Why You Should Hire A Financial Planner During Your Divorce

Making a financial mistake in divorce can cost you tens – or even hundreds – of thousands of dollars.  With the stakes so high, it makes sense to get a financial expert on your side.  The skilled and experienced Illinois family-law attorneys at Wolfe and Stec are familiar with the common tax, benefits and retirement issues that arise in divorce; but to fully take advantage of potential savings or avoid unnecessary penalties, it pays to contract with a certified financial planner.

Benefits of a financial advisor

Financial advisors can play a vital role for anyone going through divorce.  They provide expert insight on issues such as the short- and long-term impact of dividing property, analyzing pension and retirement plans, and helping create a realistic budget and future spending plan. A clear financial plan should take in all your future needs, including college plans, home maintenance, retirement income needs, insurance, long-term care, and Social Security. A financial advisor can help with differentiating between traditional and ROTH IRAs, handling investment accounts, and understanding tax and benefits laws, including those addressed in qualified domestic relations orders.

Financial advisors are not just for the wealthy.

If you’re rich, you may already have a financial advisor, but the fact is that everyone from the middle class on up could often benefit from the advice and guidance of a financial expert.  Those who do not have quite as much put away for retirement have to be particularly sure that everything is divided properly in a divorce so they are not caught short in later years.

Be aware that if you already have a financial planner that you’ve shared with your spouse, it’s a good idea to hire somebody new to avoid problems with conflict of interest. You want your financial adviser to represent only your interests, not your divorcing spouse’s.

Although there will be an increased cost for hiring an additional expert, the potential savings and peace of mind knowing you have done everything in your power to ensure a fair settlement is often well worth extra fees.

Ways your divorce financial professional can be of value

  • Assist in Identifying Your Goals – Advisors can discuss, identify, and prioritize your financial goals, both short-term (like how you can meet on-going expenses) and long-term (like deciding what to do with the house).
  • Assist With or Gather Financial Data — Organization of your financial information is critical for court filings and for negotiating a settlement.  Advisors can ensure you know what you own, what you owe, the sources of income, and expenses.
  • Educate – Advisors can educate you so you can make informed decisions on your financial matters on issues ranging from how child-related tax deductions will be impacted to accessing retirement plans.
  • Provide Advice on Division of Your Assets and Liabilities — Who keeps what and how do you decide? What is the impact of these choices on your future cash flow?
  • Post-Divorce Matters — Your advisor will discuss with you post-divorce matters such as transfers of investments, transfers of retirement plans, and tax filings.

Be aware that the facts and circumstances of each case are different, and since issues are so complex, it makes sense to seek both legal and financial counsel.  The skilled and compassionate Illinois divorce attorneys at Wolfe & Stec, Ltd., understand what you are going through and can guide you through the process of seeking the best financial arrangement possible.  We represent and advise clients in all divorce issues.

For a free initial consultation with an experienced and compassionate DuPage County divorce lawyer, contact us online or call 630-305-0222 or 312-388-7882.