The Role of a Financial Neutral in Your Collaborative Divorce

Today I am pleased to share with you a guest post by Edna J. Thompsen. Edna is a local Certified Financial Planner, Certified Divorce Financial Analyst and also a member of the Collaborative Law Institute of Texas who helps families solve many of the financial challenges that arise in a Woodlands Divorce. In a Collaborative Divorce, she does this as a neutral professional. Like many people that have never been through a Collaborative Divorce you may be wondering: “what does that mean?” Continue reading and let Edna describe how she works in her own words.

A Financial professional serves as a neutral objective party on a collaborative divorce team and therefore does not take the side of either party. Our role is to guide you through the financial process as a financial facilitator. Because we are neutral this provides a safe environment for both parties which is critical since usually one party is more familiar with the finances and both need to feel comfortable to communicate.

The neutral financial professional during the collaborative process assists in basically 3 areas:

• Assist with gathering and organizing the financial information. This can be overwhelming, frustrating and very emotional during this time. Information includes an inventory of the marital assets and liabilities. In addition an income and expense statement projected for after the divorce for each party is an important tool for the divorce process.

• Assist in reviewing your options objectively. You both will have thoughts on how the assets should be divided which may look great on paper but how does that affect each of you today and in the future. This can prevent a party who thinks they may want the house to learn that after the divorce he or she cannot afford it. Also there are selling costs, penalties, taxes etc. to consider when dividing assets.

• Guide you to negotiate a solution. You may not get everything that you want but the solution should be one that you are both comfortable with which is a WIN WIN for both of you. You are not alone in this process since all parties are involved in any final decisions.

This process can save you money and more important it can save time since you have assistance to move forward at your own pace.

For more information contact Edna J. Thompsen, Certified Financial Planner, Certified Divorce Financial Analyst and member of the Collaborative Law Institute of Texas. She can be reached at 281-873-5850 or