A recent article on CNBC’s website caught our attention, echoing advice that collaboratively-trained lawyers give clients weighing their divorce options. Though every case is different, preparing for and going through litigation is often the more costly option for divorcing couples. In fact, the article — themed around the idea of “avoiding divorce settlement blunders” — labeled “taking a case to trial when you don’t need to” the first of four pitfalls that divorcing couples create for themselves.
The article points out that while relatively few divorce cases go to a courtroom, those that do can cost “hundreds of thousands of dollars” — an alarming figure for the majority of Americans, who only speak of those numbers when referring to buying a home or building a retirement fund.
The other pitfalls — ignoring the tax implications of divorce, not focusing on the full financial implications, and treating it more as an emotional decision rather than a business decision — speak to the help that a financial professional can bring to a case. While divorce is a life-changing decision rooted in emotion, it’s also a legal decision that affects financial futures. In collaborative cases, using a single financial professional to help determine a couple’s assets and tax liabilities helps separate the emotions from the finances, and helps couples focus on those issues in a way that’s more productive for everyone.