How a financial planner can help with divorce

One of the most concerning aspects of divorce is the question of “Will I be OK when this is over?” In my role as a Certified Divorce Financial Advisor (CDFA), I encounter this concern frequently. How do you make sure that you understand your maximum legally-available outcome, and to understand whether or not you will, in fact, be economically safe and able to maintain your lifestyle? Having the appropriate professionals assisting you through the process reduces that risk.

Clients are often concerned about the cost of hiring professionals. “Can’t we just do this ourselves?” Some people do this successfully. But overall, we find that results our clients get by using a team of professionals is an outcome sufficiently easier and better, and one that is often more cost effective!

A therapist can support you in being your best self during and beyond this difficult life transition; by working with financial specialists to help you understand your economic safety. A lawyer can help you understand your rights, as well as to craft a document to allow your agreement to match your intention. A financial advisor can help you understand the results of various decisions in terms of your current and long term financial well-being.

You can figure things out pro se (without the use of lawyers), by mediation, by using lawyers as negotiating partners or by going to court. Whichever way you choose to handle it, you will want to ensure you feel safe in the decisions you are making, and that you understand what those outcomes will mean to your future welfare.

The big concern for most people undergoing divorce is that we are generally undereducated on financial issues. We feel embarrassed at what we don’t know, and afraid of surprises lurking around corners that might create economic problems not yet considered.

While every family, its resources and needs, are different, there are similarities that we see in a majority of divorce scenarios.

Here are the top 5 ways a CDFA can help you feel- and be- prepared for the process you’re about to face:

  1. Can I keep the house? Perhaps better questions are “Can I afford to keep and maintain the house?” and “Should I keep the house?”
    • Is the house a wise investment?
    • What will your taxes be on sale if we sell now versus my selling later?
    • Can I get a mortgage?
    • How will my lifestyle be impacted by a mortgage at today’s rate?
  2. What is my cost of living? How do you know if your post-divorce income will sustain you if you don’t know your cost of living?
  3. Are you living on a shoestring due to fear or lack of cashflow, or emotionally spending?
  4. What will I do for health, auto, long term care and auto insurance? If you’re currently insured through spousal or joint coverage, you will need to make provisions for your own coverage.
  5. What will the impact be on my children?
    • Will their current lifestyle be impacted?
    • Can I afford to send them to college?
  6. When can I afford to retire?
    • Will your savings, pension and Social Security allow you an economically safe investment?
    • How will retirement accounts be shared?
  7. What are the additional costs of co-parenting?
    • Who will stay home with them on sick days?
    • After-care costs?
    • Vacation maintenance?
    • Will they get to participate in sports, music, SAT’s and other peer activities?

For decades, RMG Advisors has partnered with the Rockville Library and the Montgomery County Commission for Women to present a 4-part financial series via Zoom. November 7th will be the last of these sessions and will specifically focus on Divorce and Money. There is no charge for this series. It is our gift to the community.

We cover all kinds of information that will help you navigate the financial complexities of divorce, and I know that you’ll feel more prepared after attending this free webinar. Sign up HERE.