Photo and blog by Roz Bateman Smith
One of the most difficult areas of divorce is the disclosure and financial aspect. In many cases, there may be a home, vehicles, pensions, investments, and debts that have accumulated during the marriage. Determining what these assets and liabilities are and how to distribute them in the divorce can take a great deal of time and a working understanding of community property law.
With the help of a neutral financial professional on your Collaborative divorce team, your case will be in good hands. The neutral financial professional will meet with each of you and help you go through your financial documents. California law requires both parties to submit preliminary financial disclosures (Schedules of Assets and Debts and Income and Expense Declarations). These forms can be difficult to understand and challenging to complete. While the attorneys help each of you with the legal aspects and with negotiating, the neutral financial professional helps to ensure the disclosures are accurate and complete. She or he will guide you through the disclosure process, explaining what needs to be provided for full financial disclosure. The financial disclosures greatly facilitate and are the basis for coming to resolution on property and support issues.
Once all of the documentation has been provided, the neutral financial professional may help the couple develop options for dividing the community assets and debts as well as options for sharing cash flow between your two households.
Collaborative Divorce: Parties working together to reach a satisfactory resolution to their case without going to court.