How a Neutral Financial Professional is Beneficial to the Collaborative Process

How a Neutral Financial Professional is Beneficial to the Collaborative Process  By Susan Moussi

{4:20 minutes to read} Collaborative law is one of the many options for dissolving a marriage. It is a relatively new method of resolving divorce issues without the customary court proceedings.  

When couples work together, along with professionals, they are usually able to craft agreements that are better suited to the needs of their family. In most cases, these couples arrive at a win-win outcome as opposed to a win-lose outcome that may otherwise occur in a courtroom.

The collaborative approach requires a commitment by both parties to work together to resolve issues in regards to separating finances and raising children.

We are highly committed to working with others in the collaborative law community, to develop and strengthen our skills so that we can be effective in helping couples reach agreements and spread the word about the benefits of collaborative law.

There are several different models used in the collaborative process. The “interdisciplinary model” uses a financial professional, a child specialist and a coach, as needed. The financial professional often works on behalf of both parties as a “joint neutral.”

The benefits to having a “joint neutral” financial professional (as opposed to both parties hiring their own) include:

  • Avoiding conflicts. By having one financial professional assist in gathering information, you can avoid having two offices prepare reports containing the same financial information, then waste time and money comparing them.
  • Information and Education. A neutral financial professional will meet with both parties to assess the financial facts and to familiarize the parties with the reports that will be used throughout the process.
  • Cost efficiency. One neutral financial professional is cheaper than two. He or she will look for ways to increase net cash flow, avoid costly financial missteps and provide unbiased information.

As a “joint neutral,” the financial professional is concerned about your entire family. This team member is a vital part of the collaborative process. In many cases, one financial professional works better than two in assessing your family’s financial needs and helping both sides to achieve financial goals.

How can having one financial professional benefit you in the collaborative process?

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Susan A. Moussi, CPA, CFP®, CDFA
SMD Tax & Divorce Financial Planning Consultants, Inc.
Phone: 614.429.4172
susan@smdtaxanddivorce.com

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