People are often tempted to project their emotions on to their financial settlement. You will be feeling angry, hurt, defensive or fearful of the future and all of these emotions can drive you to one goal: a bigger piece of the settlement pie, using adversarial methods to get that.
Approaching a settlement this way is bad for everyone because, in the end, you will both end up with less. Conflict drags out the divorce process and you end up wasting money on legal fees.
At MELCA, our approach to your financial settlement relies on collating a complete picture of your assets and budgets, helping you decide what your goals are for the future. Together we then figure out how to best divide those assets with the aim of achieving your goals.
Get the facts
At MELCA, you will work with a neutral financial planner who will create a detailed picture of your finances. The financial planner can then lay out what you have, what you spend on your current lifestyle, and support your understanding of the ways your finances can work best for your whole family in the future.
Having an understanding of what you have and how your family finances work is important for both you and your ex in order to minimize conflict, and to come up with your best options. If one partner works and the other doesn’t, for example, one partner might not have a good understanding of the finances, where the other might not understand what it takes to run a home and care for the children.
The financial planner creates budgets based on what you currently spend so that there is transparency and mutual understanding going into settlement negotiations.
Don’t fear the future
You spend your married life planning for your future together. When you separate, suddenly that future is put in jeopardy as you worry about who gets what and if there will be enough to still have the future you always dreamed of.
Fear of the financial future drives a lot of the conflict on both sides. Feeling financially secure is empowering, but being insecure or uncertain about your financial future can tempt you and your ex to lash out or go into “protective mode”. One partner is worried about protecting their hard-earned assets, while the other may be worried about how they will support themselves and grow wealth on their own.
The financial planner helps to neutralize these fears by educating both partners and helping to generate options for the division of assets in a way that helps you both towards the future you want.
A settlement that works for you
Because MELCA’s process is goal oriented instead of conflict-oriented, you and your partner are able to figure out how your assets can best be shared to meet your family’s lifestyle, housing, business and investment needs; your goals for now and the future.
Assets shouldn’t be blindly divided, but rather, should be divided with a purpose, keeping both of your needs and goals in mind.