Monday, 14 January 2013

Are You Contemplating Divorce ? An inside look with divorce professionals

Radio Shalom 1650AM in Montreal
Wednesday March 21rst 2012 at 4pm-5pm live from the Business Headquarters in Montreal
Money and Business show /Host Samuel Ezerzer

listen to the show 
Some marriages end suddenly while others seem to fall apart over a long period of time. No matter what the cause, if your marriage fails, you are likely to feel a whole range of intense emotions: sadness, anger, hurt, fear of an uncertain financial future, loneliness, confusion over the many decisions you must make, and a sense of failure at your lost plans and dreams. Divorce is a life altering and often financially challenging event.
More often than not, the standard of living of both spouses drops in the first few years after divorce , that’s because the same cumulative income and pool of assets now has to support two households, instead of one. Unfortunately, most people don’t prepare themselves financially or emotionally for that consequence.
Over 150,000 Canadians separate each year and 75,000 divorce. Depending on the province, up to one half of all marriages end in failure.
"Increasingly, financial advisors, particularity those qualified as financial divorce specialists are becoming involved in helping people through divorce.
As we all know Divorce can be very damaging emotionally and financially. There are Financial Divorce Specialist who are uniquely qualified to assist in dealing with the often complex financial issues in a divorce , more so than a lawyer or a trusted Accountant.
It is generally understood that assets are split 50/50 in a divorce - but what does this mean in specific circumstances? Various assets may have different values depending on a number of factors including present and future taxation.

So Can the Financial Divorce Specialist help clients avoid making costly mistakes in the division of assets as they relate to their future well being?

Can the financial divorce specialist save couples with the high legal cost?

Do they give legal advice or provide mediation services? More often than not, does the standard of living of both spouses drops dramatically in the first few years after divorce and Why?
So what can you do to better prepare yourself if you plan to divorce? Is the answer simple, no?
Today we will also talk discuss a new trend in the divorce dispute and process , it’s a new concept called collaborative divorce— a form of alternative dispute resolution in which the financial professional serves as neutral counsel to both spouses, who are each represented by a collaborative lawyer.

Today live on the money and business show to discuss collaborative divorce and its financial impact on couples is Kathryn Jankowski ,she is Vice President and Financial Divorce Specialist in Toronto for T.E.WEALTH and from Montréal participating in our discussion is Johanne Elizabeth O'Hanlon from O'HANLON SANDERS TEIXEIRA law firm in westmount.


My name is Samuel Ezerzer, your host to the Money & Business show on Radio Shalom, CJRS 1650 AM. Thank you for tuning in live with our Business studios headquarters in Montreal, the financial capital and the home to the greatest hockey team, the Montreal Canadians. We have another great show for you today and as always, you can call if you have any questions, comments, or criticisms on today's topic. Please call us direct at 514 738 4100 ext 200 or email me at if you have any inquiries. You can also visit our website at  all our shows are archived there. 

Today our topic will be Surviving Financially After Divorce; it is an" inside look with divorce professionals and the role of the financial divorce specialists , and how it can affect your standard of living if you got the wrong advice!
watch videos of show


Surviving Financially After Divorce
Today our topic will be an" inside look with divorce professionals and the role of the financial divorce specialists , and how it can affect your standard of living if you got the wrong advice!

                                                                         PART 2

                                                                         PART 3 

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Kathryn Jankowski she is the Vice President and a Financial Divorce Specialist, for T.E.WEALTH in Toronto . Kathryn has more than 20 years in financial services and wealth management. As an accredited Financial Divorce Specialist, Kathryn is uniquely equipped to help people plan financially through separation, divorce and remarriage, each of which bring their own complexities to an individual and a family finances.

Johanne Elizabeth O'Hanlon from O'HANLON SANDERS TEIXEIRA, she has an undergrad degree from Concordia University. She received a Bachelor of Civil Law degree, a Bachelor of Laws degree (Common Law), and a Master of Law degree from McGill University. She is also a lawyer trained in Collaborative law. Johanne has been practicing in the field of family law since 1995. Her specialty is negotiations and alternative dispute resolution all the while providing litigation services when necessary.
(She has worked on numerous custody issues, international kidnappings, divorce, separation, support claims, and partition of wealth issues. Johanne O'Hanlon has also delivered conferences at a national level on issues of representation, unmarried spouses, game theory and family law negotiations, as well as general family law topics. She recently represented the Women’s Legal Education and Action fund (LEAF) at the Supreme Court in the Eric and Lola case on unmarried spouses.Me O'Hanlon also serves on several Bar committees attempting to improve aspects of legal representation in Québec.)  lawyer trained in Collaborative law. Johanne has been practicing in the field of family law since 1995. Her specialty is negotiations and alternative dispute resolution all the while providing litigation services when necessary.

If You Are Contemplating Divorce, Best Get Your Finances in Order First right? And what should you know before you contact a lawyer?
KATHRYN -Different processes of divorce
Owning your own process
Choosing a process that works for your family
What are the major Mistakes to avoid during divorce that most people go through when getting divorce?

KATHRYN -Don’t mаkе аnу significant investments before уοur settlement іѕ signed
-Don’t mаkе аnу significant рurсhаѕеѕ whіƖе negotiating уουr settlement – уου mіght еnd up being responsible fοr thаt рurсhаѕе, such аѕ jewelry, vacation, clothing аnd ѕο οn.
-Don’t mаkе рυrсhаѕеѕ based οn projections; уου never know hοw іt wіƖƖ turn out

What is the role of a financial divorce specialist?
Cannot give legal advice
Help to stop financial mistakes from happening
A lot of budget planning
Forecasting person’s financial life
Lawyers deal with the ‘here & now’
Ongoing forecasting through the negotiations stage
The premise of the collaborative team is that the parties and their chosen professionals act as a  problem solving team , so how does the financial divorce specialist fit in terms of this “team”?

KATHRYN -Unlike mediation, where clients negotiate directly with an impartial mediator, in a collaborative process lawyers not only provide legal advice, they also participate as problem-solvers with the clients during all negotiations. Lawyers offering a Collaborative approach must have specialized training and agree to work ethically and co-operatively with each other to ensure their clients are well-informed and participate fairly in the process. Both lawyers and clients sign a participation agreement that establishes rules of conduct, including agreement that neither party can go to court during the process. To ensure everyone has an interest in reaching a settlement, if negotiations fail, both lawyers must withdraw and different lawyers must be hired by the parties to take the matter forward to court.
Watch a short 13 minute video on the Team approach to Collaborative Practice that was produced by the Ontario Collaborative Law Federation.
If I’m hiring a lawyer why would I want to pay for an additional professional like yourself Katherine?
KATHRYN -Can cost less
More information
Tax issues addressed

When negotiating your divorce settlement how important is record keeping? Example your Account statements have a way of disappearing when divorce proceedings start. When contemplating divorce, do you start by collecting statements for all your financial holdings and put together a list of assets?

Do you only work with collaborative cases?
Examples of family law cases I have worked with,

Are all financial divorce specialists collaboratively trained?
KATHRYN -No. They don’t have to be but to be engaged in the collaborative process they should understand the power of their neutral role

Can you explain more about what you mean by the neutral role?
Two lawyers, can have two family professionals
One financial person works with both spouses
In many cases, one spouse – usually the wife – wants to keep the house. Though this might be emotionally satisfying, does it usually makes financial sense to stay in the house? and How do you deal with asset division?

Pension issues
Family business – business valuator
Net family property
Ability to refer to other professionals due to the team approach

What happens if we can't agree on all of there issues?
Is Collaborative Law the "better way" for me?