Divorce can cost a California couple $15,000 or more. Increasingly, couples are looking at ways to keep these costs down as well as help ensure their own financial stability after divorce. Using a financial planner and negotiating a divorce settlement instead of fighting over property in litigation may be one way to do this.
The financial planner can be part of a person's divorce team that also consists of an attorney, family members and anyone else who may be able to offer support or financial advice. Couples may struggle to negotiate an agreement on their own, but having this team in place can help.
It is important to remember that dealing with the financial side of divorce is about more than dividing major assets such as a home and cars. For example, people will need to think about what they will do about various forms of insurance including car insurance and medical insurance for themselves and their children.
Divorce often leaves people with a lower standard of living, so this attention to financial stability can be important. Even in a high-conflict divorce, people might be able to reach a solution with the assistance of a mediator. The role of a mediator is to act as a neutral third party and help people reach a solution that suits them both. Taking a collaborative approach to divorce may be particularly important in California since it is a community property state. This means of the assets acquired by either individual during the marriage are considered marital property with a few exceptions such as inheritances that are not mingled with other marital assets. Reaching an agreement through mediation and negotiation may help couples reach creative solutions that suit their individual situations instead of dividing everything 50/50. Mediation is not legally binding, and if negotiations break down, litigation remains an option.