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What is the role of the Financial Specialist?

The Financial Specialist may be a CPA or financial planner, but always has additional training as a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst. He or she serves as a single point person for gathering and sharing basic facts about the marital finances. Because this work is done together with your spouse (rather than privately with your lawyer), it has the benefit of reducing mistrust and developing accurate shared perceptions about the basic facts of the marital estate. This work is not finished until all your questions about family finances have been answered. As a neutral professional the financial specialist looks objectively at all information gathered and identifies issues that will need to be addressed by the rest of the Collaborative team.
  • Does not negotiate or resolve differences, but does help to identify them and to pass that information on to the lawyers and participants.
  • Works with you and your spouse to help you understand your assets, consider your financial future and plan ways you can help ensure your financial stability as you move forward.
  • Works with both spouses to reach a shared, real world understanding of the financial limitations and possibilities.
  • Identifies tax implications of settlement choices.
  • If documents are missing or important questions are unanswered the financial specialist lets the lawyers know so they can ask the participants.
  • Might provide very basic financial education to one spouse or assist them in obtaining that training elsewhere.
  • Specially trained to bring both partners together and explain financial documents, prepare joint statements of marital property and debts, income and expenses, develop proposed budgets and project financial implications of various settlement options all in cooperation with the rest of the Collaborative team.
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