What is a Financial Neutral in Divorce?
Michelle is trained in Collaborative Divorce, where she acts as a financial neutral. In order to act in this role, she has the expertise and training needed to understand financial planning and how all of the different strategies and projections are played out in a divorce setting.
As a neutral, she will meet jointly or individually with a divorcing couple, putting together a complete financial picture. She will gather information on assets, debts, income sources, insurance policies, closely held businesses and trusts. She provides the couple, their attorneys, and the mental health professional a comprehensive list of documents received along with detailed reports. As the center point for all financial data, the financial neutral saves the couple time and money by eliminating duplication of efforts and/or the presenting of inaccurate information. This process is what in a traditional divorce setting would be considered the discovery process
In team meetings, Michelle presents the information and supports the couple as they develop and refine their division scenarios. She can provide advice on tax implications, cash flow, retirement implications and valuation of assets.
Because she is acting as a neutral, Michelle cannot provide specific strategies to help one party get more than the other. Her goal is to ensure that the couple’s needs are met with the resources that they currently own. She also cannot have had a previous relationship with either individual and will not continue her relationship after the divorce is settled.