Divorce Break You Financially: Take Care

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3) Get your papers together before you consult with an advisor. Fees can start, on the low end, at $300 an hour for an expert, whether it’s a forensic CPA (who can trace hidden money) to a finance expert. You should have your mortgage statement, tax return, wills, and all your bank and brokerage statements up-to-date and organized in a file you can access easily before you get on the phone. “Try to get a sense of what your principal, interest, and equity is in all assets,” says Landers. “It will save you time and money with a financial advisor. Also, keep them in a safety deposit box with a good friend or relative, so you know they are in a safe place.”

4) That said, you should have at least one in-person session with a financial advisor. “An advisor can give ammunition to an attorney,” says Landers. “If we don’t like an offer, we can show spreadsheets in black and white projecting for years what it will mean for a client. Many times I’ll crunch the numbers and say, look, if we accept this, it means my client will be broke at the age of 67.”

“Many times I’ll crunch the numbers and say, look, if we accept this, it means my client will be broke at the age of 67,” says Landers.

Divorce financial advisors can also help with men who try to hide money. “A lot of men will pull out all the stops to make a woman’s life miserable,” Landers says. “About a third of my clients have abusive spouses. They think they can put up obstacles with their attorneys until a client runs out of cash to cover the fees. A financial advisor can help cut that off at the pass.” The price tag? Landers, who charges $400 an hour for a consultation, says that most most women who have less than $100,000 in assets can get by with just one visit to an advisor.

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