For Separating Couples

If you are going through separation and divorce, you probably have many questions about financial matters.

  • How do I determine the value of the family’s property (assets and debts)?
  • Will I be able to keep the family home?
  • How much income do I need to run my new household?

We can help you answer these questions, and others, such as:

  • I own a small business – how is my income determined?
  • How do I qualify for, and obtain, a mortgage?
  • Can personal financial budgeting be made easy and understandable?

At this time, when your world has been turned upside down, we can provide you with financial advice – using understandable, everyday language – that can help smooth out the path forward.  We will be with you as you go through your separation, to educate and advise.  By the end of the process, we want you to feel that the financial issues in your divorce have been addressed in a manner that acknowledges your interests and needs.  We also want you to feel that you have been educated and empowered so that you can take control of your financial affairs in the future.  Our measure of success is your level of comfort with the financial part of your new life, as well as your willingness to recommend us to family and friends who, regrettably, may be going through a separation of their own.

Some of the specific areas that we can assist you with:

    Determining the value of assets and liabilities that your family owns, which need to be summarized on the Net Family Property statement.  How much is that small business really worth?  What is an Equalization Payment and how is it calculated?

    Determining the level of income you will be considered to have, in accordance with the Guideline rules, when calculating child and spousal support.  There are potentially many adjustments that are required to be made to the income amount that is shown on your income tax return.

    Analysing the costs of keeping the family home, including qualifying for and obtaining a mortgage.  The family home is often the most significant asset (and the mortgage the biggest debt) so it requires thoughtful consideration.  Often, family considerations make keeping the home extremely important.  We can work with you on developing creative approaches to overcome a situation that, at first blush, may look financially impossible.

    Personal financial budgeting on a go forward basis.  Keeping it simple, understandable, and useful.  This is your roadmap to the future.

    Evaluation of settlement alternatives.  In comparing alternatives, apples need to be compared to apples, not apples with oranges. We can help you analyse the value, benefits and drawbacks of proposed settlements.   For example, if considering a lump sum spousal support settlement compared to monthly payments, a dollar paid to you today is worth more than a dollar paid in ten years.  We can calculate the present value to you after considering the time value of money, so you can make the decision that best suits your needs.

If you have chosen to negotiate a separation and stay out of court, Mark has the experience to act as your Financial Neutral.  Working collaboratively allows both spouses to structure a settlement that addresses their individual interests and needs.  It also provides for consideration of the income tax effects of different settlement alternatives, and allows planning to minimize tax costs for the benefit of both parties.  Working collaboratively allows win/win settlements where both spouses can end up further ahead financially than if they were dealing in an adversarial (litigation based) manner.