Divorce Financial Planning and Perspective


Why is this important?

Navigating the divorce process can be stressful, time-consuming and complex. As both a Certified Financial Divorce Professional and a Certified Financial Planner, I have the know-how and experience to guide you. It is imperative for you to understand how much money you need today and in the future, and to ensure your investments are managed properly.  HighTower Bethesda has the tools and knowledge to ensure this is done right, because there are no redo’s once the divorce is finalized.  

Our Signature Process for Divorce Financial Planning

Organize Gather Data

Formalize Goals/ Objectives

Implement Long-Term Strategy

Analyze Educate/Estimate

Formalize Goals/ Objectives

Look at after-tax proposed settlements
Estimate maintenance needs
Analyze longterm cashflow and net worth 
Compare and contrast settlement proposals
Develop alternate settlement proposals

Analyze Educate/Estimate

Discuss and prioritize goals
Estimate career training costs
Estimate future earning potentials
Estimate college and educational costs
Compare after-tax asset sales
Project retirement needs
Analyze insurance needs
 
 

Leah Jones

Leah Jones is the Director of Financial Planning at HighTower Bethesda. Leah has developed a background in understanding complexities related to financial planning, with specialties in providing divorce related financial planning and perspective.  She has more than 15 years of experience in investment management and financial planning. 
 

Who I work with and how we work together?

I can work with parties individually, couples who are going through mediation/collaborate divorce process, or as a part of divorce professional team.   

Individuals

My goal is to make sure you have a financial advocate and someone that understands your particular financial situation and can explain it to you and help you strategize to move forward.  

Couples

I can work with couples to offer a third-party objective opinion and guidance when it comes to creating a financially viable and fair solution for both parties.  My job is to remain neutral and present the financial details to help both parties come to a fair and equitable financial arrangement. 

Family Law Attorneys

I can serve as a witness and objective financial resource for cases that require a Financial Planning specialist.  Whether it’s to provide perspective on settlement options to the couple before going before a judge or to provide testimony to a court, I can be a partner. 

Mediators and Collaborative Practice

I can work collaboratively with couples whose objective is to settle without a judge and minimize legal costs through a voluntary dispute resolution process. 

Life Coaches

I can work with your clients by providing financial assistance and to develop financial strategies to enable them to move forward.


When to contact me?

Before, during and after a divorce, value can be added by working with a CDFA professional.  The earlier on it is in the process, the better!  

A popular misconception is that after the divorce is done, there is nothing left to do, that’s quite the opposite.  The final stamped and signed divorce decree doesn’t transfer anything.  It’s still the responsibility of both parties to make sure the stated instructions are followed and often times there is confusion, inaction or bad instructions given which don’t follow the guidance provided by the divorce documentation.  

There are many steps to make sure you’ve closed all the gaps and it can be very overwhelming.  I can help give you confidence over your financial destiny and provide a clear vision of your post-divorce life. 
 

What is a CDFA®?


Why work with a CDFA®?

Financial analysis conducted early in the divorce process can save time.

The average length of the U.S. divorce process is eleven months, but many can carry on for years.  We find 80% of the confusion and conflict stems from the identification and division of assets, as well as with the education of both parties on the full financial picture.  In the beginning stages of the process, both parties would benefit from a clearer understanding of the financial aspects and addressing both parties’ financial concerns.

A CDFA® can help their client save money during the divorce process.

While there is an upfront cost to work with a CDFA professional, you will likely be saving money by making better, smarter and more informed decisions.  If these decisions are not given proper consideration, it will most likely cost you more in the end.  

A CDFA® can help his/her clients to avoid long-term financial pitfalls related to divorce agreements.

A CDFA professional can forecast the long-term effects of the divorce settlement.  Financial decisions must be made that take into consideration short, intermediate and long-term needs.

CDFA® professionals can assist their clients with developing detailed household budgets to help avoid post-divorce financial struggles.

Often times parties going through a divorce might be used to a higher cost of living life style, or they just may have never given any consideration to what they spend.  It’s critical to develop that budget and living expenses as you begin to prepare for a financial life on your own.  Every detail of your budget must be evaluated, measured and given proper consideration before agreeing on a final financial settlement.  

Using a CDFA® professional can reduce the amount of apprehension and misunderstanding about the divorce process.

Fear of not understanding the financial outcomes from a permanent separation can be paralyzing for couples.  I can work with you to empower you to make good decisions and feel confident about doing so and thus lesson the negative emotions that stem from having limited knowledge.  There are also no do-overs, so the proper time and attention needs to be given to all the financial considerations and then you can move forward confidently.