If you’re considering a divorce, you probably understand that you need help. Divorce isn’t something to handle alone. You should make sure you have a team on your side to help you navigate the many legal complications of a split.
One of the most important and underrated team members for your legal team is a financial planner. Having a financial expert on your side can help you avoid common asset division mistakes and ensure that you make the best possible financial choices. Here’s how a planner can make a difference and how to tell if you should get one for your divorce.
What Is the Role of a Financial Planner?
A financial planner is someone who’s trained in accounting and investing with an emphasis on planning for the future. Financial planners are helpful throughout the finance industry, but they are particularly useful for people going through a divorce.
In a divorce, a financial planner works with one or both parties to divide assets in the best possible way for everyone involved. This includes managing investments and transferring them to new accounts, negotiating and dividing physical assets like real estate, and splitting ownership of businesses and intellectual property.
The planner’s role is to help both parties make smart choices with their possessions and accounts during the divorce. Ideally, a financial expert will assist you in avoiding excess tax burdens and set you up for success after your marriage is officially ended.
The Need for Financial Planners in Divorce
So why are financial experts so important when you’re separating from your spouse? For several reasons. First and foremost, a financial planner will act as an advisor for you and your attorney during your split. They will provide guidance on dividing complicated assets fairly and making suggestions for equitable negotiations.
Finance experts can also help you manage your taxes during and after divorce. Working with someone experienced in the finances of separation can help you keep your tax burden from skyrocketing. They can also help you structure your finances to save as many of your assets as possible despite the difference in tax brackets for married and single filers.
Do You Need a Financial Team for Your Divorce?
Not every divorce requires a dedicated financial expert. However, many can benefit from working with someone who understands the intricacies of your finances. How can you tell if your situation is one of those? If your marriage involves one of these four circumstances, then a planner can make all the difference during your split.
High Net Worth
The most common situation in which you should work with a planner is simple. If you and your spouse have a large number of assets, then a finance expert is essential. Whether you earned those assets before or during your marriage, it’s just as important to have an expert on hand to help you divide them fairly.
Divorces involving many assets can be significantly more contentious than those without. Having an unbiased financial planner involved will work with you and your partner to come to a fair agreement on the split of your assets. The planner will also help you manage your asset division in such a way as to minimize your tax burden. This will allow you to retain as much of the assets you care about as possible.
If you or your partner own a business, then a financial expert is essential to your divorce. Businesses are highly complex assets, particularly for entrepreneurs. If a business is to survive the divorce of one of its founders, the division of assets needs to be performed carefully.
The right expert will help you divide the business and your other assets in a way that you and your ex-spouse find fair. You can work with them to ensure your business remains under your control and avoid ceding your profits or intellectual property to your ex-spouse.
Inheritance is another complicated asset class. Theoretically, inheritances are separate property, not marital property. That means that they remain the private possession of the heir and are not shared with their spouse.
However, inheritances can be commingled, or mixed with marital assets. If that occurs, then the inheritance becomes marital property and is subject to the division of assets.
A financial planner will help you untangle inheritance complications during your divorce. They can assist in determining if and how much of an inheritance is considered commingled and how it should be split. More importantly, they can help you retain your inheritance through negotiations and compromises with your former partner.
If you and your spouse are co-beneficiaries of a trust, or if you’ve set up a trust together and want to change it due to your divorce, a financial expert will help you sort things out.
For instance, if you’ve set up a living trust to ensure your property is handled the way you want after your death, you may need to change the trust’s terms because of your divorce. An expert can help you adjust the trust to fit your new living conditions and relationship status. They can also support you as you adapt your trust to include or exclude potential heirs, so your former spouse won’t inherit everything should you pass first.
Get the Help You Need
Some things are better left to the experts. Your divorce is no time to try to manage your finances with a DIY approach. If you’re concerned about how your assets will be split, it’s worthwhile to work with a financial planner and other experts to ensure your finances are handled correctly.
You can get started today by reaching out to the experienced attorneys at Kaspar & Lugay, LLP. With decades of experience in high net worth divorces, the team at Kaspar & Lugay, LLP, can help you manage your assets the right way. Get in touch to schedule your consultation and learn how a high-asset divorce attorney can help you handle your divorce and division of assets more effectively.