What Role Can A Financial Advisor Play in Divorce Mediation?

By Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

divorce mediation attorneys in orange countyWhen you are going through a divorce, it may sometimes feel like an army of advisors and experts to get through the process. But do you really need so many people on your side even if you’re taking the mediation route? The short answer – yes. If you need to keep your financial and legal interests protected, plan to retain the services of a financial advisor to ensure you have all your bases covered.

Why you need an expert

The decisions taken during mediation and after the settlement agreement has been signed are binding and you will have to live with them for the rest of your life. It is rare for an alimony payment for instance, to be reconsidered, unless there is a drastic change in the lives of you or your spouse. Simple oversight is not grounds for a redo.

A mediation expert may or may not be a financial expert. While a divorce mediator and your attorney can both help in their own ways, you may still need someone specifically trained in financial planning.

Is the expense worth it?

It might seem like an added expense to hire a financial expert, but it could save you money in the long run. Remember, a divorce isn’t just about this one-time activity of ending the marriage. It is also about planning your finances, alimony, and division of property in a manner that will help you maintain your lifestyle as it was, before the split.

If you head back to the courts many years down the line to fix a problem you didn’t spot during the agreement arrived at in mediation, you are likely to meet with opposition from your ex. This will likely lead to a legal battle and huge expenses. This could be avoided by getting the financial aspects right the first time.

What will your financial advisor do for you?

A financial advisor can help you factor in the tax implications of certain decisions you arrive at during mediation. They will be able to project future income, taxation levels, and give you clarity on what your tax burden as well as disposable income will be. This will help you choose the  option (of the many being discussed with your ex and their advisory team) that is best for your financial security.

If there is a gap in the terms you are planning to agree on, they will help you work out a way to bridge it. For instance, having the primary holder of an insurance policy changed, or taking out an insurance policy with you as the primary beneficiary to secure your future if your alimony payments stop on the passing of the earning spouse.

They can also highlight smaller things that you might miss discussing, but that could have big financial repercussions.

During a divorce mediation sessions child custody and money/assets are most important matters for most couples. The good news is, with the right advisor by your side, you can work towards an outcome for the financial aspects, that is good for you both today, and in future.

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, What is Divorce Mediation.