Financial advisers are tasked with protecting their clients’ wealth. And financial advisers want to help clients going through divorce make smart decisions and preserve their assets. On December 8, 2016, the professionals and staff of the Sabal Trust Company in St. Petersburg, Florida, learned how collaborative divorce can safeguard their clients’ wealth, time, and privacy.
Sabal Trust is the largest employee-owned trust company in Florida, and its Principals and staff are invested in creating a strategic approach to its clients financial security and growth. That is why they invited Family Diplomacy managing attorney Adam B. Cordover along with forensic accountant Sarah Hoerber and Brandon attorney Tanya O’Connor to discuss collaborative divorce.
In collaborative practice, each spouse has a separate attorney to guide and advise him or her through the divorce. The attorneys and spouses pledge not to engage in litigation or dirty trial tactics, but rather to work together to craft solutions that work for their family. Everyone also agrees to be transparent in their finances and dealings, so that they can reach an agreement as soon as possible.
Oftentimes, a neutral facilitator with a specialty in family dynamics will assist the spouses in communicating and focusing on the future rather than the arguments of the past. If there are children, the facilitator will help design a parenting plan that meets the developmental needs of the kids.
Further, a neutral financial professional is generally retained to help identify assets (think [dis]trust, but verify) and provide suggestions on how to untangle complex holdings. The financial professional can also develop a post-divorce budget so that spouses will land on their feet with a plan on how to live going forward.
Because of the efficiency of the collaborative team and the fact that all decisions are made outside of court, collaborative divorce helps spouses preserve their wealth, time, and privacy compared to the typical judge-decided divorce. It also helps spouses preserve their dignity.
Adam B. Cordover is a former president of Next Generation Divorce, growing it to become one of the largest interdisciplinary collaborative practice groups in North America. Adam is also a founder and principal of Tampa Bay Collaborative Trainers, with whom he teaches attorneys, psychologists, therapists, social workers, accountants, and financial planners how to help their clients through the collaborative process.