Your plan

Qualified Family Mediator

Neutral Financial Professional in Collaborative Practice 

How I work for YOU

There has been a certain lack of clarity about my role as a Neutral Financial Professional within Collaborative Practice and as a Qualified Family Mediator. This document was created to demystify that.

One Financial Document created with both clients is a solid foundation for a successful resolution of any agreement.

Collaborative Professionals and especially clients have much to gain by bringing in a Neutral Financial Professional from the beginning.

Satisfied clients are enthusiastic promoters of professionals who guide them efficiently through separation and keep their families out of court!

Bring me in from the beginning and it can look like this:

Step 1 – Listening to Clients

I listen to you to understand what brought you to Collaboration or Mediation. You share what is important to you and the questions you want answered. Knowing you is key to unraveling your numbers and understanding attachments you might have.

Step 2, Inform about and Agree to a process then sign the documents

Participation Agreements for Mediation or Collaborative Practice
Letter of Understanding
Credit Card Authorization or Retainer Agreement

Step 3, Clarify and Educate

My First role as a Neutral Financial Professional or as a Family Mediator is to gather, organize, clarify and document all of your financial information.

Equally important, I educate you and your teams about the rules and regulations that apply to your financial instruments.

Starting off with one Financial Document sets the stage for success since both of you have been involved in creating it and agree to it.

At the beginning of the process, before we meet, I give you a “List of Required Documents” and send you copies of my agreements to read over. At our first meeting, you bring your paperwork, I answer your questions about our processes and we sign our agreements to work together. You work directly with me to provide all the paperwork for the Financial Document.  The more efficient you are the less time it takes!

My Financial Document is detailed and organized according to the respective rules and regulations. This organization helps to clarify the division process because we can compare apples to apples.

I quantify various assets after taxes and fees, bringing in specialists to evaluate properties, businesses and pensions when necessary.

An important role as an NFP is to make sure that both of you understand what you own and the rules that apply. It’s vital that after taxes, fees, selling or dividing things that there are no ugly surprises.

Usually there is a discrepancy in financial literacy of individual clients. I teach you about any gaps in knowledge to level the playing field. Clients have an easier time asking financial questions and hearing those explanations from a neutral person rather than the spouses lawyer. You know what I mean? 🙂

Your costs are lower when I create one document involving both of you, than having two lawyers creating two separate documents. Those two documents often differ and that difference leads to arguments which lead to higher costs for you which can lead to long drawn out battles and dissatisfied clients. We’re trying to avoid that scenario and create satisfied clients who promote us to everyone they know!

Oh and by the way, my fees are deductible!

Step 4, Discussing options

In the Collaborative Process, once the Financial Document has been created, understood and agreed to by you, it’s time for a team meeting with your Collaborative Lawyers. At this point you may or may not have been together as questions were asked, so this will be the opportunity for everyone to be on the same page. As an NFP, I present the Financial Document and answer questions from you and your team members.

In Mediation,  you work out solutions together, and I am there to facilitate those discussions. Lawyers may or may not attend. That’s up to you.

Step 5, Solutions

What choices can both of you accept? We meet to reach an agreement; I write up a Memorandum of Understanding; you get Independent Legal Advice in Mediation; or talk to your Collaborative Lawyers.

Your lawyers draft a legally binding Agreement.

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How I help you

Imagine yourself on a sailboat in open water. You’re inexperienced at this. Suddenly a storm comes up and you’re terrified! You want a calm experienced skipper at the helm to steer you through the storm to peaceful waters.

In life transitions every single person and situation is unique. You have your own goals and life experiences and you deserve to have a course charted out just for you. I’ll guide you through the storm with logical steps. You’ll learn how to make sound decisions and create your own course for the future.

The Five Steps of the Planning Process as a sailing analogy:

  • You have to know your boat before you go anywhere. The same is true with finances; you have to understand what you’re working with. So, we look at the details and complete your Financial Document.
  • Before you leave the dock you should know where you want to go. To manage your money well you have to stop and think about your top goals and get a big picture of what you want and where you want to go.
  • Now you can chart your course for the journey. We will create a plan to get from where you are to where you want to go and enjoy the ride along the way.
  • By the time you set sail, you have built the confidence and clarity to follow your course and when you implement your financial plan you will have the confidence and clarity to make better financial decisions for the rest of your life.
  • Wind and weather change and a good sailor knows how to steer through those changes with confidence and still stay on course for the destination. A good sailor doesn’t jump overboard when a storm comes up, but steers through it. The same is true in life. When your goals change, when the markets change, your financial plan will have to alter course. A good understanding of the elements of your plan will allow you to make those changes without fear.

The Six Disciplines of Financial Planning

  • On a sailboat it’s important that the sails, the lines, the rudder and the crew are all pulling together and following the skippers lead.
  • In your financial plan it’s essential that these six disciplines of financial planning work together for you, the skipper of your own boat:
    •  Cash and debt management
    • Tax Planning
    • Investment Planning
    • Risk Management
    • Retirement Planning
    • Estate Planning

Your plan ensures that these disciplines work together.

In working through this process together we build a solid relationship in which I know and understand you and your financial situation. With that in place, you can call on me for guidance when the winds of change feel like they’ll blow you off course.

At your first session, we will do a thorough review of your current situation.

You will receive a “List of Required Information” to begin our work together. 

We start off by getting to know each other and I learn about you, your goals and your concerns. We complete a Financial Document to get a clear picture of your current situation and the decisions you have to make. Through our discussions we will create a plan for you to solve your issues. I will share with you any gaps in your knowledge of financial matters so that you can make the best use of the opportunities available. In the separation process there are forms to be filed for the lawyers, calculations to compare various proposals for settlement and discussions around the division of assets and support. My role includes all of these functions to the extent that you want my involvement.

The reports to the clients and the team are designed to be as clear and concise as possible.

I am dedicated to the work of a Family Mediator and a Neutral Financial Specialist in Collaborative Practice.

Payment:

Clients provide credit card information for payment of periodic invoices.

Call or email today to gain Financial Health.

604.605.3149

P@PatriciaLalondeCFP.com