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Divorce Financial Planning

Are You Going Through or Contemplating Divorce?
Are You Concerned You Might Make Bad Financial Decisions or End Up with an Outcome that is Unworkable?
Are You Concerned Your Outcome Might Not Be Fair?

Click Here to arrange a confidential free financial divorce consultation.

Carl M. Palatnik, Ph.D., CFP®, CDFA™, AAMS, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ practitioner and Certified Divorce Financial Analyst™.
Click Here to arrange a confidential free financial divorce consultation.

Becoming a Financial Victim If you suspect that your spouse is planning a divorce, make copies of all important financial records such as account statements (savings, stockbroker, real estate partnership) and data that relates to your marital life style (checking accounts, charge card statements, tax returns). If you believe that your spouse may liquidate or re-title marital assets, notify the holder in writing and get a restraining order from the court. Watch out for cash in joint checking, brokerage accounts or cash value of life insurance. If assets are taken, legal and forensic accounting fees could become excessive.

Not Considering Mediation

If assets are moderate, joint custody is workable and your spouse is agreeable to a fair settlement, mediation will save thousands of dollars in legal fees, emotional aggravation and provide more flexibility then the adversarial legal process. Mediation is a bomb when one spouse is hiding assets or income or is unwilling to consider the needs of the other.

Hiring a Combative Lawyer to Punish Your Spouse

This is a very bad idea for two reasons. First, except in extremely egregious cases, divorce settlements are determined by equitable distribution laws and courts will not punish your ex-spouse financially for being a bad person. Second, your attorney assumes carte blanche to increase hours spent on your case. High divorce costs mean less money will be leftover for living. Treat divorce as a business arrangement and get your revenge by living well post-divorce. (Click here to continue)

Traditionally, financial planners work with individuals at the conclusion of the legal process. However, financial planners with additional training in the financial, tax and emotional issues of divorce (Divorce Financial Planners) can be extremely valuable during the divorce process.

Financial planning provides a structured approach to the analysis of an individual or family’s total financial picture. Divorce Financial Planners integrate the proven methodology of financial planning directly into the divorce process.

The financial planning process begins with gathering of data and coordination of financial information with other professionals such as stockbrokers and business accountants to produce a complete analysis of the current financial position. The resulting report includes budgeting and expense management, income tax, insurance, employee benefits, assets and liabilities, investments, retirement planning, educational planning and estate planning. (Click here to continue)

The use of financial planners in the divorce process is relatively new, but is a rapidly growing trend. The reasons for this are simple. The divorce process involves to a large extent the untangling and subsequent division of assets and income. Despite a lack of formal training in personal finance, attorneys and mediators have historically been thrust into the roles of financial analyst and adviser. This has been an area fraught with danger, both from the divorce professional’s and the client’s point of view. While accountants and actuaries have participated in the process, their services have usually focused on the valuation or investigation of assets, not on personal finance. (Click here to continue)

Divorcing clients need to make important economic decisions as they go through the process. If they make bad decisions, they will more than likely have to live with the consequences of those decisions, and these can be financially and emotionally devastating. Since there are serious pitfalls and difficult decisions to be made, people going through divorce need expert financial advice. While they have traditionally relied on the attorney or the mediator to provide such advice, and while many mediators and attorneys have come to accept this role, the requisite financial knowledge and skills are often outside their areas of training and expertise. This can potentially lead to problems. (Click here to continue)

In divorce financial planning, the principles and methods of traditional financial planning are applied to divorce. These include collecting, clarifying and analyzing data; studying this data in a long-term economic context; evaluating the financial viability of alternative settlement scenarios; conducting periodic monitoring and recommending modifications when post-divorce circumstances or changes in financial goals so dictate.

When applied to divorce, financial planning can help individuals stay focused, work more productively with their attorney or mediator, develop a better understanding of short- and long-term needs and paying abilities, make smarter financial decisions, avoid costly and often irreversible mistakes, avoid emotionally driven outcomes, analyze alternative outcomes and arrive at agreements that are fair and workable and avoid letting potentially workable outcomes go bad. (Click here to continue) tries to provide quality information, but cannot guarantee the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information, opinions or other content posted on the site. It is not intended as a substitute for and should not be relied upon as legal, financial, accounting, tax, medical or other professional advice. It should not be construed as establishing a professional-client or professional-patient relationship. The applicability of legal principles is subject to amendment by the legislature, interpretation by the courts and different application by different judges and may differ substantially in individual situations or different states. Before acting on what you have read, it is important to obtain appropriate professional advice about your particular situation and facts. Access to and use of is subject to additional Terms and Conditions. is a secure site and respects your Privacy.

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