I recently worked on a case for a client of mine (a woman facing divorce), and the opposing counsel did everything they could to belittle me and make me look incompetent.
Guess what happened after the case closed? That same attorney reached out to me, to help them on a new case of theirs. I laughed. I was flattered.
In this article, I’d like to take down some poorly-rooted assumptions about what I do. Sure, clearing the air will help me. But more importantly, it will help your clients, and absolutely help you. I guarantee it.
(“Guarantee!”??? You’re surely saying: “Strong language!” I agree. I stand by it. Stay with me.)
The elephant in the living room
As a CPA, a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional, and a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst® professional, my specialty is helping women with the financial side of divorce. We’re talking about everything from completing the AFI to pension valuations, spousal maintenance, lifestyle analysis for child-support deviations, separate property tracing… stuff like that. I’m part of their team, along with their attorneys and sometimes others, ranging from business-valuation experts to therapists.
When it comes to divorce, the family-law attorney is the star. That’s you. And having worked with so many attorneys, for so many years, I know what things you like, and what you dislike, and so I help you get more of the former, while avoiding the latter. As you would say, “to wit”:
• You like being not just a star to your clients, but a superstar, when it comes to improving their settlement.
• You like having more time to take on more cases.
• You dislike sticking your neck out on anything that could be construed as financial advice: a potential liability.
• You dislike the prospect of “selling” anything, beyond yourself, to your clients.
Am I right?
Well, when you work with me, I’ll take away the potential liability issues, since I am a bona fide financial expert. You won’t get bogged down in that stuff, so you’ll save time/get more time to take on more cases.
I think that all of that is fairly obvious.
But what about that last one? The “selling” part. That’s the elephant in the living room. If you’re going to refer one of your clients to me, isn’t that, by definition, “selling”?
Like you, I work on a retainer. Unlike you, my rate is lower than yours. And way unlike you, I can actually put a money-back guarantee on my ability to perform. And I do.
You read right. That’s no hyperbole.
No lawyer would, or could, ever make a guarantee like that. You’d have to be crazy.
I’m not a lawyer. I’m also not crazy. I’ve crunched the numbers (my specialty), and realized that I can guarantee that every divorce client I handle will get back more, in her settlement, than my fees. Or I’ll refund my fees. Simple as that.
Which gets back to that living room. And the elephant therein.
You don’t have to sell anything. You don’t have to worry about reducing your revenue. You can simply tell your client, “Hey, I know this woman who specializes in the financial side of divorce. She’s apparently not crazy, and—get this—she will get you more, in your settlement, than she charges, or she’ll give you your money back.”
It’s a no-brainer. It really is.