Thursday, March 6, 2008

Why Do We Need a Financial Professional

In a Collaborative Law divorce case, you may not need a financial professional (FP) if there are just child custody and visitation issues. If there are property issues, you should include a financial professional to help the parties. Financial professionals help in a number of ways.

  • FPs help both parties develop budgets for the future so they can make realistic plans and assessments of needs.
  • FPs can gather and organize various financial records. They can save time (and money) for the parties by efficiently dealing with various financial records. They can certainly do better work than most attorneys.
  • FPs can discuss tax consequences of various actions with both parties. That can have a major effect on decision making.
  • FPs are neutral, so they don't take on the role of the "hired gun" which they might have done in a litigated divorce. They work for both parties and have a lot of credibility. They help both parties and are committed to helping the parties achieve an agreement.
  • FPs can provide income, expense and tax projections into various points in the future to help the parties understand what their needs will be. That helps the parties create customized plans to help reach their goals.
  • FPs are helpful for the parties when they need to generate options while brainstorming. The more ideas that are considered, the better chance that both parties will be satisfied.
  • FPs can explain, with credibility, various financial terms and concepts so that the parties can plan and evaluate more effectively.

The above are some of the benefits of using a neutral financial professional in a Collaborative case, but what about the cost? While they aren't free, they can be a bargain. Most cost less than a single attorney. If you consider the alternative of having two attorneys helping the parties handle the financial issues, the advantage is obvious. Not only do the parties save fees, they save time because of greater efficiency and they produce a better analysis. In addition, a neutral expert can help the parties settle disagreements. Looking at the benefits, it is clear that a financial professional will be a huge benefit for both parties with little or no downside.

1 comment:

johnseomaven said...

The initial steps in becoming a financial professional, like an Investment Adviser, are to pass the Series 6 and Series 63 Training courses. These courses must be approved by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority or FINRA, which allows you to get basic financial licenses once you pass the licensing exams. These licenses allow you to sell mutual funds, variable annuities, and insurance products.