Divorce for your married clients is a real possibility.

Since the need for this kind of advice, statistically, should present itself almost as frequently as the need for estate and tax advice, odds are you’ve already needed to do a bit of divorce planning in your practice.

So, to help with the hard and soft skills related to divorce planning, we’ve compiled this package of education and designation information, divorce planning checklists, article links and information on services for high-net-worth divorcées.

1. Responsibilities of a divorce planner: Divorce planning is not for the faint of heart. When clients split up, advisors can find themselves dealing with a whole new world of legal and fiduciary responsibilities, not to mention emotional baggage. Finding your place and managing the process when clients divorce is just one part of it. If you have a strong financial planning background, however, and enjoy intriguing challenges, divorce planning could be for you. Read more.

2. Working with lawyers: When it comes to divorce, the failed union between a husband and wife usually gets the most attention but they’re not the only couple trying to work things out – lawyer and advisor partnerships can be as adversarial as your client’s crumbling marriage. This dynamic is changing, slowly, but it’s generally up to the advisor to take the lead, prove they’re professional and work to create the relationship. Read more.

3. Leaving the nest: The “empty nest” is about to become even more roomy as more couples with 25-plus years of marriage under their belts join the trend of couples facing the typical five-year matrimonial split. Perhaps it gives a whole new meaning to the Beatles’ “When I’m 64”. Given that many of them are your clients, you’ve got to ask: Do roomier homes make for fatter wallets? Read more.

4. Can’t we all just get along? You’ve seen your fair share of clients ranting about money hits they’ve taken during public divorce court battles. While their settlements might now be signed, sealed and delivered, it’s not too late to talk to newly separating clients about the private alternatives that are starting to gain momentum in the Canadian divorce milieu. Read more.

5. Divorce checklist: Your clients are divorcing. Just like initial client meetings, there are a number of documents they need to bring to your appointment and a list of things you need to discuss with them, in preparing for any major division of assets. Use this customizable checklist to help prepare your clients for the process. Read more.

6. Related articles, links and other resources: All the tips, advice and tax strategies, along with the hard facts and soft skills of divorce planning, can be difficult to contain and explain in just one package. For more reading, we’ve delved into the archives to turn up past articles that could help build this part of your practice. Read more.

For more insight, read “Split” from the March issue of Advisor’s Edge.

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