Lake Peak Associates | Certified Public Accountants

Divorce Financial Specialist

What is Collaborative Divorce?

Collaborative Divorce is the alternative divorce approach offering the parting couple the support, protection, and guidance of their lawyers and other professionals, without going to court. With their Collaborative Divorce Team, the parties work together respectfully to negotiate a mutually acceptable settlement, creating shared solutions acknowledging the highest priorities of all.

Divorce Financial Specialist

A Divorce Financial Specialist works with attorneys, clients and other professionals in the divorce process to ensure information about the couple’s finances is accurate, complete and understandable to everyone involved. The Financial Specialist can either serve as a neutral engaged by the agreement of both spouses or as an expert engaged to assist only one of the spouses.

My personal preference is to work as a neutral with both spouses and their attorneys. This role is suitable for both formal Collaborative and cooperative processes. My goal is to earn the trust of everyone involved in the process by remaining impartial in my judgment but also by demonstrating genuine care for the well-being of each spouse.

The Financial Specialist is responsible for the following tasks:

  • Gather and organize financial documents and other information regarding the finances of the parties.
  • Prepare worksheets showing the assets and liabilities of the parties and possible scenarios for settlement.
  • Document and analyze the separate and community assets owned by the parties.
  • Prepare current and post-divorce budgets and analyze cash flow.
  • Provide education to both parties regarding their current and future financial situations.
  • Analyze the tax effects of various settlement scenarios.
  • Consult with the attorneys and any other professionals throughout the divorce process.

In a scenario involving litigation where I am engaged by only one party, I work with that party’s attorney to provide the financial information and analysis to support the client’s position on issues in the case. I may also testify to the Court regarding my opinion about specific issues based on the information I have gathered.

My duties may extend into the post-divorce period by holding funds in trust, dispersing the funds for specific purposes agreed on by the parties and providing an accounting of the funds. The parties may grant me their Powers of Attorney to accomplish certain tasks such as selling a residence.

Qualifications as a Divorce Financial Specialist:

  • Continuous work in this area of specialty since 2010.
  • Annual specialized divorce training.
  • Long-term professional relationships with Santa Fe and Albuquerque family law attorneys.
  • Qualified as an expert witness in the First Judicial District of New Mexico.
  • Excellent communication skills and experience to effectively support clients through an often stressful and emotionally challenging process.
  • Member of the New Mexico Collaborative Practice Group, the Northern New Mexico Collaborative Divorce Alliance, and the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals.