Choosing a financial planner for your family law client

Three things family lawyers look for in a financial planner.

As an experienced Family Lawyer, you already know that divorce is about more than dividing assets. It’s about helping your client on their journey through to settlement and beyond. That’s why skilled financial planners are often brought into discussions sooner rather than later. A financial planner who asks the right questions, knows how to listen, and can help clients to make sense of the situation, is a valuable addition to the team.

Anyone who is going through the pain and uncertainty of a divorce is going to be distressed, confused and afraid of what the future might hold. This can either lead to delays to a resolution, or cause them to rush into a settlement that hasn’t been properly thought through.

A skilled Financial Planner who gets involved before negotiations are underway can help reduce anxiety. This can increase your client’s confidence in their decision making about what they need now, and into the future, right through to retirement.

So, what makes a good financial planner? We think there are three key criteria you and your client might want to consider.

1. Emotional Intelligence

In our experience, fears around financial security are significant contributors to anxiety and stress. It’s imperative for your client to work with professionals who have demonstrated interest in the emotional, mental and behavioural dynamics that underpin the escalation of conflict. Emotionally intelligent people can perceive and understand emotions and can also use emotions to influence and assist reasoning. The use of these skills, combined with technical competency will assist your client to reduce feelings of insecurity and promote rational decision making.

2. Communication skills

Often the value is not in the numbers, but in the way the numbers are presented.
If a Financial Planner has asked the right questions and listened carefully to your client, they will have a deep understanding of your client’s life, their priorities and hopes for the future. Property settlement options or proposals can then be framed in a context that your client will comprehend and be able to reference to their everyday life. When the client can make a connection between the numbers and what that means to their lifestyle goals and family needs, it will far easier to reach a resolution.

3. A cool head

When negotiation becomes adversarial, it’s good to have a Financial Planner who is qualified and experienced in Collaborative Practice. That means they will be able to navigate interest-based negotiations, being careful not to anchor the client to a percentage entitlement.

In both traditional legal and alternative resolution pathways, a financial planner can collate accurate and timely financial information, particularly relevant for spousal maintenance and child support applications. Providing interactive projections of cash flow and assets values, enables informed decision making.

When you find the right financial planner, someone who can work seamlessly within your multi-disciplinary team, the journey for your client can be so much smoother. To learn more about the financial planners at Elston who specialise in family law, please contact 1300 ELSTON or visit here.

WARNINGS AND DISCLOSURES: This material has been prepared for general information purposes only and not as specific advice to any particular person. Any advice contained in this material is General Advice and does not take into account any person’s individual investment objectives, financial situation or needs. Before making an investment decision based on this advice you should consider whether it is appropriate to your particular circumstances, alternatively seek professional advice. Where the General Advice relates to the acquisition or possible acquisition of a financial product, you should obtain a Product Disclosure Statement (“PDS”) relating to the product and consider the PDS before making any decision about whether to acquire the product. You will find further details of the service we provide and any cost to you within the Financial Services Guide. Any references to past investment performance are not an indication of future investment returns. Prepared by EP Financial Service Pty Ltd ABN 52 130 772 495 AFSL 325 252 (“Elston”). Although every effort has been made to verify the accuracy of the information contained in this material, Elston, its officers, representatives, employees and agents disclaim all liability (except for any liability which by law cannot be excluded), for any error, inaccuracy in, or omission from the information contained in this material or any loss or damage suffered by any person directly or indirectly through relying on this information.

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