GENESEE COUNTY -- The financial impact of traditional divorce can be messy and have long-lasting effects. That’s where Margie Shard can help. Shard, CFP®, president and wealth advisor at Shard Financial Services, Inc. in Fenton, recently attained memberships in two organizations that specialize in a unique form of divorce and civil dispute resolution called Collaborative Practice. The knowledge and training Shard has received as a member of the Collaborative Practice Institute of Michigan and the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals (IACP) will help alleviate the financial toll families face during divorce and other types of civil disputes.
Collaborative Practice, including Collaborative Law and interdisciplinary Collaborative Divorce, is a new way for families to resolve disputes respectfully -- without going to court -- while working with trained financial, legal and mental health professionals who are important to all areas of your life.
“Collaborative Practice keeps the divorce process out of the court room by using techniques that support a non-adversarial, respectful process,” Shard said. “At the same time it empowers couples to steer the entire process toward a mutually agreed upon solution that supports the integrity of family, finances and custody issues.”
While the statistics about divorce aren’t changing (half of all first marriages end in divorce), how couples are choosing to end those marriages is changing dramatically. The IACP reports there are 20 times more collaborative professionals working now than just 10 years ago. And this explosion is changing how people get divorced from Canada to the Far East.
Collaboration has been slow to take hold here, though. Shard currently is the only CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Professional in Genesee County involved in Collaborative Practice. She wants to build a community of local attorneys,
health professionals and other financial planners who share her belief in finding
collaborative solutions for dissolution of marriage, child custody and
co-parenting issues and division of assets.
Clients share that spirit of collaboration. They sign a document promising they will reach an agreement without going to court.
“This sets the mood that it won’t be an “us” verses “them” battle,” Shard said. “Instead, it’s a team approach where you, your spouse and your lawyers sit around a table discussing your needs.”
The Collaborative team comes up with creative solutions that help clients feel more confident about their future.
For instance, in traditional litigation, Shard said a court often requires couples sell their house and split their assets. In a Collaborative divorce, the splitting spouses might decide it’s better to rent the house for a couple of years and then buy it from an ex or sell it at a later date. Clients get to explore all options and decide
on what’s best for them and their family.
Working with a team of Collaborative professionals does something else, too. It keeps the client clear-headed and focused throughout the process. They’re not drowning in their emotions and making decisions they later regret.
What’s more, the collaborative model understands after a divorce, you don’t stop being a family. The model redefines your family structure – knowing you still have a future together.
For more information about the Collaborative divorce process and Shard Financial Services, Inc. in Fenton call (810) 714-5566 or visit the company's website. Learn more by visiting the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals (IACP) website.
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For general informational purposes only. This information is not intended to be a substitute for specific legal advice. LPL Financial does not provide legal services.
Collaborative Practice and its associates are not affiliated with LPL Financial.