Last Wednesday night [July 25] I attended the TribU event, The Informed Divorce. This event was part of its “Lessons for Life” series. The speakers represent two types of professionals you may want to have on your divorce team.
The event was moderated by Tribune columnist, Jennifer Weigel, who has gone through a divorce herself.
Linda Perry, a former trial lawyer, decided after going through her own divorce that the process could be/should be handled more like a business transaction.
As a result, Ms. Perry has started a divorce consulting practice to help women find the right attorney, set goals and objectives, and to decide on the best legal process [mediation, collaboration or litigation]. This is a new type of divorce team professional, and one that I did not know about when I was seeking an attorney. You can find more details about what her services include here.
Ms. Perry described the alternate methods to traditional litigation: mediation and collaboration. The benefits to using one of these is better communication with the ex-spouse going forward. A good idea when children are involved.
Litigation is what I know the best, and it is also the most expensive. We tried mediation twice. Each time it failed. In order for either meditation or collaboration to be successful you need to know that your STBX can cooperate and compromise.
More frequently seen in divorce cases is the certified divorce financial analysist [CDFA]. Nancy Leibman, the second speaker, is one. She offers financial and divorce planning for women facing divorce. She has also published a workbook, Get Your Fair Share.
Certified divorce planners have been around for a while and they definitely fill a niche in the financial space that serves the huge audience of folks getting divorced. You see, dividing assets is not as simple as cutting things in half. Many women, especially those of a certain age, may not have been expert in handling the family finances and need advice on identifying and understanding the marital assets and how they will be divided.
Attending the event with me was one of my own experts, Cathy Belmonte Newman, also a CDFA. Cathy’s company, F4financial. has been involved in both of my trials. She reviews past expenses in order to project future expenses. In both trials, Cathy helped prepare my Disclosure Statement (also known as a Financial Affidavit), one of the MOST important documents in any divorce.
Although most of the attendees were women there were a few brave men.
The large attendance showed that there is a great need for solid information about the divorce process, especially in Cook County.
What legal professionals [besides a lawyer] would you recommend and why?
PS. I just learned that Cathy is giving a workshop on preparing your Disclosure Statement on August 9th at The Lilac Tree. Find details here.