Michele and I will be working together to help families who feel that they will benefit from the guidance of a financial neutral during mediation. Below Michele explains the role of a divorce financial analyst:
If you are new to the mediation process, you may be feeling a bit overwhelmed with questions. Many people wonder how can they make ends meet in two homes. How do they know if they can afford to keep the house or buy a new place? How do they decide what to do about the retirement accounts? Sometimes even trying to figure out a budget can be a daunting task. But where does one look for help? You will need someone who specializes in finance to give you some direction.
I am a financial advisor who specializes in the issues surrounding divorce and separation. For many years I have been helping my clients empower themselves to make the most out of their lives and money. I have personally been through a divorce and understand the impact of divorce on your life and your financials. I have a degree in business with a specialization in finance. During my divorce in 2009, I experienced some financial pitfalls of my own. Shortly after, I received specialized divorce financial planning training as a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA), Certified Divorce Financial Specialist (now also CDFA), Master Analyst of Financial Forensics (MAFF) and Certified Valuation Analyst (CVA). My divorce led me to start my firm, Divorce Dollars & Sense so that I can assist with the financial portion of those families who are going through the divorce process.
I feel that sometimes solutions are difficult to see when you are close to them. As a financial neutral during the mediation process, I can assist in a number of ways depending on your needs. I feel strongly about trying to remove the emotions from the financial decisions. We can have discussions regarding your individual concerns and how we can best address them. The most common issues I look at are the best way to divide debts, pensions, retirement accounts and child expenses. We also look at making sure there is enough life insurance in place if support is paid out and the value of closely held businesses. As your financial neutral, I can assist in trying to maximize your marital estate and attempt to minimize tax implications. I try and look at creative solutions when possible that fit each individual’s objective for the future. We can look at some current and future projections of what different financial ideas may look like. Many clients feel they have more confidence in making their decisions after they have examined the true short and long term impact of those proposed financial solutions.
As a financial neutral, I am part of your divorce team. I may not need to participate in all mediation sessions and some of my work is behind the scenes working on report preparation and analysis. Even though I am not always present, I am always available to help with any financial question or concern that may arise. I am excited to serve Ellice and her Little Falls Mediation clients where they feel my expertise would be of benefit to them.
Ellice Halpern, J.D., is a Virginia Supreme Court certified general and family mediator.