Aug 15, 2008

Divorce Financial Planners Turn 10

Do you even know what a Divorce Financial Planner is? If not, you're not alone -- Divorce Financial Planners (sometimes also called Divorce Financial Analysts) are a relatively new addition to the kinds of assistance available to people going through a divorce. In fact, the profession has only existed for 10 years, but it's growing as a result of more frequent use of DVPs by divorcing parties, divorce lawyers, and mediators.

A Divorce Financial Planner can help divorcing parties assess their situation and make smart decisions about dividing their assets and assigning their obligations. DVPs look at your entire financial picture, taking into account not just what looks like a fair division in the present, but also the future ramifications of potential settlement scenarios. They'll consider tax consequences, the present vs. future value of money, each party's retirement needs and career plans, and whatever else needs to be factored into your financial planning.

Not everyone needs a DVP -- if your assets aren't complex and you haven't been married long, you probably don't need the comprehensive advice. But if you've got a house, more than one retirement plan, and investments -- and especially if it feels overwhelming to you to consider all the possible options for settlement -- you might benefit from some professional help. If you're cooperating in your divorce by using mediation or collaborative practice, you can share the cost by having one DVP assess your situation. 

To find a DVP, ask your attorney if they're using one. Or, go to the website of the Association of Divorce Financial Planners or the Institute for Divorce Financial Analysts and find a DVP in your area.