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The Joy of An Ex - What Is A Financial Divorce Specialist?

15th April 2011
By Jackie Rahmler in Divorce
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Copyright (c) 2011 Jackie Ramler

There are specialists in all professions, including those who work in the financial services industry. These individuals are trained to use their expertise and experience to respond to situations that general practitioners do not deal with normally, and to whom you can be referred when the need arises. This is the case with Financial Divorce Specialists. These individuals are financial planners and/or accountants who have completed in-depth training, involving typical and complex case studies and been awarded the FDS designation. The Academy of Financial Divorce Specialists oversees the training and requires ongoing education in this specialized area in order to retain the designation.

Only those with a recognized financial planning and/or accounting accreditation are eligible to undertake the training and acquire the FDS designation (e.g. CFP, R.F.P., CLU, CA, CGA, CMA etc). Financial Divorce Specialists adhere to a code of ethics and professional practice standards.

A Financial Divorce Specialist takes into consideration all of the many financial issues, including often complicated tax consequences that are involved in separation and divorce. Using their specialized skills and knowledge, plus sophisticated computer software, they are able to project the long term effects of decisions made regarding settlement scenarios. The role of the Financial Divorce Specialist is that of an objective third party who is able to provide a realistic financial picture of where you are today and where you are likely to be tomorrow, based upon your decisions. You benefit from the insight of seeing in black and white the financial outcomes on paper that can shape your life for many years into the future.

An FDS does not offer legal advice, opinion or recommendations, as it is the role of lawyers to ensure you understand the impact that the law may have on you and your family, as well as dealing with all the formal legal elements of separation and divorce.

Division of Assets

It is generally accepted that assets are split 50/50 in a divorce. However, it is never that simple. Seldom is everything split down the middle at exactly half. Many factors come into play that can make all the difference between what you think 50/50 means and what this split really translates into once all elements are taken into consideration. For example, there are "exempt" assets that don't count at all. There is taxation, valuation and other factors that change the percentage each person receives. As with many things in life, the outcome may not be what you might consider to be fair. It is best to accept this at the very beginning and to work towards the best possible settlements, rather than to become frustrated at not being able to achieve what you believe is rightly yours.

Why Do I Need a Financial Divorce Specialist? The process of becoming separated is not easy, and "doing it yourself" without the help of professionals is a recipe for disaster. Many, if not most, individuals involved in separation and divorce are unable to think objectively due to the emotional turmoil surrounding this often traumatic event. There has never been a time in your life when it is more important to understand money, your financial picture and the long-term effect of property settlement.

You need to be fully informed about budgeting, insurance protection, monthly cash flow, debt reduction, retirement needs and taxes, as these are the pieces of information that will empower you to make the best decisions for your particular needs. All these details translate into real dollars and cents over time, enabling you to survive, and hopefully thrive, as you move into this new phase of your life. The Financial Divorce Specialist is the professional who can provide these tools and speak in a realistic manner, using plain English, to assist you in the objective evaluation required to help make meaningful decisions.

What Will a Financial Divorce Specialist Do? You are able to use the expertise of an FDS to organize the financial documents and provide the information needed to fill out the necessary legal affidavits your lawyer needs. It is also the role of the Financial Divorce Specialist to assist in setting budgets, goals and guidelines to help obtain the security you require during this next stage in your life.


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