This fictional profile gives insight to the role that a Financial Advisor plays as a neutral in the Collaborative Divorce process.

Financial and Collaborative Divorce

The Collaborative Divorce process is an alternative process to a traditional courtroom divorce.  The process involves the divorcing parties, their legal representatives, a Mental Health Professional and a Financial Professional.  The Mental Health and Financial Professionals are neutrals in the process – neither specifically associated with either of the divorcing parties.


Taylor B. and Jordan T. are attorneys who are representing Alex and Blake Wister, who have chosen to utilize the Collaborative Divorce process.  Taylor and Jordan contacted me, as a financial neutral to round out the Collaborative Divorce team that also includes a Mental Health Professional and a Parenting Specialist.


Alex and Blake provided information about their financial estate.  Each owned Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs).  Blake has a 401K account and deferred compensation (restricted stock units and employer stock options).  They own a marital home, a vacation home, joint brokerage and checking accounts.

Values for each of the accounts were substantiated with current statements, recognizing the gains and losses in the accounts that held investment assets and the values of the deferred compensation as of the start of the marriage.  I presented options for division based on their stated goals, explaining each assets’ characterization and the effect on values.

Alex had not managed household finances in years and asked for assistance with establishing a budget.  I worked with Alex to identify anticipated expenses to determine cash flow needs.

At the conclusion of the engagement, I provided individualized financial plans to Alex and Blake that they can use as a benchmark for their specific households.

Certified Divorce Financial Analysts play an important role in helping couples to resolve the financial issues in their divorce.  The neutral perspective allows the each member of the couple to understand their finances and options for dividing their assets and to build a plan for their independent financial futures. 

Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. owns the certification marks CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and federally registered CFP (with flame design) in the U.S, which it awards to individuals who successfully complete CFP Board’s initial and ongoing certification requirements.

The use of the CDFA designation does not permit the rendering of legal advice by Morgan Stanley or its Financial Advisors which may only be done by a licensed attorney.  The CDFA designation is not intended to imply that either Morgan Stanley or its Financial Advisors are acting as experts in this field 

The case study presented is provided for illustrative purposed only.  Past performance is no guarantee of future results.  The information has been obtained from sources we believe to be reliable, but we cannot guarantee its accuracy or completeness.  These strategies do not guarantee a profit or protect against loss and may not be suitable for all investors.  Each customer’s specific situation, goals, and results may differ.

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This material does not provide individually tailored investment advice.  It has been prepared without regard to the individual financial circumstances and objectives of persons who receive it.  The strategies and/or investments discussed in this material may not be suitable for all investors.  Morgan Stanley Wealth Management recommends that investors independently evaluate particular investments and strategies and encourages investors to seek the advice of a Financial Advisor.  The appropriateness of a particular investment or strategy will depend on an investor’s individual circumstances and objectives

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