To empower our clients with the knowledge, support and guidance they need to navigate their divorce with confidence.
Why Work With a CDFA
From start to finish, a typical divorce might take a little more than a year. The reason for this timeframe is money issues. It may take weeks or months for both parties to fully understand their financial potential.
Determine Postdivorce Personal Finances
A divorce can turn your finances upside down. You may find that you have a new set of economic needs as well as less income to address them.
Avoid Regrettable Financial Decisions
Many divorcing couples are financially literate, but a divorce presents major money questions and introduces new financial variables into their lives. We can help make these concepts easier to digest.
Potentially Save Money
Hiring an attorney is costly, even more so as your settlement is reviewed, revised, and revisited multiple times. In all the delays, you may end up more confused than before. This can lead to disappointment once you receive your settlement and find it lacking.
Cover Your Financial Bases
Divorce settlements should be fair and equitable. Unfortunately, not all of them are. Those that fall short often display a lack of short-term and long-term financial perspectives. Fortunately, a CDFA can recognize money issues that courts often overlook.
Barbara Bell, AIF, CDFA, CDS, knows divorce is hard. She’s seen it firsthand. When she was a child, her parents divorced, and her mother — the parent who had always taken care of the children, rather than the finances — was faced with a new and difficult reality. That experience inspired Barbara to launch Bell Divorce Advisors, a divorce financial planning firm committed to giving individuals and couples the knowledge, education and guidance they need to find their way to an equitable settlement.
In divorce litigation, the opposing attorneys and the judge control the final decisions. The how and when are determined by the courts and laws. Litigation occurs when both parties are unable to come to an agreement on how to settle their marriage and need to take the matter to court. The process can take many months, or even years, and becomes very expensive.
Once the litigation process goes to trial, the judge will review the evidence presented by both parties’ attorneys and make a decision. The decision is dictated by the law, and it isn’t always what either party wanted. However, most cases never make it to trial and are instead settled out of court. This is the oldest and most common practice.
In divorce mediation, you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse determine the outcome. You have to decide what’s best for both of you and, most importantly, your children. During mediation, you and your spouse meet with a neutral third party—the mediator—and work through the issues you need to resolve. This can result in an amicable and cost-efficient end to your marriage. The issues normally include:
- Child Custody and Parenting Time
- Child Support/Maintenance
- Distribution of Property (Assets/Liabilities)
With the help of the mediator, the couple works out agreements. Sometimes, these come easy. Other times, it takes cooperation, compromise, and a lot of work. The mediator only intervenes when both parties have trouble reaching an agreement.
It is the mediator’s job to keep the lines of communication open and brainstorm ideas. A mediator also gives the spouses a reality check, teaches them empathy, and assists them in their decision-making process.
Mediators help clients focus on the issues at hand and try to keep them on track. Divorcing couples tend to start arguing, name-calling, and bringing up bad memories when they go off topic, so mediators need to prevent this from happening.
There is a lot of room for misunderstanding when it comes to the divorce mediation process. Potential problems could arise if you hire an unqualified mediator or if you don’t understand the binding and nonbinding properties of the final decisions. This could lead to a failed mediation and you may need to start from the beginning. Know what you’re doing and start it right with the help of Bell Divorce Advisors.
Collaborative law or divorce is a legal process that enables couples who have decided to end their marriage to work with lawyers and family professionals, such as a financial neutral, a divorce coach, and possibly a child specialist when appropriate. The collaborative law process avoids a court trial and aims to achieve a fair settlement that best meets the specific needs of you and your children without the underlying threat of litigation.
This is a voluntary process initiated when the couple signs a contract called a participation agreement. This binds both parties to the process and disqualifies their respective lawyers’ rights to represent them in any future family-related litigation.
Collaborative divorce can be used to facilitate a broad range of family issues, including disputes between parents and the drawing up of premarital and postmarital contracts. Because the traditional way of creating premarital contracts can be oppositional, plenty of couples prefer to begin their married life with documents that are drafted mutually and with the consent of both parties.
Collaborative law processes are also known for being cost-effective. As the necessary tasks in the collaborative model are assigned to specialized professionals without duplication of effort, you won’t have to pay for redundancies. These monetary savings, in addition to other potential benefits, have led many couples in other situations to explore the use of collaborative law to resolve disputes.