Life Spans – Bridge Divorce Strategies Newsletter

Remote control

I’d like to re-visit a topic I’d touched on a while ago; as you’ll see, it’s high time that I did.

It stems from one of the FAQs on my site: “Can you work remotely? Or come to our office?”

The answer, of course, is “Yes” to both.

Mind you, we’d penned that FAQ before the pandemic. Pretty prescient, huh? So now that the masks and the mandates are largely in the rearview mirror, I thought it would be a good time to talk about how you—and I, and your clients—can approach the remote vs. in-person decision.

What’s changed

If the pandemic taught us anything, it’s the value of flexibility. Sure, there’s a recent shift—especially from employers—for a return to the office, but we also must accept the fact that things will never be the same as they were, pre-Covid. It’s on you—and me—to be flexible.

Trials are largely in-person again. Ditto for mediation, whether formal or informal. Why? It’s easier to “read” people, to pick up on their body language, and to interact with them, in an in-person setting.

That said, employees have made it clear that they like working from home. Without a lengthy commute, they have more hours for the job. This affects divorcing women returning to the workforce: Many will, for example, want the flexibility of being able to pick up their kids from school in the middle of the day.

The downside: A potential employer won’t like that as much; they wonder: “Will that person actually be working all day?” This is the kind of info I share with my clients, as a CPA, a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional, and a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst® professional.

(Side note: Here at Bridge Divorce Strategies, members of our team routinely work from home. As their boss, I’m not concerned. Know why? We communicate so much, so often, all day, that it’s basically impossible to not be available.)

What hasn’t changed

So, there’s Zoom. And “hybrid schedules.” And all that.

But know what hasn’t changed? It’s the need for you to do the best possible job by your clients. That means doing the legal stuff that you love and are great at: things like parenting arrangements and negotiating settlements.

It also means getting a financial pro involved early in the process.

Sadly, this is something that hasn’t changed enough in the past few years. I’ll have a client come to me, post-divorce, and I’ll clearly see all the detritus of the original settlement: Financial issues that should’ve been phrased differently. Or issues concerning dependents, head-of-household status, taxes on stock options, and so on. I often hear myself saying to women: “If I’d just worked with you and your attorney a year ago, your situation would be so much better today.”

In other words—if you take nothing else away from this article—know that there’s a ton more to the financial side of divorce that exists upstream of when you “hit that financial wall” and think to call in someone like me. So, it’s more than specialties like business valuations, separate property tracing, and pension valuations. It’s basic stuff, too. Like calculating bimonthly vs. biweekly income on the AFI; I can’t tell you how many times I see errors on this—too late!—and it makes a big difference in the settlement.

Get me on your team early. As in, now.

Contact me to set up a say-hello chat.

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