How Complex Finances are Divided in the Collaborative Divorce Process

If you and your soon-to-be ex have a complex financial situation, you may wonder how you will divide all your assets and property in your divorce. To help the process go as smoothly and amicably as possible, the benefits of working with an attorney who practices collaborative divorce significantly outweigh what you can expect when working with an attorney who takes a  traditional litigation-focused approach.

As long as both parties are willing to be transparent and amiable, working with a collaborative divorce attorney could save you a lot of stress when figuring out how to best divide your marital assets.

What Is Collaborative Divorce?

Collaborative divorce is the process of negotiating a divorce agreement with the help of various professionals who can expertly weigh in on important aspects of the separation. These professionals might include financial advisors, psychologists, and divorce coaches, as well as other attorneys, such as real estate attorneys or trusts and estates attorneys. The goal of collaborative divorce is to avoid litigation and allow you and your soon-to-be ex to reach an agreement that mutually benefits each of you, your children, and any other parties involved.

In a collaborative divorce, you and your spouse each retain your own attorney. You will each meet with your respective attorneys privately to discuss your goals for the divorce. Your attorney will also work with you to assemble a professional team that will collaborate to address your complex financial situation.

You, your soon-to-be ex, each of your attorneys, and your team of professionals will then meet to discuss your wants and needs and negotiate the terms of the divorce amicably. A successful collaborative divorce process negates the need for litigation and leaves both you and your spouse with fair and agreeable outcomes.

Benefits of Collaborative Divorce for Couples with Complex Finances

In the traditional contested divorce process, a judge examines your finances and attempts an equitable division of property and assets. This "equitable" division may not properly address the complexities of your shared finances or account for your and your spouse's wishes.

Addressing complex finances in a collaborative divorce gives you and your spouse control over the division of your assets and finances, as well as several other benefits.

Financial Professionals Provide Targeted Expertise and Guidance

You and your attorney can include as many professionals as you want in the collaborative divorce process. If you and your spouse have complex financial issues, you’ll most likely want to seek the assistance of a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA), or another financial advisor to:

  • Determine the value of tangible and intangible assets
  • Help you understand the tax implications of splitting certain assets
  • Assist in reaching a fair division of complicated assets like stock award options, LLCs, employee incentives plans, etc.

Your financial professional(s) will be a part of your collaborative divorce sessions and provide expert insight to help you achieve an equitable division.

You Will Identify Where Emotional Issues are Affecting Your Decision-Making 

Your finances may not be complex at face value, but they may be challenging to split due to emotional matters. You may be emotionally attached to your home, retirement assets, or investments, and the thought of sharing them with your spouse in the divorce may be overwhelming.

Collaborative divorce can help separate your emotions from the practical issues that need to be resolved when it comes to the division of assets. Once you understand where the hesitancy is coming from, your divorce team can help you and your spouse reach an agreement that reasonably considers your emotional connections to certain assets.

You Will Have More Security Around Decisions Related to Property Division

Having a judge divide your property and assets can lead to inequity and mistrust. Is your spouse being transparent about all their accounts, investments, and other property? Is the outcome the judge rules truly "equitable?"

Working with neutral professionals who regularly oversee complex finances in the collaborative divorce process can offer you peace of mind with respect to these concerns. You and your spouse can comprehensively outline the complexities of your financial situation and maintain transparency throughout your divorce.  The goal is a final agreement that both of you can live with and move on from the marriage feeling as financially secure as possible.

Are you wondering whether the collaborative process is right for you? Contact Vacca Family Law Group today at 212-768-1115 for a free introductory call.