Historical Analysts During Divorce
Are Historical Analysts Helpful During a Divorce?
A Historical Analyst is an unbiased party, which means that they do not work for either of the attorneys involved in the case. They assess the couple’s financial situation and use their true income to make suggestions for child support, alimony arrangements, the division of property, and distribution of liabilities. A Historical Analyst will typically have a Bachelor, or advanced degree, in Business or Accounting. They may be a Certified Public Accountant or Wealth Manager. Whatever their credentials, they are steeped in finance and the understanding of how money impacts divorce. In addition, the Historical Analyst will look at the financial assets shared by the couple and discuss, in an amicable way, how those assets may be best divided so that everyone wins.
No matter how much two divorcing parties claim that they want to maintain civility during their divorce, it does not take much for their wishes to unravel into a contentious situation. Divorce, in and of itself, is an emotional rollercoaster even when there is the best of intentions to keep it as low conflict as possible. Rational people often become the most unreasonable part of themselves, not willing to compromise or even listen to pragmatic suggestions.
Assets and Child Custody
There are a few situations that typically become tenuous, during divorce, and they are allocation of assets and child custody. Sitcoms and movies have been written to make a joke of high conflict divorce because of how the extreme nature of people’s behaviors can translate into humor. The movie The War of the Roses is a perfect example of each partner being unwilling to compromise as they continue to “one-up” each other in the contention. Although the embellishments are exaggerated, in the film, there is some credibility to the situation. You know what they say about art imitating life.
Avoiding Financial Devastation
One of the biggest fears that people express to me is that of financial devastation. Divorce has a financial impact on the family, and it is a challenge and possibly a hardship, for people to maintain two households on an income that supported one. The future can be frightening for people to try to figure out what life will look like a year, two or five. Who stays in the house and who moves? Do they sell the house? Does the house have enough equity in it to buy another house? Are the parties faced with having to acquire a second job to make ends meet? Who will pay alimony and/or child support and what will that do their ability to save for their retirement? Financial fears increase as people try to maneuver through the process.
Sometimes one attorney will assure their client that they will receive certain financial benefits or what is “owed” to them, often to the detriment of the other party. We all know or have heard of stories, where one person was granted the marital home while they receive a hefty monthly check from the other partner who has been relegated to live in a studio apartment for a long time. These situations are about which side can win, which side can show the courts that the other person is deserving of the grand settlement. As a result, the other person lives marginally above the poverty line if not below it. These scenarios are not about equity. Rather they are about an attorney’s ability to win a settlement for their client. Have we all not heard of the infamous shark attorney; the one(s) everyone wants to have represent them?
This financial raping is of no benefit to anyone. If there are children involved, they will witness the struggle between their parents to which one will lose.
Sadly, the person who feels wronged may convey their plight to the children which involves the children in an adult situation that is way beyond their emotional comprehension. The parent who feels wronged may engage in alienating the children from the other parent. Their belief may that their former spouse got the money, the property but, they will not get the children. Therefore, the children become another piece of property, one that won’t get lost this time.
In the “olden days,” as recently at ten years ago, divorce attorneys often used Occupational Therapists to help determine who could afford what so that expense considerations could be made for final settlement. One of the many issues that arose from using an Occupational Therapist is that they often stated what someone could earn instead of what they did earn. Those expected salaries were used for settlement calculations. So, for example, if one of the parties was a teacher who earned $50,000 a year at their job and the Occupational Therapist stated that, using their charts and research, the teacher could earn $65,000 a year, it was the $65,000 a year salary that was used for the settlement calculation.
This led many divorced people into financial hardships after their divorce; people who had to take another job to make ends meet. To demonstrate how unreasonable this kind of thinking is, can you imagine being able to acquire a car loan or a mortgage based on a salary you may be able to have or one you want instead of the one you have? I can’t imagine a lender being agreeable to that uncertainty and yet, this practice for calculating child support, alimony and other areas of divorce settlement has been used for years.
Money is about power and as people feel their monetary health fail, they feel the loss of that power. A Historical Analyst understands the connection between financial health and the feeling of empowerment and therefore, work to assure that each party’s financial concerns are addressed. The use of Historical Analysts is a win-win for both parties and utilizing one’s services should not be overlooked when going through a divorce.
The Historical Analyst is a burgeoning profession that has surfaced in order to obliterate the financial inequities of a divorce settlement.
I dive deeper into Historical Analysts and finances during divorce in The Divorce Recovery Ladder Guide