Questions sometimes come up as to why to use a collaborative financial professional. There are many financial professionals who are interested in assisting people in the divorce process. The question comes up as to why not use someone who the parties know, as opposed to a financial specialist trained in the collaborative process, who they may not know.
I would submit that there are basically two reasons for using someone who is part of the collaborative process. First, these financial professionals understand the divorce process and understand their role in the collaborative process. Usually collaborative financial specialists are trained as neutrals. They understand that their job is to try to explain, to both parties, the different issues and facts regarding the parties’ financial situation. It is not uncommon for the financial specialist to be the neutral who is effective in bringing the parties together.
The second, and perhaps a more important reason for bringing in the collaborative trained financial person, is that as part of the collaborative process the financial specialist must terminate his involvement with the parties when the divorce judgment is entered. This ensures neutrality in the advice and explanations the financial specialist is giving. The financial specialist has no financial benefit from promoting one product or position over another. There is no money to be earned from this financial specialist once the divorce is finalized.
This neutrality cannot be overstated. While there are many knowledgeable and fine financial specialists who are not part of the collaborative process, they almost uniformly have an “ax to grind” or a product to sell. In summary, the use of a collaboratively trained financial specialist insures the use of a person who understands financial issues, understands divorce in general and the collaborative process in particular and always remains a neutral.
Velzen, Johnsen & Wikander P.C.