What to Look For in a Divorce Financial Planner
Going through a divorce can be a difficult time, and it is difficult to know where to look for advice. There are a lot of certifications out there that can make someone seem like an "expert" in a topic that can be obtained over a weekend. Being an expert isn't about having the correct designation or letters after your name, it's about having experience with people in your situation. At Stolz & Associates, we help many people navigate their divorce process, and we believe that experience trumps certifications.
If you are going through a divorce and have questions or would like some help, please feel free to reach out.
There are lots of different financial credentials out there when you look at talking to people, especially when it comes to divorce. And so let's just take a short little time and talk about those.
So when you're looking for someone to help with tax and financial matters in your divorce, you'll see all kinds of credentials, you know little letters after people's names and little, you know all the little things that they put on their cards. I guess people still do business cards, or on their website. And those things can really be confusing.
I tell this story about my dad was on a business trip and he had a heart attack when he was out of town. He was in Washington, DC. So he was in the intensive care in Washington, DC. The day after he got in there, a friend of his, he was six-foot-two came in with a long trench coat pushed his way into the ICU and said, "I'm here to see, Paul Stolz," who was my dad.
And they're like, "You can't just barge into the ICU like that. I mean, what are you talking about?" This guy goes, "I'm Dr. So and so. I flew all night to get here." And they were like, "Okay, sorry. He's in that room over there." So after this guy left, the people in the hospital were talking to my dad about the doctor coming. And my dad was like, "what are you talking about?"
And so they told the story, this guy coming in saying this doctor and my dad kind of chuckled 'cause he said the guy's got a doctorate in economics. He had nothing to do with medicine, but we hear those credentials and we think, oh, they mean so much, you know? So we have to pay attention to those. So it's not quite that clear. I would say that credentials are important but experience is worth twice as much. So the thing you want to ask yourself is, does this person that I'm talking to, do they have substantial experience dealing with people who are in a situation like me? Do they have substantial experience dealing with people like me? That's what matters.
Credentials are great. I've got some of them, other people in the office here have lots of them. They're great, but they don't tell you everything you want to know. If you're dividing a $50,000 account or you're dividing a $50,000,000 account you want to know that the attorney you're working with, the financial advisor you're working with, you wanna know that they have substantial experience with people like you. That's what matters more than all of the credentials out there. So when you look around and you interview people, be sure and talk about this is my situation. Do you have experience working with people just like me?
So hopefully this will help as you interview different people and you find out who you wanna work with.
Have a great day.