The Dirty Word of Divorce

Freya’s Financial Facts Regarding Divorce

West Coast Woman

Published September, 2006

The Dirty Word of Divorce

If you have not been affected by it, you are in the minority these days. The figures are staggering of the incidence of divorce in our country, our state and our own community. Over 50% of divorcing couples choose the “do it yourself approach” or pro se (self representing).

If you are in the midst of a divorce or are even contemplating it, you are probably bewildered at this point. There is a lot to consider, from emotional issues relating to yourself and children if you have them, to the physical separating of yourselves, your households and the financial separating of what you have accumulated together as a couple and then the legal filing of the documents to make it all official.

Do you feel like you don’t even know where to begin? Many people in this phase of their life report that they have gotten speeding tickets, locked their keys in their cars, found themselves driving and forgotten where their destination was. There are emotional phases before during and after divorce. There are financial stages before during and after divorce also.

Prior to putting the wheels of divorce in motion is an excellent place to begin to get your bearings. What could all the ramifications of you getting a divorce at this time in your life amount to? Who gets what? How do I even know what it is all worth? Will I have enough to survive on after the divorce? None of this seems fair! I am not even sure I want a divorce. I hate the thought of going through all this and I don’t want this to be a fight.

A good place to start if either you or your mate is considering a divorce is to take an assessment of your financial situation. That is what we specialize in. Think of it like going on a trip. Before you can go anywhere, you have to know where you are starting from. We assist you in taking a snapshot of your current financial situation and help you plan the stages along the way. You will need to implement a plan for the interim while you are separated but not yet divorced. We will measure various scenarios, allowing you to see what your financial picture will look like after the divorce. How can you negotiate an agreement between the two of you if you don’t even know what the options mean to you financially?

We like to work with a couple together, if you are inclined to an amicable settlement. We don’t necessarily meet in the same room at the same time. We understand that the emotions run high during this stressful time. We do what is best for the couple. The days of duking it out in court are on the decline. Less than 5% of all cases go to court. You loved each other when you got married. The least you can do for each other is to end it on a civil note. Divorce is a problem to be solved, not a battle to be won. We are your first line of defense. We have had clients remain married and many continue with some sort of friendship after their divorce, and when you have children this is paramount.

Since we are not attorneys, we do not have the power of subpoena in working with you and your spouse. When you mediate your separation and divorce with us we expect you both to be forthcoming with all the necessary financial documentation to assist you in preparing the documents. Not everyone is a good candidate for this process, however, our society is moving quickly towards a collaborative environment.

A good way to simplify the complexities of divorce is to think of it in steps. First we divide the assets, then we help you if there is alimony to consider, then we calculate child support if you have children. We will assist you with everything from start to finish. If your situation needs other specialists, we will refer you to the professional for your particular situation.

Even if you are in the midst of your divorce and you need some assistance untangling the complexities we can help. If you or your spouse began this in an adversarial manner and you are feeling uncomfortable about the path it is taking, it is not too late to stop and reassess the direction you are going in. We are happy to help no matter what stage you are in.

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