Choose A Divorce Mediator With Accounting Experience
When you choose a divorce mediator that is also a qualified and experienced accountant as well they will play a vital role in the discovery and negotiation phases of the divorce settlement. They will assist both spouses to gather all of the required financial information and will make the overall financial clear to both parties.
This is essential so that the couple make the right decisions. The current situation needs full understanding and the future needs planning for. It is often the case that one of the spouses knows more about the couple’s overall financial situation than the other. A good mediator accountant will seek to equalize the situation through education and encouragement.
Often a mediator accountant will assist in the movement of a spouse from total dependence on the other spouse to total independence. They will deal with the correct division of assets and help to indentify tax benefits associated with the division of property.
Assessment of other tax ramifications that are associated with child support and other aspects of the divorce settlement take place. Communication is essential in the mediated divorce model so your mediator accountant will keep you informed every step of the way.
In most divorce cases the two biggest assets to be decided over are property and any retirement plans. In some cases there will be family businesses involved and this makes everything more complex. Your mediator accountant will have the skills to tackle these as well.
Dealing with Retirement Plans
Then can be an awful lot of emotion surrounding retirement plans. People invest in mutual funds and stocks and have spent a lot of time nurturing their investments so that they achieve the best results.
The other spouse may have the opposite view and prefer a liquidation of the investments in order to raise cash. Your mediator accountant will handle this sensitively, with the pros and cons of liquidating any retirement plans carefully considered.
Both spouses need to understand that just cashing out a retirement plan will have tax implications and maybe other penalties. If they just transfer to new retirement plans then this will not attract any taxation. Using their experience your mediator accountant will explain how to withdraw pension funds without incurring early withdrawal penalties.
The Marital Property
As a divorce professional it is the job of your mediator accountant to help both spouses make the transition from a single family unit to two family units. Careful decisions need making about the family property and this can often be very emotional.
Your mediator accountant will view your property as an investment. They will want to discover everything about it including the area it is located in, the costs of maintenance, interest on the trust deeds and property taxes.
In previous years it was quite commonplace for the family home to remain and lived in by the mother and the children. The father would have to find his own place to live. The tax laws have changed dramatically over the last few years and now a couple can earn up to $500,000 without having to pay any capital gains tax every two years.
Also if the father does move out of the home under a divorce settlement to let the mother and children live there they will still be entitled to the capital gains exclusion. If the house needs selling as a result of the divorce settlement then each party can claim a percentage of the exclusion.