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Here’s some common questions asked by SmartSplit clients…

Why do I need an CFDS when I already have a lawyer?

They are better equipped with the necessary financial knowledge that clients will need. The will be more cost effective and they can help generate outcome scenarios that better reflect the needs of the individuals while helping the parties come to a quicker settlement.

Would it cost more by using a lawyer and CFDS?

The faster you understand the financial options and impact of various decisions to be considered, the less costly your legal bill. Couples can often get stuck on particular financial issues that may not be worth the battle. A CFDS can help you assess and put costs to those issues which can in turn save you money.

What is the approximate cost?

The cost is dependent upon the scope of the work and the complexity of the family financial situation. You can spend as little or as much as you need to help make you confident about the decisions you are making.

Will a CFDS do the complete divorce without a lawyer?

No, the role of a CFDS is to deal with the financial aspects of the separation or divorce. They are not lawyers and therefore, do not provide legal advice. It is recommended that you use a lawyer to deal with the legal aspects of your case.

Will using a CFDS mean getting a bigger settlement or more support?

Not necessarily. A CFDS can ensure that all information has been provided and that all variables have been reported accurately. They can also analyse the settlement options to help maximize financial benefits to the parties. Specialized reports can help identify financial shortfalls so that they can either be addressed immediately by way of alterations to support or help the client implement the tools necessary to help with any problem areas. Could this result in adjustments to support or better settlement outcomes, yes it can.

What is a Parenting Plan?

A parenting plan is normally attached to your separation agreement. It sets out the schedule and protocols to be followed for the living arrangements of children. It allows separating parents to avoid conflict by dealing with specific issues relating to the children. These issues can, but may not be limited to, child support, parenting time, decision making, transportation, vacations, letters of permission for travel, holidays, health, visitations, school activities and any other issues that would require specific protocols be in place to effectively parent and ensure the overall well-being of the children.

What’s the difference between mediated report and a separation agreement?

A memorandum of understanding or mediated report is an agreement between two parties. It represents a collection of terms, guidelines and arrangements indicating a common line of action. The out come to a mediated report involves interest-based negotiations. The report becomes the framework that will ultimately become the work that will be your final separation agreement.

Do I require a lawyer to legalize my final agreement?

Yes, if your agreement has specific obligations to each other of financial nature, whether that be property division or support, then its best to ensure it is filed with the courts to protect both parties and ensure there is recourse should one party not fulfill their obligations.

How long does the mediation process take?

The mediation process relies heavily on how quickly the parties can come to a mutually acceptable agreement.

What does the mediation process involve?

Step 1… Individual intakes with both parties
Step 2… Gather the necessary financial disclosure information required
Step 3…Start working toward settlement of issues