The Collaborative Team
Does the Financial Professional just act as a number cruncher?
Family First Solutions Mediation Blog
Published by Bronwen Bruch on June 20th, 2016
The answer to this question would be sometimes; but not always. A Financial Professional can fill many roles on a Collaborative Family Law file.
- Collecting financial data from the clients, and preparing and presenting financial statements to the rest of the Collaborative team.
- A Neutral. Some Collaborative Family Lawyers find having a neutral in the room to facilitate the discussion, enhances the Collaborative process. Both Financial and Family Professionals are called upon by lawyers to come to the Collaborative table as the neutral. A Financial Professional in this role can also provide creative solutions to some of the financial issues that can frequently become obstacles to resolution.
- Develop long term forecasts based on alternative financial scenarios, as opposed to short-term snapshots. This takes the guess work out of the numbers for the separating couple; which in turn reduces the fear about their financial future. This has proven time and time again to be a very effective tool when resolving financial issues that are long term in nature. Examples of these are investments, debt reduction, purchase and sale of homes, retirement planning, and post-secondary education costs for children.
- Analyze and discuss the financial ramifications of alternative settlement options. An example of this is tax consequences of their financial decisions.Clients need to know how their decisions can affect their tax situation as well as their access to government benefits.
- Financial Mediation. A financial professional trained in Family Mediation is able to mediate all or some of the financial issues with the clients.
So it seems that a Financial Professional can be more than a number cruncher when asked to work on a collaborative file. Their toolbox is full of many tools that are essential to resolving financial conflicts that come up in the separation and divorce arena.
Bronwen Bruch is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA, CMA), Financial Divorce Specialist, Accredited Family Mediator, and Collaborative Financial Professional. Bronwen has been working in the separation and divorce field for over five years, and enjoys using her experience to assist others.