The Accountant’s Role in Cooperative Divorce
“As an accountant, I play an active role in the discovery and negotiation phase of the divorce process. It’s my job to help the divorcing couple assemble their financial data, so that they know and understand their economic position in order to make decisions about their current situation and plan for the future. Usually one of the parties has a better handle on the family’s financial picture, and I attempt to equalize the power by education and encouragement. Sometimes I have to help move one of them from dependence in the direction of independence. Quite often attorneys send their clients to me to assist the couple in dividing their assets. I help them determine the tax benefits and costs associated with the property division and the tax ramifications of different spousal and child support combinations. In the cooperative divorce model, I maintain communication with the attorneys to keep the process moving along smoothly.
These days, if there is no business or professional practice involved, the two largest assets are the residence and the retirement plans.”