21 November 2019
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 call 1300 ELSTON or email firstname.lastname@example.org