk reliance on “rules” that may or may not be true.