Family Finance Solutions
Alison Anderson is a Certified Financial Planner providing fee-for-service personal financial advice and planning services. She specializes in financial issues related to family law and specifically to separation and divorce as well as co-habitation agreements and marriage contracts. Her clients in separation and divorce prefer a settlement-oriented, interest-based process as opposed to a litigious court process. Most often, she is engaged with both parties as a neutral financial professional.
Alison will work with you
to prepare the legal financial documents that are required as a part of your process and ensure you understand all aspects of your financial situation.
She can help you with options to divide your assets and deal with support in a manner that maximizes social benefits, capitalizes on minimizing taxes, and takes advantages of unique financial opportunities that may not have been available to you in the past. Alison will help you identify lifestyle cash flow needs, provide ideas and support in generating and assessing settlement options and explore the what-ifs.
Regardless of where you are in the process, Alison can help. If you have just decided to separate, an Early Neutral Information Session may be a great way to get started. You may already have engaged your lawyer(s) and want a financial professional to assist as part of your team or you may be well into process and need some help to assess settlement options. And, while her services are not meant to circumvent that of the lawyer, some clients have found it helpful to begin their process with Alison before involving lawyers.
Alison offers a complimentary 30-minute initial consultation.
You may be asking…
Why use a Certified Financial Planner and Divorce Specialist in your Separation?
A Certified Financial Planner (CFP) has undergone years of extensive training and work experience to obtain their certification in personal finance and financial planning. The CFP who is accredited in the area of separation and divorce can be an invaluable resource as you negotiate your separation agreement.
The Financial Professional is not meant to replace or circumvent the legal professional. Adding their services to complement the role of the lawyer can help to ensure that the financial aspects of your separation agreement address your unique goals and the needs of your restructured family the best that it can.
Focused financial expertise
Lawyers are an integral part of the separation process but rarely have certification and focused expertise in the field of finances. A CFP with the added credentials of a Chartered Financial Divorce Specialist (CFDS) may be able to identify financial opportunities for your situation that a lawyer may not know exist.
Right expert on the right task
Your lawyer is an expert in legal matters and often has plenty of experience with financial matters as well. They are also the most expensive professional you will hire. The fact is there are many areas to be considered before you finalize your agreement that do not require any legal expertise at all and can be done more efficiently and cost effectively by a financial professional. This can include identifying cash flow and lifestyle spending needs, maximizing social benefits and other tax related opportunities, understanding your unique financial situation and personal finances in general, assessing financial implications of a potential settlement and preparing projections to assess long term implications of a settlement. A financial specialist has the expertise to do these tasks more thoroughly, efficiently and cost effectively than a lawyer.
Correct knowledge imbalance
Often, both partners in a relationship don’t have equal knowledge or understanding of the family’s finances, or finances in general. Even where the knowledge is similar, emotional issues can interfere with the ability to understand all the information and to make good, durable decisions. This leaves both spouses at a disadvantage since it can delay the process and increase costs. It can also lead to financial decisions based on emotion that may not be in the best interests of one or either party. A CFDS works with clients to ensure they thoroughly understand all facets of the financial situation and options so they can make decisions from a well-informed place and with confidence. And, because this is their area of expertise, they can do it with greater efficiency and thoroughness than the typical family law lawyer.
Eliminate redundancy and lower costs
The financial divorce specialist is able to take on many financial tasks that are part of every separation process and that would otherwise be done in the individual lawyer’s offices. Because they can work for both spouses, their fees are shared between the two spouses and they can eliminate some of the redundancies that exist when two lawyer’s offices are working on similar tasks. This all leads to a shorter more efficient process and lower costs.
The role of the financial specialist is to provide impartial unbiased information to help you make the best financial decision for your family’s unique situation. This is different from a lawyer’s role which is that of an advocate whose task is to advance your position from the point of law. Your former partner’s lawyer has the same task and the positions can often be competing. The financial specialist can help provide some balance to the competing roles of your lawyers.
Assess short & long-term implications
Agreements made during your separation can have a huge impact in the quality of the rest of your life. A Certified Financial Planner will help you understand how a potential financial settlement relates directly to your life over the short and long term and help you avoid any unpleasant surprises in the future.
Tax Deductible Fees
In many cases, a portion of the fees paid to a financial professional may be deducted against other taxable income.
A financial specialist can be jointly retained by both spouses and their fee is shared. They are able to do many financial tasks that would otherwise be done by the individual lawyer’s offices. This eliminates redundancy and allows for time and cost efficiencies.
Implementing the Separation Agreement
Many financial aspects of a settlement cannot take place until after the signing of the separation agreement and specific documentation is completed. The CDFS is very familiar with this area and can help you deal with area swiftly and easily.
Help if you are thinking of separating
If you are considering separation, a CDFS can help you get a sense of what your financial reality may look like before you make the decision.
Family Finance Solutions
Alison can get involved in any aspect of your family law matter as it relates to your finances and become involved at any time, although often she is involved early in the process. She may be your first point of contact before you have engaged lawyers or added as part of your professional team once lawyers are retained.
Preparing the financial statements for property equalization and making sure that everyone completely understands the information.
Income Support Calculations
Working with proprietary software to illustrate various support options and to optimize opportunities that will provide more net disposable income in each home.
Providing ideas and support in generating and assessing settlement options, and helping to explore the what-ifs.
“Alison Anderson is a competent & confident financial planner whose work is always delivered in a prompt, efficient & professional manner. The bonuses are her friendly personality, her incredible patience with answering questions & her ability to explain financial information in a simple, easy to understand way. She is a pleasure to work with.“
—F.L., Divorce Client
“I have always been impressed by Alison’s ability to deliver the most thorough, insightful and thoughtful financial advice. I am always amazed at her breadth of knowledge, which goes well beyond the expected service of anyone in her field. I would recommend Alison to anyone who needs a trusted advisor that will look out for their best interests.“
—C.D., Tax & Financial Planning Client
Get In touCh
Alison offers a free 30-minute consultation
Certified Financial Planner
Alison has the knowledge, skills, experience and ethics to examine her clients’ entire financial picture, at the highest level of complexity required of the profession.
Financial Divorce Specialist
As a Chartered Financial Divorce Specialist, Alison has a focused financial expertise in the areas of cohabitation, separation and divorce.