"Nothing matters more in winning than getting the right people on the field. All the clever strategies and advanced technologies in the world are nowhere near as effective without great people to put them to work." – Jack Welch, Winning.
Many times in a divorce, we are more focused on curing the problem at hand, i.e., distributing real property and assets, that we forget there is life after divorce. While 'winning' may not be the appropriate word to use when describing the outcome of your divorce, you can never underestimate the effectiveness of having the right people on your team.
If your car breaks down, you hire a mechanic. If your heart is fluttering, you see a doctor. If you are getting divorced, you consult an attorney, right? Generally speaking, this is correct. But it isn't quite this simple.
Like mechanics specializing in repairing Jaguars and cardiac surgeons repairing heart valves, most lawyers today have specialized practices. For example, lawyers specialize in personal injury, medical malpractice, and family law. Within these practices, attorneys may further specialize and offer various new services previously unavailable to divorcing people.
Your professional divorce team members are among the most critical elements of a successful divorce team. You need the right people in the right roles! Who are the right people?
Family Law | Divorce Attorney
If you want to get a divorce, you should hire an attorney to represent you. Divorces can become difficult even when both spouses agree to obtain the divorce and even how to potentially divide the marital estate, child custody matters, etc. Not only does an experienced and knowledgeable attorney provide you with legal advice to help guide you through the complexities of divorce, they can advocate for you while helping you make better decisions when unexpected issues arise.
Attorneys who handle divorces are often referred to as divorce attorneys. Still, they may address other family law issues like legal separation, prenuptial agreements, paternity actions, child support cases, annulments, domestic violence, and other related matters. In your search for an attorney, you may use divorce, attorney, and lawyer as a starting point, but you can also use "family law" as the words are used interchangeably in divorce.
For example, a divorce attorney may specialize in complex divorces, while another may limit their practice to child custody disputes. Divorce attorneys also may dedicate their practices to one method of divorce resolution, such as the collaborative divorce model, while others may avail themselves of any of the dispute resolution methods best suited to their client's needs and personalities.
Divorce Financial Planner
According to the Institute of Divorce Financial Analysts (IDFA), a CDFA® (Certified Divorce Financial Analyst) is to assist the client and their lawyer in understanding how the financial decisions they make today will impact the client's financial future. When people think about getting a divorce, an attorney is the first professional that comes to mind. Typically a financial advisor – whether a CPA, CFP® or a CDFA® – is not considered until later in the divorce process – or even until after the divorce is final.
Financial problems can tear a marriage apart and are often the primary factor that leads to divorce. Many questions surface once a decision to separate or divorce is made. These questions are often clouded by wounded emotions and accompanied by mutual accusations, which is no surprise. Suppose a couple cannot solve their financial difficulties while the marriage is underway. In that case, it is unlikely that they will be able to agree on pressing financial issues when it has fallen apart.
Certified Divorce Lending Professional (CDLP®)
Overlooking the need to integrate divorce mortgage planning into the divorce settlement can have long-lasting consequences for both spouses, who may need to obtain mortgage financing during or after the divorce. A CDLP® (Certified Divorce Lending Professional) has a much broader understanding of the implications of family law and financial and tax planning as they intersect with real property and mortgage financing.
This broader understanding allows the CDLP® to identify strategies and solutions during the divorce's settlement and negotiation process, which ultimately puts both divorcing spouses in a better position post-divorce to obtain mortgage financing.
The Divorce Lending Association provides the CDLP® certification to licensed mortgage professionals who understand the gravity of working with family law professionals and divorcing homeowners. While the actual mortgage process of applying through closing may be the same as traditional mortgage financing, the nuance of divorce can change the overall spectrum of the standard mortgage process.
Traditional untrained mortgage professionals lack the expanded background knowledge of divorce, which poses a risk to the divorcing couple and the professional divorce team.
The American Bar Association defines divorce coaching as a flexible, goal-oriented process designed to support, motivate, and guide people going through divorce to help them make the best possible decisions for their future based on their particular interests, needs, and concerns. Divorce coaches have different professional backgrounds and are selected based on the client's specific needs. For example, some divorce coaches are financial planners, mental health professionals, lawyers, or mediators with experience dealing with divorcing clients.
According to the CDC Certified Divorce Coach (CDC) website, bringing in a divorce coach from the very beginning, before even reaching the separation stage, can help you work through the logistics and business of divorce, making it less overwhelming, less terrifying, and allowing you to put more energy and thought into how you and your spouse are going to reduce the negative impact on your family as much as possible.
CDRE™ (Certified Divorce Real Estate Expert)
When the marital home is being sold, not only will you benefit from having a Certified Divorce Lending Professional (CDLP®) on your professional divorce team, but you may also find the benefits of hiring a Certified Divorce Real Estate Expert (CDRE™) to help facilitate the sale of your real property.
A Certified Divorce Real Estate Expert is a neutral, unbiased expert for real property matters in family law cases. Unlike many other experts in a family law case, the CDRE™ is a real estate resource for the case at little or no added cost. CDREs are held to higher ethical standards than typical real estate agents. The Illumni Institute for the CDRE™ designation believes that every family law case involving the sale of real property deserves a trusted, vetted, highly qualified expert to advise, consult and carry out the transaction with integrity to the parties, the court, and their counsel.
What makes a successful divorce?
A successful divorce settlement is a result of putting the puzzle pieces together so both divorcing spouses come out of the divorce while again or at least on the road to recovery.
While every divorce is unique, so are the attributes of each team member. A diverse team can develop new and innovative strategies and solutions otherwise overlooked. Diversity becomes an advantage because different perspectives often result in better decisions.
Do you have questions about how divorce may impact your ability to obtain mortgage financing? A Certified Divorce Lending Professional's (CDLP®) knowledge and experience can help make the transition much smoother and more successful for all parties involved.
The CDLP® brings tremendous value to the divorce team during the settlement process. Their background knowledge of family law, financial and tax planning, real property, and mortgage financing allows them to better support and assist the divorce team and divorcing homeowners.
Working with a Certified Divorce Lending Professional (CDLP®) and incorporating Divorce Mortgage Planning into the divorce settlement may help both spouses obtain new mortgage financing post-divorce.
Contact a CDLP® today for a copy of the Divorcing Your Mortgage Homeowner Workbook, a guide to credit, real estate, and mortgage financing after divorce. This workbook will help you get organized, be prepared, and understand your mortgage financing position, whether you need to refinance the marital home in an Equity Buy-Out situation or prepare to sell and purchase a new home post-divorce.
This article is for informational purposes only and not to provide legal or tax advice. You should contact an attorney or tax professional for legal and tax advice. Interest rates and fees are only estimates provided for informational purposes and are subject to market changes. This is not a commitment to lend. Rates change daily – call for current quotations.
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