Financial Guidance during Litigation
- We act as your financial advocate providing you with the knowledge to make informed financial decisions. We help you understand the short and long term consequences of potential financial settlements.
- We educate you on all related financial issues of your divorce (i.e., real estate, businesses, pensions, retirement accounts, marital vs. non-marital assets, tax issues).
- We assist you in completing your financial data gathering, which includes organization of finances, which includes documentation of income, expenses, assets and debts and development of budgets.
- We calculate child support, spousal support and other needed information for you and your attorney.
- We provide your attorney with helpful reports and graphs to substantiate your case.
- We can act as the expert financial witness if your divorce goes to trial.
- As a unbiased neutral third party, Connie Walsh is qualified to mediate your divorce issues. We help you resolve your financial issues in a peaceful and confidential setting. This can be very efficient and cost effective. You and your spouse retain control over the process and fully understand the outcome of your financial settlement.
- The goal of mediation is to complete a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between you and your spouse/partner on all of the issues relating to your divorce.
- You and your spouse are strongly encouraged to engage the services of a family law attorney for each of you early on in the process. Your respective attorneys are then available to advise you as to your rights and legal issues. A list of referrals can be provided upon request.
- What is Collaborative Divorce? Unlike conventional divorce, collaborative divorce offers you a team of skilled and compassionate professionals. Each expert in their own fields, the team members help you manage the many aspects of divorce – the legal issues, the emotional turmoil, the concerns for children and the financial and property questions. With such support you’ll feel more in control of the divorce process itself, and better equipped to begin a new life afterwards.
- Divorce ends a marriage but need not sever family ties or relationships. Especially when children are involved, lifelong responsibilities remain. By preserving respect and encouraging cooperation, the collaborative divorce process helps parents and children keep family bonds while embracing new lives.
- Financial issues can be a major cause for divorce. A trained financial consultant can be the key to the collaborative divorce process.
A financial consultant for more than two decades, Connie Walsh brings her experience, knowledge, compassion and commitment to the collaborative process. Connie acts as the “neutral financial specialist” in a collaborative team model. As an impartial member of the collaborative team we help you and your spouse identify your financial options and alternatives by reviewing your assets, liabilities, incomes and budgets.
What is your first experience like?
Clients generally start their relationship with Connie with a short phone conversation at which time she can help you determine if it would be better for you to come in alone or with your spouse/partner. If it seems that an alternative dispute method (mediation or collaborative divorce) is likely than we suggest that you come in for a consultation with your spouse. This way we can stay impartial and neutral as your mediator or financial consultant.
The initial consultation or meeting at our offices typically lasts an hour. What sets us apart is our personal approach. We first make sure you are clear on the differences between litigation, mediation and collaborative divorce. Which process is best suited for you will become evident based on your personal circumstances.
We listen to your needs, discuss your goals, fears and concerns and help you to understand your options. During this meeting we will discuss your personal estimated time frame, fee structure, and process.
Connie’s Financial Analysis Spelled Out
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need to update my will or my beneficiaries on my retirement accounts and insurance policies?
Yes. By law, the assets in beneficiary accounts must be given to the person(s) named in your contract or account agreement. Neither your will, trust or divorce decree can override the law. That’s why it’s essential for you to review and update the beneficiaries on a regular basis and especially when the is a substantial change in circumstances, like a marriage, divorce or death to be sure that those assets will go to your intended.
Our estate plan was done pretty recently. Do I need to update after my divorce?
Yes. Now that your divorce is finalized you need to update your will or trust to be sure that it matches your wishes outlined in your divorce decree. There are other documents, as well, such as your living will and your durable and healthcare power of attorney forms that need to be addressed as well.
Our largest asset in our marriage is the family business and we don’t want to sell it. What are our options?
Splitting up the marital estate can be a long and complicated process, especially if one of the assets includes a privately owned business. You will need to address:
- How much is the business worth? Can it be sold?
- Do you need to be concerned about the issue of “double dipping” when considering the valuation of the business and the money spouses owe in support obligations. Most states have decided that it’s inequitable for a spouse to receive maintenance or alimony payments based on his or her’s spouse’s future income, in addition to a share of the business as an asset.
- Is the spouse that owns and manages the business deceptive when it comes to reporting his income for personal uses? Downplaying assets and income can lead to lower business valuations and thus, reduced payments for child support and/or alimony and vice versa.
I don’t think I will be approved for or be able to afford a refinancing of our home if I need to buyout my ex’s equity interest and add that to my refinancing for cash out? What can I do?
We could look at a “hybrid” or “offset” approach. This is where the ex to be leaving does not need all the cash now for a new home or cash flow purposes but would accept more of their retirement funds for keeping, for instance. This may not be equal on an after tax basis for a dollar for dollar exchange but we could adjust for future taxation to make more equitable.
Who can help me with my questions and coordinating the timing of refinancing of mortgage such that I can buyout my spouse’s equity interest?
As a Certified Divorce Lending Professional, CDLP, I encourage you to discuss with me during the process whether you have already filed or anticipate filing a petition for divorce in the near future so we can determine a game plan and set realistic expectations for a smooth closing.
The timing of filing a divorce petition with the court has a direct impact on mortgage financing. When a Petition for Divorce is filed, most mortgage lenders will require either a temporary settlement agreement or a finalized divorce decree ordered by the court in order to complete and close a new mortgage application and/or loan.
Why? Because many things can change during the course of the divorce process and when maintenance and/or child support are part of the settlement it has a direct impact on either the debt load or the income stated in the mortgage application.
How will a Certified Divorce Lending Professional (CDLP) help me?
As a CDLP, I bring the financial knowledge and expertise of a solid understanding of the connection between Divorce and Family Law, IRS Tax Rules and mortgage financing strategies as they all relate to real estate and divorce. As a CDLP I am:
- trained to recognize potential legal and tax implications with regards to mortgage financing in divorce situations;
- skilled in specific mortgage guidelines as they pertain to divorcing clients;
- able to identify potential concerns with support/maintenance structures that may conflict with mortgage financing opportunities;
- able to recommend financing strategies helping divorcing clients identify mortgage financing opportunities for retaining the marital home while helping to ensure the ability to achieve future financing for the departing spouse;
- qualified to work with other divorce professionals in a collaborative setting; and,
- as a CDLP I can provide opportunities in restructuring a real estate portfolio to increase available cash flow when needed.