Merit has been in the business of helping women to take control of their financial future for over thirty years. Our team of professionals includes Certified Divorce Financial Analysts™ and CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERS™ with a wealth of knowledge and experience, working collaboratively to support you before, during and after your divorce.
Our Divorce Strategies service was created to provide the specialized expertise needed to guide you, step-by-step, through the financial implications of your divorce and to help you put your life on the right track. Our goal is to help you achieve financial confidence by taking control of your financial future.
Whether you are contemplating a separation or divorce, or are in the midst of negotiating a settlement, divorce financial planning can be critical to helping to ensure these and other important considerations are adequately addressed, including your:
- Standard of living
- Retirement planning
- Lifestyle goals
- Risk management/Insurance
- Income sources
- Estate planning
- Investment management
- College planning
Our approach to divorce financial planning leverages our comprehensive planning process which adheres to the high standards. We begin by conducting an in-depth lifestyle and cash flow analysis, including a thorough review of your investment portfolio.
Detailed Scenario Planning
Using industry-leading financial planning software, technology and tools, we help you plan for multiple settlement scenarios. Scenario planning can help provide the critical information you need before you enter an agreement with your spouse, including:
- Identifying the sources of income that will support your lifestyle now and in retirement.
- Prioritizing financial and lifestyle goals and desires.
- How long your income may last.
- How changing economic and market conditions may impact your settlement over time.
- The tax consequences of different settlement options.
We help clients stay focused on the big picture while understanding the details, knowing their finances and negotiating for what they need and want. We work with divorcing individuals to provide clarity on the critical financial issues that arise before, during and after divorce. Responsibilities to our clients include:
- Educate you on your finances to create a clear view of the path ahead
- Gather and assess financial assets and liabilities for your statement of net worth/financial affidavit
- Categorize and review historical spending patterns
- Determine and document separate and marital assets
- Locate hidden assets and trace funds moved between accounts
- Document marital standard of living
- Review financial statements and tax returns
- Prioritize personal financial goals and responsibilities
- Project anticipated financial needs
- Review public and private sector retirement plans
- Review and evaluate employee benefits (including stock options and restricted options)
- Collect, analyze and review insurance policies (Term, Whole Life, Buy-Sell)
- Analyze and review executive compensation plans
- Project post-divorce household funding requirements
- Compare, contrast and tailor a settlement that fully addresses current and long-term financial needs
Divorce can be one of the most stressful processes a client ever goes through. Because you want to ensure your client’s case is prepared with every advantage possible, Merit will put our experience to work at every step in an attempt to help you pursue a fair, financially equitable divorce settlement.
Put our professional divorce financial experience to work for you.
Our team assists attorneys in compiling and evaluating the often vast detailed financial information inherent to divorce: we’ll review all documents, statements and records to corroborate every budget expense and ensure your client’s financial declaration will advocate their case. We will present you with compelling specific case exhibits. In addition, we perform in-depth research so clients can be confident they have a comprehensive financial plan that is just as effective before, during and after the divorce settlement.
Depending on your preferences and the sensitivities of your clients, we can work side-by-side with you as an integral part of your client team, or provide our full range of services discreetly behind the scenes.