Standard disclosure: we may earn money from the companies mentioned in this post. Visit my disclosure page for more info
It sounds like an impossible counsel of advice, doesn’t it – surely divorce always becomes a painful experience.
I remember only too painfully, in fact, the time when my ex-wife and I realised that it was no longer working and that we needed to agree on a divorce. What a torrent of emotions! I think I swung from sorrow to anger, resentment to fear, and loss of the past to joy for the future – and that whole jumble of emotions all in the space of the same day.
Through all the emotional turmoil, I think we both kept coming back to a central concern about how the divorce was actually going to work – how were we going to agree a division of the assets or material possessions we had accumulated during our years of marriage?
It was a difficult subject, of course, and one in which we had fundamentally different views. I don’t think it was solely a question of self-interest, but a genuine difference in the way in which we believed our assets should be divided at the end of the day.
Matters probably weren’t helped by the fact that our respective relations also took a view on how much each of us had contributed financially to the marriage and a wariness that the other party was somehow trying to hide the facts.
The forensic accountant
My ex-wife and I were trying our hardest to ensure that the divorce was going to be no more painful for either of us than need be. But suspicions about disclosure, suspicions that either one of us was somehow being less than honest about the assets we held, persisted.
This was the point at which the Forths forensic accountant stepped in. You can’t imagine the relief all parties felt when an objective, independent professional was called in as arbiter of the squabbles we were having about money. We had to disclose our asset details, where he justified everything to me and my wife. A third party who has no personal or emotional interest in the matter is best for such circumstances. I felt the distribution to be fair where I got to kept all that mattered to me, whereas willingly gave away a portion I think she deserved too. I got to keep my car as I was giving loan payments for it, thus making me the rightful owner.
We knew there could be no margin for error, since the very definition of a forensic accountant is that his evidence with respect to all financial statements must be suitable for use in a court of law. That knowledge and certainty gave us not only a respect for what this professional was striving to achieve, but also the satisfaction that the financial evidence revealed was designed hold up in a court of law. My wife got to keep the gifts and jewellery items presented to her in the course of our marriage. Our savings were mostly in monetary terms and were apportioned according to our contributions. Salary slips and other documents were used to justify the matter as to who contributed what to the savings.
Both of us felt fairly treated and were agreeable to the arrangement.
And the result? I know that my ex-wife would join me in saying that the work of the forensic accountant took some of the sting out of the painful process of divorce. I can’t say that the divorce became miraculously pain free, but I can say that the relief of arguing about the accuracy of our respective financial disclosures – the bedrock for the way in which we proposed to share our marital assets – had certainly become more objective, more certain and given the stamp of professional approval.
My name is Ted, and I enjoy writing and reading about financial matters. I am passionate about helping people through my experiences.