Many people find themselves in a compromised position as they are unclear how to develop a strategy for their divorce.
The state of any divorce usually does not remain stagnant throughout the entire process. Friction arises which makes it challenging to have the chips fall on your side of the table. Throughout the process you need to measure the current state of your relationship with your spouse. You have certain desired outcomes and your spouse has them too. At times you will find your objectives are diametrically opposed. This creates conflict. The stronger voice may weigh-in to influence your desired negotiating positions and resulting outcomes. If your negotiating positions continuously shift in the wrong direction you can expect your life will not end up the way you want after everything is settled. That’s why you need to make sure any professional you engage has the expertise to craft effective divorcing strategies.
How do you recognize you need a divorce strategy?
During your divorce process, if you sense your desired negotiating positions are shifting in the wrong direction you will need to craft a divorce strategy. Your divorce strategy will help you navigate your uncertainties.
What does a divorce strategy look like?
Although a divorce strategy can be a formal document, many times it is not. The divorce process is relatively fluid. As a result it is not usually worthy to spend the time to document each and every facet of your strategy. You end up talking about it and working through the details to make sure everyone is on the same page.
What people are looking for in a divorce strategy is “the next approach” and to find ways to move the needle in their direction. The less they have on their side the more vulnerable they feel. Many people struggle to find the right approach and the related words to communicate with others involved in their divorce. Designing different approaches and managing each decision is part and parcel to creating effective divorce strategies.
At any given moment people are looking to evaluate what we call the current state of their divorce chess board.
- Where are the kings, queens and pawns on your divorce chess board?
- What can be moved around to place you in a stronger negotiating position?
- What has to be said at the right points in time to help you mitigate your risks?
- How should you approach your next communication to swing things in your direction?
- How do you manage your spouse’s surprisingly changing communication style?
- How do you get people to see your perspective and change their behaviors?
- Why are certain people involved in your process taking hard stances making it difficult for you to shape risk-managed decisions?
These types of questions are what force people to think about their divorce strategy so they do not end up in a risky position after everything is settled. Silence in these situations can be very powerful and at the same time highly destructive. You have to know how to handle each situation with care as your life is being molded throughout your divorce process.
Divorce strategies are not one time strategies. They constantly evolve.
Throughout the process your spouse and potentially other advisors may say or do things that will make you feel like you have a noose around your neck which is getting tighter all of the time. These feelings will force you and your advisors to craft a divorce strategy to help you manage these perceived risks. The strategy you outline will not be a one time strategy. As new issues arise you will have to re-evaluate your existing strategy, modify as needed and create new strategies that apply to the new set of conditions that now exist. It is possible each conversation and related decision will require your advisor to help you craft a new strategy to address the specific nuances brought forth in various discussions.
Your divorce strategy should be a living breathing strategy that continuously evolves throughout your entire divorce process and at times after everything is settled too. Every decision you make needs to work together and your divorce strategy will change based on how you interweave decisions together.
Your divorce strategy needs to be designed to help you manage what your life will look after everything is settled. Throughout your divorce process you can expect to ask the question “given the new variables introduced into the process, what is the strategy now”?
It is important to find professionals who know how to craft divorcing strategies on your side
The objective is to find a professional who knows how to:
- build and execute a divorce strategy
- read human dynamics
- see around corners from different perspectives
- assess where the divorce chess board is moving at any moment in time
- design each financial layer to work together to best manage your outcomes
Without this expertise on your professional divorce team you will suffer from an elongated divorce process that will drain your business or marital estate, compromise your decision making ability throughout the process and prevent you from capitalizing on opportunity that presents itself in the process.
About the Author
Larry Smith is a Founding Partner of Divorce Outcomes, a specialized professional services firm that manages all of the financial aspects in a divorce process. Since 2003 he has worked as a trusted financial advisor, financial advocate, divorce architect and technical financial expert; he is not an attorney. He is an alumni of KPMG and Andersen with expertise in technical accounting, forensics, sophisticated taxation, management consulting, risk management, advanced process engineering, business combinations, divorce management, multi-party negotiations, advanced quality analytics and cognitive performance technologies. Since 1986 Larry has been advising individuals and organizations about innovative financial solutions to resolve complex financial challenges that arise in life and in business.
For both personal and business divorces, Larry is considered an expert in divorce strategies, divorce process management, financial divorce architecture, financial risk management, taxation for divorces, financial divorce forensics, advanced divorce analytics, financial divorce negotiations and mediation, business valuations and sophisticated equity structures. He helps clients shape complex financial decisions, manage communication risks and ever-changing negotiating positions to strategically preserve or grow wealth from these types of transactions.
If You Have a Question
If you have a question, feel free to contact me at [email protected] or 617-680-5222. The call is free. I will spend 30–60 minutes with you. I will provide you an honest assessment as to where I think you are positioned in your divorce process or answer any questions you have. I may provide you some guidance, insight or advice that you can take with you as you wish. There is no obligation to move forward. The phone call is designed to ease your fears, provide you some options to pursue and a potential road to run on that can lead you down a path to achieve a successful outcome.
About Divorce Outcomes
Divorce Outcomes is a specialty services firm that helps people both domestically and internationally manage all of the financial decisions that arise in their divorce process. We are not attorneys. We are financial experts who partner with our clients as their personal financial advocates. We help our clients manage their divorce process, uncover hidden financial risks, architect divorce solutions, manage ever-changing negotiating positions, communicate complex financial matters and close the divorce process as soon as possible with a goal to arrive at the best outcomes possible. Throughout the process we evaluate the current state of our clients’ financial lives with an objective to best reposition their future. We do not sell any products. We simply raise issues that are in our clients best interest. Our clients share with us we:
- unfold, analyze and repackage their financial life so they are well positioned after their divorce
- preserve the value of their business or marital estate
- continuously strive to provide a return on our services
- build balanced financial solutions grounded in evidence
- find ways to make our client, and at times both parties, money through the process
- design their divorce to work for them and their family’s life
- provide mental clarity to make decisions
- reduce the total process time from start to close
- minimize the stress and unpleasant memories that can last a lifetime
As we reach an agreed upon settlement structure, we help our clients identify a fitting attorney who can leverage the financial solution to draft and record the requisite legal documents. Where outcomes are at risk from a traditional process, we function as expert financial negotiators or financial mediators to turn around the situation and achieve our client’s desired outcomes.
This communication is for general informational purposes only which may or may not reflect the most current developments. It is not intended to constitute formal advice or a recommended course of action as every person’s situation is unique and different. The information here is not intended to be, and should not be, relied upon by the recipient to make a decision without professional guidance.