Life Spans – Bridge Divorce Strategies Newsletter

Graphic Details

As a numbers nerd (I’m a CPA, a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional, and a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst® professional), I spend a lot of time in Excel spreadsheets, helping attorneys like you to get the best settlements for the women they represent in divorce.

I’ll always have the numbers at hand. But rows of numbers can make your eyes glaze over; even worse, it’s hard to read lots of numbers, in order to spot trends. Are they going up? Or down? What’s it all mean?

I certainly didn’t invent the graphical chart, but I’m good at making them for you. At a glance, you can see if those numbers are trending up or down. And I use color, not just “in the black vs. in the red,” but, say, Scenario 1 vs. Scenario 2. Or “Husband’s Projected Net Worth, Post-Divorce, vs. Wife’s Projected Net Worth, Post-Divorce.”

Charts like that last one can be killer. Imagine how powerful it is to see, clearly laid out, the husband’s net worth going up over the years, while the wife’s plummets. Talk about ammunition for negotiating your case.

I can graph things like who-gets-what of divided assets, along with things like spousal maintenance, earned income, and child support… situations that change over time.

Time machine

Speaking of “changing over time,” I’ve got software that’s so powerful, I can build different what-if models, and then simply click any year in the future to see how they project out. So we can look at things like “Five years post-divorce,” “Ten years post-divorce,” or even “When first child leaves home” or “At retirement age 65, or “At retirement age 70.” I can show it “If wife keeps current retail-level job vs. If she completes her college degree and ends up earning more.” It’s very powerful stuff.

My special family-law software includes 66 different reports baked into it, covering everything from “Projected Net Worth” and “Child Care Credit Report” to “Defined Benefit Plan Payouts” and “Taxable Investment Income.” But it doesn’t stop there. I can also export raw data into Excel, and create any kind of graphical representation I want—and you need.

Snap judgment

As you know, you’ll spend tons of hours on any given divorce case. But that judge or mediator will spend just a fraction of that time on it. (And they hate working with numbers just as much as you do!)

So, for the judge or mediator, it’s all the more important that we can present readily-understandable scenarios to help them grasp the situation and make informed decisions.

The charts I create can really simplify this for complex scenarios such as lump-sum vs. annual payouts for a business, spousal maintenance, or pension. Ditto for issues such as tax implications for dependents and Head of Household filing status.

The final arbiter

There’s one more important audience for charts like these, besides you and the judge/mediator. And that’s the woman—your client—who’s facing divorce and a wholly transfigured financial life beyond it.

My charts will help her see, for example, how the spousal maintenance will diminish, and eventually end, over time, and how much she’ll need to adjust to maintain her lifestyle. If she chooses to become a wealth management client of mine, I can unleash even more powerful software and charting capability, including things like a Monte Carlo analysis showing the percentage of probability for what she’ll have in the future, based on her risk appetite, a projected rate of return, her timeline, and so on. (I can do these things for you, too, if you’re interested; just let me know.)

The bottom line

The financial side of divorce is complicated; that’s why attorneys turn to me to help their clients.