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Video-conferencing Uses in Divorce Financial Mediation

DIVORCE IS HARD –it’s hard when you both agree early on which divorce process is best for you; it’s harder when you can’t agree. It’s hard when you both live in the same area; and really hard when you are separated by distance; it’s hard when you are willing to sit in the same room together and discuss your property, debts, child support and spousal support; but it’s particularly hard if you are not comfortable being in the same room together or simply prefer not to be – as is sometimes the case.

So, what can you do if you and your soon-to-be-ex are separated by distance – perhaps in different parts of the Bay Area or even living in different states? Or if one or both of you is uncomfortable for whatever reason in face-to-face meetings?

One way to take the edge off a challenging divorce process is to video-conference with a financial mediator. The mediator will help you both  disclose, document, characterize as community or separate and divide your assets and debt, help you understand the financial impact of various child and/or spousal support decisions and help you each prepare a divorce financial plan that will project your expected income and expenses well into the future.

How would you go about doing this?

Usually the first step is to discuss your divorce process options with the mediator in a video-conference meeting to decide which divorce process will work best for the two of you. The mediator will invite each of you by email to join a Zoom video-conference from different locations. Click a link in the email and you would enter the video-conference room with the mediator – who would discuss the benefits and challenges of […]

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By |October 18th, 2018|Uncategorized|0 Comments|

Complicated and confusing financial concepts in plain English

The financial specialist in a Collaborative divorce process is often referred to as a “financial neutral” because of our impartiality with respect to both you and your spouse. We financial neutrals are an integral member of the Collaborative team. We are not advocates for either of you and we may not be engaged by either of you in any subsequent litigation. Collaborative professionals have found that this restriction promotes the free flow of information among all parties. There are no dueling experts in this process as there often is in litigation. Our primary role as the financial neutral is to educate everyone within the Collaborative divorce process about the financial implications of the divorce. As part of this process, we also help you and your spouse clarify and articulate your financial needs, interests and preferences which form the foundation for all subsequent financial conversations in the Collaborative 6-way meetings where your final agreements are forged.

A qualified Collaborative financial neutral will have significant mediation training and experience as well as training and experience as the financial neutral in the Collaborative divorce process. In practice, financial neutrals tend to be either Certified Public Accountants with business valuation and forensic accounting experience or Certified Financial Planners with special training as Certified Divorce Financial Analysts. Each type of financial neutral offers a distinct skillset which you and your spouse should compare against the complexities of your marital estate. It is helpful to the Collaborative process if, in addition to financial expertise, your financial neutral has a strong background in mediation. A mediator’s skillset resonates well with the Collaborative divorce process and includes active listening skills, questioning and clarifying skills, emotional intelligence so as to truly understand underlying emotions, […]

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By |December 15th, 2015|Uncategorized|0 Comments|