In a lot of marriages, one spouse is in charge of handling the money – investing, paying bills, taxes, etc. And, in some cases, the other person is completely in the dark about the family finances. Sometimes, this is a conscious choice – one spouse has skills or interests in money management, and the other does not. And sometimes, it just happens with the natural division of labor that occurs when you create a family – you bring the kids to soccer, I will pay the bills; I will make dinner, while you call the accountant.
And this arrangement may work for many couples. Yet, if circumstances change, and the couple starts to think about getting divorced, the spouse without any money knowledge may feel that he or she is at a disadvantage. At Westfield Mediation, LLC, we recognize that this is a common scenario for divorce mediation clients, and we make sure everyone understands the post-divorce financial plan and that both parties' financial interests are being met.
During divorce mediation, we help couples create a financial plan for moving forward. As part of this process, we have clients lay out all of their assets, debts and expenses so we can all see the whole picture. For some divorcing spouses, this is the first time he/she is seeing all this information, and it may seem overwhelming. In divorce mediation, we help reduce some of the stress by breaking the process into manageable steps. We also recommend accountants and financial planners – these professionals can be especially helpful for divorcing spouses who have never taken on any financial role before.
Being out of the loop on the financial side can seem like a problem for some spouses, but it is not an insurmountable one. In divorce mediation, we make sure everyone has all the facts before the divorcing couple commits to a financial plan for their futures.