In most divorce mediations, Mediation of Coral Springs, Inc. assists a married couple, with or with attorneys, agrees to a distribution of their marital assets and debt. However, in very complex divorce cases, our Florida Supreme Court Certified Mediators often conduct mediation where one or both parties are accompanied by another type of professional – in addition to his or her attorney.
The most common types of professionals are Certified Public Accountants (CPA) or Financial Advisors. These types of professionals are able to assist their client in understanding the values of the assets that are parts of the negotiation, especially when the asset is intangible. In case you don’t know – intangible is something that you can’t touch or hold. Other professionals such as real estate and/or personal property appraisers generally provide their written appraisals prior to mediation.
Most attorneys will not give a client advice on federal tax matters; and a mediator is neutral and unable to advise the parties at mediation. However, a CPA is able to advise a client as to the tax consequences involved with transfers of different types of accounts as well as the present and future values of other accounts.
In these complex divorce cases where one spouse is an executive at a large corporation and his or her spouse stayed home and cared for the children, having a proper valuation of intangible assets can be extremely important in helping to lead to a successful mediation. For example, the executive may have stock options – some of which are vested and others that are not vested; he or she may receive a bonus based upon gross sales or income of the corporation; and then there are a wide variety of different types of retirement accounts that include pensions, deferred compensation, 401k, and IRAs.
In terms of the spouse who stayed home to care for the children, this spouse needs assets that provides cash to live on as he or she moves forward in life as a single person; so knowing the tax consequence of cashing out a 401k or IRA can be vital is helping this person know whether an offer at mediation is fair. In addition, it is also very important for the stay at home spouse to know the future value of stock options and pensions in order to be able to make an informed decision about whether or not to accept an offer at mediation.
At Mediation of Coral Springs, Inc., we work hard to make certain that we understand the full range of possible outcomes of your case and in complex cases, having a professional such as a CPA available helps our Florida Supreme Court Certified Mediators assist the parties in fashioning a fair and equitable agreement to both parties.
As long as you and/or your spouse have the knowledge as to the value of all marital assets and liabilities, Mediation of Coral Springs, Inc. is able to help you reach an informed mediated settlement agreement.