Beth Barbosa Offers Pre-Divorce Planning in Edina
Pre-Divorce Planning is a very in-depth preparation and education process that can include between 8-20 hours of advice on how to finance your attorney’s time and your divorce, protect your assets and your business ownership, and gather the appropriate information prior to filing for divorce. Our Pre-Divorce Planning service in edina, mn will save you money during the divorce process if you choose to file and can protect you from emotional and financial ruin because of the divorce you may initiate in the future.
HOW IS PRE-DIVORCE PLANNING DIFFERENT THAN HAVING A CONSULTATION WITH A DIVORCE ATTORNEY?
A consultation with a divorce law lawyer in Edina is usually 45-60 minutes in length. During that time, the attorney only provides a very general overview of the divorce process. You will receive minimal information about your current financial situation and potential custody issues while in the meeting because at that point, you will not have signed a Retainer Agreement. During a consultation, a family law attorney is ethically prohibited from offering legal advice that is specific to your situation, because you haven’t yet hired the lawyer. That’s what makes Pre-Divorce Planning different.
Pre-Divorce Planning will be conducted by very experienced family law attorney for Professionals, Beth Barbosa. The service is customized for individuals who know divorce is imminent, and that if pre-planning isn’t implemented, could result in a complex web involving difficult financial and/or child custody issues. During the process, Beth will provide planning, education, and strategic advice in four distinct phases.
THE FOUR PHASES OF PRE-DIVORCE PLANNING IN EDINA
The Assessment Phase will allow Beth to gather relevant information related to your business, practice, assets, liabilities, insurance policies, children, and other areas that will be extremely important in the divorce. The assessment phase also allows Beth to provide an overview of the complete divorce process, including estimated costs of each step in the dissolution process such as discovery, temporary hearings, mediation, experts, trial, and discussion on how, given your current economic circumstances, you can begin to gather funds to afford an attorney and the have more control over the divorce process. Finally, you will complete a financial questionnaire detailing your assets and questions about your overall financial goals in a divorce.
Tax and Financial Review
The Financial consultation involves advising you on all financial information and documents gathered in Phase I – financials you will need to be on top of going into the divorce process in the future. The Phase II meeting will focus on:
- Obtaining Financial Documents. We will discuss with you how to go about getting the financial records such as bank statements, retirement accounts, investment accounts, life insurance policies, your will and estate plan, real property and credit card statements, as well as the operating and buy-sell agreements from your business or practice.
- Tax Implications. We will review the tax implications involved in your divorce, particularly if you have an executive compensation plan including stock options, or other complicated financial situations you may be involved in.
- Non-Marital Assets. Whether you have received gifts or inheritances or will be receiving gifts and inheritances prior to or during the divorce, we will discuss how to protect your assets, so those that qualify legally remain non-marital assets. We will also discuss what documents are needed to trace and report your non-marital assets.
- Real Property Ownership. We will discuss and advise you on your options regarding any real property you own or rent, as well as that property’s possible disposition.
- Business Ownership or Partnership. We will also advise you as to the myriad options and legal instruments available to you, if applicable, to legally safeguard business assets from the divorce, which includes an in-depth review and possible modification to your business ownership or partnership documents. We have attorneys in our office who will work with you to review and update those documents if required.
- Your Monthly Budget. We will have you prepare a monthly budget of your expenses. This will include gathering information to support a realistic monthly budget requirement. We will also discuss the issue of spousal maintenance and whether it would apply to your situation.
- Experts. We will discuss the need to consult with other professionals such as vocational assessment experts, financial planners, business valuators, CPAs, bankers, and business or estate planning attorneys.
In this consultation we focus our discussion on custody and parenting time goals you have including:
- Custody. We will discuss the best interest factors for you and your children, custody options and designations, parenting time and schedules. Beth will provide strategies to gather evidentiary support to argue for the parenting time that is best for you and your children, based on your involvement with your children while married.
- Custody Evaluation. We also dive into the purpose and role of the custody evaluator, necessary experience requirements, the pro’s and con’s of attorney and non-attorney custody evaluators, and the estimated costs of their services.
