Is your divorce attorney a Certified Financial Litigator?

Faith Miller Managing Partner at Miller Zeiderman LLP, authors the latest article for her blog. Read the full article below.

Here’s why you need a certified financial litigator representing you in your divorce.

The financials of divorce feel make-or-break, overwhelmingly so. Many compelling reasons contribute to spouses’ stress in this aspect of divorce:

·      You don’t want to make financial mistakes you can’t reverse. Dividing marital property is a defining moment; you want to nail it the first time. (Unless you can demonstrate extraordinary circumstances, you have to wait a minimum of 3 years in NYS to request an adjustment to your judgment.)

·      Finances, especially among wealthy couples, are extremely complex and tricky to evaluate. Your complete financial picture depends on an intricate interplay of factors including income taxes, capital gains taxes, investments, business valuations, inflation, and transferability of assets. Understanding the nuanced and long-term financial picture requires financial savvy that considers the short-term as wisely and sharply as the retirement years.

·      Spouses worry about having the right attitude in the divorce process; while this is important, especially in approaching child custody, a spouse can stray from clear financial thinking if too preoccupied. In addition, finances often become a red-hot button, even if the process doesn’t begin that way. The most successful financial outcomes are achieved through a neutral, shrewd approach from the get-go.

To minimize stresses and blind spots and gain the most successful financial outcome, individuals preparing for divorce can benefit from retaining a family law attorney with a CFL™ (Certified Financial Litigator) credential.

Why, and what does this credential mean? A CFL™ family law attorney has a proven track record of improving the efficiency of divorce and maximizing the financial outcome. That’s because this type of attorney has undergone a select education program in the financial aspects of litigation. The high-level training covers everything from accounting, taxation and investments to valuation, forensics, and compensation.

Think of it this way: As a “forensics” accountant has special training that goes beyond the standard account’s training, a CFL family law attorney has high-level training to gather, understand, and break down the financials of a divorce. The highly esteemed American Academy for Certified Financial Litigators conducts the program and grants the CFL™ credential.

A CFL attorney is expertly equipped to negotiate or litigate, but these attorneys are known to reduce court time or avoid litigation, while delivering the best possible legal settlement. Be sure to look for the CFL™ credential when interviewing family law attorneys, especially if your finances are complex.

What are some of the ways a Certified Financial Litigator can help in your divorce?

In the short-term, a CFL family law attorney can:

·      Help you save time and money through smart financial analysis right “out of the gate”

·      Perform a thorough marital and separate property evaluation that traces every hedge fund, for instance.

·      Educate you on your complete financial picture, which empowers you to make decisions throughout the proceedings.

·      Approach a legal settlement that fully addresses your needs and capabilities and avoids the costly back and forth between attorneys.

·      Help you develop a detailed monthly budget that avoids later wrangling and regret.

·      Address any unsecured debt.

In the long-term, a CFL family law attorney can:

·      Help you determine and secure life insurance, health insurance, cost-of-living increases, pension benefits, and tax liabilities and benefits.

·      Forecast the long-term outlook in fine detail, avoid common pitfalls, and plan for a good life and a stable retirement.