There are many avenues a couple going through divorce can take. Lawyers have always been the traditional choice, yet many lawyers will refer clients to a mediator or Chartered Financial Divorce Specialist so that their clients can save time, money or gain access to specific advice and expertise.
Every couple – and every divorce – is different. There is no “one” right path. You have to find the one that works for you.
I’m Getting a Divorce. Now What?
Do I need a lawyer? When do I need a lawyer? What is Collaborative? Can my spouse and I mediate? What is arbitration? How will my children be affected? It can be very scary. Let me assist in answering your questions. A simple one hour consultation will lead you in the right direction.
I have worked in the financial industry for over a decade. I became a Certified Financial Planner® in 2010. What I found in my practice was that clients who were recently divorced, or who were in the process of going through a divorce, faced unique financial challenges. This prompted me to become a Chartered Financial Divorce Specialist in 2014.
Chartered Financial Divorce Specialist (CFDS)
The financial aspects of going through a divorce can be quite complicated and, even in the most amicable of separations, resolving financial issues can be stressful. As a Chartered Financial Divorce Specialist, I can help alleviate some of that stress by providing the following services:
- Education on the financial implications of divorce.
- Review of income and taxation options.
- Checklist of the necessary financial documentation you will require during the divorce process.
- Assistance in determining the value of marital property.
- Preparation of net worth statements, budgets, and financial strategies.
- Discussion of strategies to minimize taxes and ensure you receive any government benefits you may be entitled to.
My job is to help educate, prepare, and guide you through the process of a divorce. “Numbers” can seem overwhelming and very complicated, child support, spousal support, equalization payments, taxes, pension splitting, etc. I will help make the process as simple, amicable, and straight forward as possible.
Who Can Benefit From Using My Services?
My services are available to couples and individuals who are going through or who have gone through a divorce. While lawyers frequently refer their clients to me, you do not need a referral. Even if your spouse is unwilling to join you, you may still contact me for a consultation and coaching.
Child Focused Process
Undoubtedly divorce can be tough on children and one of the best solutions for children in a divorce is that parents have joint custody. Unfortunately, parents with joint custody can’t always come to an agreement when it comes to their children.
While a court order may have outlined the terms of your custody, disagreements can still arise. A trained and compassionate Parenting Coordinator will mediate such disputes.
The Role of a Parenting Coordinator
Regardless of the issue, the goal is always to find the solution that is best for the child. The advantage to the parents is that facilitating these types of issues through a Parenting Coordinator is almost always faster and less expensive than taking the matter to Court.
It is not the role of the Parenting Coordinator however to make permanent changes to a pre-existing parenting plan. In most cases this can only be done in the court system.
Where a Parenting Coordinator Can Help
Agreements: Negotiating exceptions to custody agreements such as when one parent wishes to have the child on a weekend that isn’t their “turn”. Dad gets a girlfriend that Mom does not approve of, or visa versa.
Hidden Issues: This is an emotional change for all involved. Until you are going through it, you don’t know what you don’t know.
Issues related to support and added expenses.
Special Allowances and Expenses.
Disagreements over whether to allow the child to go on vacation with one parent to another province or country.
Other unanticipated issues that were not made part of the existing parenting plan.
The goal in any situation that involves a child is finding a solution that is in the best interests of the child. This can be difficult when parents are caught up in financial and legal proceedings and emotions are high. My role is not to make changes to any pre-existing plans, but to help mediate and arbitrate the best scenario on behalf of the child, removing the expense of lawyers and the lengthy and strenuous process of going to court.
The mediation process begins with separate screening of each party. This will determine if you are ready for mediation then, if we all agree you are ready, it is followed by mediation sessions. I help couples as they negotiate the terms of their separation. The final step in mediation is developing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).
Mediation is almost always less stressful and less costly than litigation. During the mediation process, I coach couples through the difficult decisions of divorce.
When the parties who are going through a divorce are willing to sit down with a neutral, third-party mediator, it allows them to work out what is best for them and their children. Rather than letting the court system decide what it best, mediation gives you and your spouse a voice. I believe this is key. If you end up in the lengthy court battle where the judge ultimately decides your fate you have no control. You are leaving the decision to a third party. In mediation YOU have a voice.
For mediation to be successful, both parties must be voluntarily willing to go through the process together. Through the guidance of the mediator, you and your spouse will come to your own agreements which will be legally binding. Both parties need to be willing to come together for a common goal – resolution. Some of the things that can be worked through with a mediator include division of assets, parenting arrangements, child/ spousal support etc. A mediator acts as an unbiased facilitator to come to a resolution that is acceptable for both parties, without the lengthy, stressful, expensive process of litigation to achieve the best possible outcome for everyone.