Financial Planner Fabio Ventolini of Bellwether Family Wealth Discusses Approaches to Divorce Planning

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Fabio Ventolini, a financial planner and seasoned divorce financial planner of 21 years discusses divorce planning options.

When you are preparing to file for divorce, it is important to look at the bigger picture. In Canada, there are many options to consider when planning your divorce.

When spouses are ready to file for divorce, they must face a stressful series of events. As these couples often have different points of view on topics such as living arrangements, parenting schedules, property division and finances, the divorce process can be complicated and emotionally draining.

Getting through a divorce is much easier if you are informed and understand how the process works before it begins. Fabio Ventolini, a financial planner of 21 years outlines the different approaches to divorce and the options that couples have during these challenging times.

Q: What are the options to consider when planning a divorce?
Fabio: When you are preparing to file for divorce, it is important to look at the bigger picture. In Canada, there are many options to consider when planning your divorce. The most popular are: the conventional path, mediation and the collaborative approach.

Q: What is the conventional approach to divorce?
Fabio: The conventional approach essentially involves each spouse hiring a lawyer to negotiate a settlement or go to court. This is the most common. Lawyers are equipped to consider the financial situation at the time of matrimonial split. Couples on the path to divorce are more conscious today of the repercussions of a poor divorce settlement and are more careful in considering the future impact of their agreements. Thus, hiring a Certified Financial Planner or financial divorce planning professional to help you with these matters is crucial. A well-trained financial planner realizes what your assets represent both financially and emotionally and help you facilitate a path to settlement which works for you both now and in the future.

Q: What does mediation involve?
Fabio: A divorcing couple can work with a mediator, which is a neutral third party that helps them come to an agreement on decisions involving their divorce. The mediator can be a lawyer, however each spouse must consult their own individual lawyer prior to the meeting. The primary purpose of the meeting is to secure a mutual agreement. This process can possibly reduce costs, time and the emotional energy involved in reaching an equitable settlement. Contrary to the conventional method, people who opt for mediation own their decisions and are usually much more satisfied with the results of the settlement. In fact, it is statistically proven that these agreements are challenged less than settlements that have went through a court of law.

Q: What is collaborative family law?
Fabio: Essentially, a team of professionals consisting of lawyers, a financial analyst and a social worker (or other mental health professional if children are involved) work together in the best interest of both parties. They combine their expertise and assists the couple to develop a fair and equitable resolution. The main difference is the couple retains lawyers who commit to working with the family to achieve an out of court settlement. The benefit of this path is that although you are paying for the efforts of multiple professionals, in the long run your expenses are less than a prolonged court hearing with its additional legal fees. The downfall to this option is that if the couple encounters an obstacle and must resolve an issue in court, the entire team is released and new lawyers must be appointed.

Q: What are the benefits of hiring a Certified Financial Planner or experienced divorce financial planner?
Fabio: Hiring a financial planner with knowledge on the divorce process may save couples time and money. The divorce process takes a year to complete on average. In the beginning stages, a lot of time is wasted on couples trying to get a good understanding of financial concepts and terminology involved with separations. A financial planner can explain all financial aspects and empower their clients to make informed decisions throughout the entire process, thus saving them time and money. After all, the only way you can make a legal settlement that fully addresses your financial needs and capabilities begins with understanding the process and having a clear view of your financial future. Misinformation and misconceptions can be detrimental to the divorce process. Couples often have false expectations that they will be able to secure their settlement and proceed with their accustomed style of living. Financial planners do their best to ensure you have a stable economic future and prevent any long-term regret with financial decisions made during the divorce process. Working with a financial planner can help you avoid both short and long-term financial struggles. By working with the client and lawyer, financial planners can take care of immediate family needs, in addition to long-term needs including retirement, tax liabilities and benefits. They also assist their clients with developing detailed household budgets and help in calculating what their divorce will cost them in the long run in order to develop a realistic monthly budget.

About Fabio Ventolini: Fabio Ventolini is a trusted specialist in tax, retirement and estate planning for executives, business owners and affluent families. For more than 21 years, he has worked closely with clients to generate tailored financial planning and financial services. He recently joined Bellwether Family Wealth, a division of Bellwether Investment Management Inc. as the Vice President and Family Wealth Advisor. Through this role, he guides the management of corporate investments and protects their assets from creditors and liabilities. He also takes on financial planning roles for affluent individuals and families.

Fabio Ventolini can be contacted at fabio.ventolini(at)bellvest(dot)ca.

This article was written by My An Tran, Senior Copywriter at Mrkt360.

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