How will your services help our firm?
We help you by providing the tax and financial expertise so that you can focus on the legal aspects of the case. We can prepare the client’s AFI, model proposed settlements, calculate spousal maintenance, and provide reports and charts that are easy to understand. We reduce your liability exposure and help you grow your practice.
Will you attend the client’s mediation?
Absolutely. This is where I can add the most value by modeling various proposed settlements on the fly to show the tax and other financial implications. This allows you to negotiate better—and helps the client to understand and accept the settlement that makes the most sense.
Do you help my clients after the divorce is finalized?
Yes. We offer post-divorce transition services to help get accounts and assets re-titled, update beneficiaries, and provide lifelong financial planning services.
Have you been divorced?
Yes. You can read my personal divorce story here. Because of my experience, I can relate to the emotions your client is experiencing and help her to move forward with the decisions she needs to make.
We hate dealing with financial statements and numbers. Can you just take all this off our plate for us?
Yes. We love dealing with numbers and understanding tax laws. We want to support you by doing all the math so you can focus on your client and your case.
Can you work remotely? Or come to our office?
Yes. I am flexible to meet or do my work from anywhere.
Some of our clients need a lot of hand-holding. Can you help them to move forward with the process?
Yes. This is an area where I have a particular gift. I can empathize with your female clients in a way that most other CPAs can’t. I have been where they are and can kindly and gently help them to make the hard decisions and accept their new situation.
Are you familiar with tax laws and qualified to give tax advice?
Absolutely. This is my area of expertise. I am a CPA, Certified Financial Planner® professional, as well as a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst® professional.
Will you help clients get the AFI completed?
Yes. The AFI can be overwhelming to women who have perhaps not been very engaged with the family finances. I understand how critical it is to have accurate information and can work with her to get it completed so that you have what you need to negotiate her case.
How do you normally work with attorneys and their clients?
I am engaged as part of the team to provide support in the area of tax and finance. The sooner I am brought in, the more effective I can be (think AFI). Your client pays me directly on an hourly basis.
Do you specialize in a certain area of divorce?
My area of focus is in working with women because they are typically the out-spouse with less knowledge and experience in tax, investing, and financial knowledge. In other words, they need the most advice. My experience has been that women relate well to me and can share things that they might otherwise not share.
When and how early should I include you in a case?
As soon as possible. The sooner I am brought in to help, the more effective I can be.
Are you able to do your work quickly to meet short deadlines?
Yes. The nature of this work often involves creating spreadsheets, charts, graphs, and running various calculations with a short deadline. We can handle it.
Are you experienced in crafting creative divorce settlement solutions?
Absolutely. Every divorce situation is different and each client has different goals in terms of which assets are most important to them. We often come up with creative settlements, and make sure the client fully understands the tax and financial implications.
I haven’t worked with a CDFA® before. Why is that important?
Similar to specializing in a certain area of law, having the CDFA® designation adds an area of specialty for me as a CPA and Certified Financial Planner® professional.
Do you have experience with executive compensation such as stock options, restricted stock, pensions, etc.?
Yes. I deal with all types of executive compensation and can help make sure they are handled properly in a divorce.
My client wants to keep the family home, even though she can’t afford it. Can you help her to see that it should be sold?
As you know, this comes up often with women—especially if there are children at home—because of their emotional ties to their “nest.” We deal with this often and can help her to see that letting go of the home makes good financial sense—and that she and the kids will still have a great future.
I want to make sure my clients are taken care of. How do you work with them post-divorce?
Our post-divorce transition services and lifelong financial planning help to ensure that your client makes the best of her settlement going forward.
Can you value pension benefits?
Yes. Valuing a pension for purposes of a lump-sum buyout involves a number of variables, including the discount rate, tax rates, years until retirement, and health of the participant. We will handle this complicated calculation for you.
Clients often call us with financial questions after their divorce. Can we direct them to you instead?
Of course! We are here to take all of those questions off your plate and make sure that the client gets the right answers.
I worry about the liability associated with giving tax and financial advice to clients in divorce. Does engaging you reduce the risk of lawsuit?
Yes. We are the experts when it comes to taxes and financial advice. We will build a bullet-proof case for you that can be defended in Court, if necessary, and that will help you to avoid an unhappy client and a potential lawsuit down the road.
My clients often contact me after their divorce about how to get their share of the assets. Can you help them with that?
Yes. Our post-divorce transition services will assist your client in setting up new accounts, transferring assets, retitling accounts, changing beneficiaries, etc. That way, you can focus on your next case rather than field calls from former clients.
If a case goes to court, can you testify as an expert witness?
Yes. While most of the time the cases I am engaged with are settled in mediation, I am also available to provide expert witness testimony.
I am looking to grow my practice. Can you help?
Yes. There are a couple of ways I can help. First, I often receive calls directly from women just beginning the divorce process and I always provide an attorney referral. Second, by freeing you up from dealing with the financial aspects of your cases, you will be more efficient and be able to handle more cases each year.
I want to be a rock star to my clients. How can you help me do that?
We all want to do great work for our clients. That’s why it makes sense for you to bring me in to handle the part of the case where you are not an expert. By allowing me to build a strong case for a certain settlement, spousal maintenance, a deviation from child support, etc., you get to really shine in front of your clients, colleagues, and judges.
I hate numbers. Can you provide charts that are easy to read?
Yes. This is one of the areas that will help make your job much easier. For example, a simple projected net worth chart can make it easy to see why a particular settlement would not be equitable for your client. We have an unlimited ability to provide visual support to help you negotiate or litigate your cases.
I just heard that a non-employee spouse can take distributions from her share of her husband’s 401(k) after divorce without a penalty. Is that true?
Yes. There are, of course, special rules that must be followed but this is an excellent way to create some liquidity for the non-participant spouse after divorce.
How do you charge for your services?
Every case is different, but we charge hourly rates and often work off of a retainer.