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Divorcing? Preserve Your Finances with These Strategies


The greater the conflict, the more you will see your finances erode. What do separating couples fight about? For starters they can fight over the care of the children between them, the home, the pension, the business and the distribution of all joint assets.


Key among your costs though, will be your lawyer’s fee. While you may think the more expensive the lawyer, the better the service or outcome, but this may be far from the truth. A better predictor of your legal fees and outcome may be your lawyer’s propensity to seeking settlement over conflict and your lawyer’s ability to rein you in when your anger clouds judgement.


To preserve your legal cost, consider those lawyers who are trained to work collaboratively versus adversarially. Indeed, look for collaborative lawyers. Collaborative lawyers take a problem solving approach and work collegially with other collaborative lawyers, financial and family professionals to achieve mutually agreeable settlements.  Google collaborative lawyer and your location to come up with a listing of those lawyers specifically trained in collaborative law.


Conflict over the children can not only add to legal fees, but can create additional costs for services such as assessors, mediators, parenting coordinators and counsellors. To facilitate the emotional aspects of your divorce and to sort out your parenting plan work with a social worker, whose expertise includes working with separating or divorcing parents. Again a Google search for social worker, divorce and your location should return a number of these professionals in your area.


While many parents try desperately to hang on to the matrimonial home, the fight for possession and then carrying costs, may drain their financial reserves. While you may think that hanging onto that home is good for the kids, struggling financially to achieve that goal may undermine any benefit of ownership. Your children need your emotional support and attention. If you are distracted by the stress of home ownership, your children may suffer too. The best home for your kids, may be the one you can afford. However, if you do seek to keep the kids in the matrimonial home, this is best achieved by parental agreement.


Conflict over finances, assets and business can also require the services of mediators, actuarialists, accountants and business valuators. To assure you reach a suitable and equitable financial settlement, consider a financial divorce specialist. These are financial professionals who are not seeking to be your personal financial advisor or portfolio manager. Financial divorce specialists work with divorcing couples to help determine the best joint strategy for settling the distribution of financial assets, spousal support and child support. Again, Google financial divorce specialist and your location.


In the end, you not only have to survive your divorce from an emotional or psychological perspective, but you must maintain your financial health too – an important ingredient to long term peace of mind and stability.


Develop your team of helping professionals to guide you through your divorce process. Include a collaborative lawyer, a social work professional and a financial divorce specialist. The cost of the right helpers can far preserve your finances than the cost of the wrong helpers.


Gary Direnfeld, MSW, RSW
(905) 628-4847


Gary Direnfeld is a social worker. Courts in Ontario, Canada, consider him an expert in social work, marital and family therapy, child development, parent-child relations and custody and access matters. Gary is the host of the TV reality show, Newlywed, Nearly Dead and the parenting columnist for the Hamilton Spectator. His book, Marriage Rescue is due out in spring 2013. Gary maintains a private practice in Dundas Ontario, providing a range of services for people in distress. He speaks at conferences and workshops throughout North America.


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Gary Direnfeld, MSW, RSW
(905) 628-4847

Gary Direnfeld is a social worker. Courts in Ontario, Canada, consider him an expert on child development, parent-child relations, marital and family therapy, custody and access recommendations, social work and an expert for the purpose of giving a critique on a Section 112 (social work) report.

Search Gary’s name on GOOGLE.COM to view his many articles or visit his website. Call him for your next conference and for expert opinion on family matters. His services include counselling, mediation, assessment and assessment critiques.


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For information on Direnfeld's book, Raising Kids Without Raising Cane, click here.


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20 Suter Crescent, Dundas, ON, Canada L9H 6R5  Tel: (905) 628-4847  Email: gary@yoursocialworker.com