- Parenting Coach. We will discuss the purpose of a parenting coach, his/her role, and the cost of a parenting coach. We will determine whether a parenting coach is necessary to retain prior to the dissolution action.
Adverse Tactical Maneuvers and Mental Health
During this consultation session, you are told of the adverse tactical maneuvers of divorce that you may face in the future, such as closed bank accounts and credit cards, or failure to pay familial expenses. We then provide strategies and resources as to how you can minimize the financial and emotional impact of such maneuvers allowing you to effectively continue to work, while trusting your attorney to serve as your advocate. We will discuss the importance of maintaining your emotional and mental health and provide referrals to therapists if needed.
After each consultation you will be provided tangible documentation outlining the process and/or specific tasks to complete to implement the strategies discussed, or the names and contact information for outside experts to consult.
- Timing – The four-phased process can be implemented in as few as a couple of months. However, if you are interested in this service, we strongly recommend you begin the process at least one year prior to the possibility of filing for divorce.
- Scope of the Retainer Agreement – The retainer agreement for Pre-Divorce Planning in edina, mn is specific to the actual services described above. You are under no obligation to hire me if you do decide to file for divorce down the road. That said, I would welcome the continued opportunity to represent you in your divorce. Should you decide to retain Gilbert Alden Barbosa for the divorce, you will be asked to execute a new Retainer Agreement covering the divorce proceeding.
Pre-divorce planning isn’t widely discussed in some circles, so you may feel unsure about what exactly it can achieve or whether it would be beneficial for you. Many people aren’t even aware it’s an option to work with an attorney to prepare for a potential divorce in the future. Beth has written a blog post answering some of the commonly asked questions about the pre-divorce planning process, including:
- Who should consider pre-divorce planning?
- Why is pre-divorce planning necessary?
- How can I begin pre-divorce planning?
If you’re trying to determine whether this process is right for your situation, you can start by reading Beth’s blog post which answers some frequently asked questions about pre-divorce planning. You can find the blog post here.
As always, you can contact Beth Barbosa if you have additional questions, or if you would like to retain an attorney for pre-divorce planning.
Pre-Divorce Planning FAQs
Unfortunately, people can make many financial mistakes during a divorce. The biggest mistake we see is people not understanding and preparing for what a divorce entails. It will be a big change for all aspects of your life, especially your finances. That’s why we recommend pre-divorce planning with an experienced family law attorney who can explain the whole process.
It is illegal to hide assets during a divorce, so your spouse could run into legal issues if they decide to go that route. Your attorney should be able to help you get to the bottom of inconsistencies with your assets, so you’ll know whether your spouse is hiding anything as you move through the divorce process.
In some states a couple is required to be separated for some length of time before filing for divorce. In Minnesota, this does not apply. You don’t have to be separated before you get divorced, but you can use a separation of at least 180 days as grounds for filing for divorce.
If you’re concerned about how your retirement accounts will fare in a potential divorce, we would recommend speaking to a pre-divorce planning lawyer. They will be able to take a look at your assets in addition to your liabilities, insurance policies, children, and other areas that will be extremely important in the divorce. They will also advise you as to the myriad options and legal instruments available to you in your divorce.
Pre-Divorce Planning is a very in-depth preparation and education process that can include many hours of advice on how to finance your attorney’s time and your divorce, protect your assets and your business ownership, and gather the appropriate information prior to filing for divorce. A pre-divorce planning lawyer offers planning, education, and strategic advice unique to your situation.
You are not permitted to move around money or assets in the midst of divorce in an attempt to create a financial advantage. The best way for you to protect yourself is to be prepared for the divorce process. Pre-divorce planning will show you what to expect, especially if you are going through a high-asset divorce where there’s a lot to sort through.
You can protect yourself and your assets by thoroughly evaluating separate and marital assets, gathering all relevant financial documents, and, most importantly, consulting a trained professional who knows what you can expect during a divorce. A pre-divorce planning lawyer can help you with all these steps and more.
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