February 17, 2014 - 15:47 — KentPalmer

It is not uncommon during divorce to discover that one of the spouses has been relatively uninvolved in the family’s finances.  This may have been due to a lack of interest in financial matters or perhaps simply a decision to split the household responsibilities differently.  In any case, whether it’s the husband or the wife, the uninformed spouse may profit greatly from education and advice.

That’s the message from accountant/advisor Richard Feldstein, writing recently on this topic in the Wall Street Journal online.  (The article was published in the Wealth Advisor section on January 16, 2014.  A subscription is required to view it - here is the link.)  Although he writes specifically about high net-worth families, his advice pertains to all income levels.

Feldstein emphasizes the importance of making sure that the “out spouse” (his term for the financially uninformed spouse) receives a fair share of the couple’s assets.  Employing a forensic accountant can be helpful in ensuring that assets are not being hidden.  The accountant can also analyze income and expenses, which is critical to a fair determination of spousal support and/or child support.  Particularly in cases where the “out spouse” does not work outside the home, cash flow projections can help in the development of a financial plan which may support this spouse for many years to come.

Finally, a competent advisor may provide pertinent advice regarding the investment of assets.  This can be especially helpful for spouses who lack investment knowledge and require education or advice to make smart financial decisions.


The Library has a number of books which might help clarify some of the financial issues related to divorce.  These include the following titles.

Also, from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. on March 4th (at Nichols Library) or March 5th (at 95th St. Library), the library will host the program Gaining Financial Control of Your Divorce.  Graham Craig, a financial planner with Robert W. Baird Co., will explain how to avoid some of the most common financial mistakes people make during the divorce process as well as show the sources of money that may be available to you as a result of your divorce.  The program is identical on each night, so pick the location that is most convenient for you.  Registration is not required.