Here are a few answers to our most common questions
Q: What is SplitSmart?
A: SplitSmart is a tool to help couples with assets and or children to efficiently organize themselves so they can reach equitable and family friendly agreements quickly and with minimal expense and conflict. Whether the couple is amicable or heading down a path to court, SplitSmart helps keep everyone on the straight and narrow path to reaching a settlement.
Q: Does SplitSmart replace lawyers or mediators?
A: No. SplitSmart is a tool that can help lawyers and mediators improve their profitability and client satisfaction. SplitSmart does not provide legal advice. We simply get everything more organized so professionals can focus on the specific issues at hand and not waste enormous amounts of time.
Q: Is SplitSmart for all divorcing couples?
A: If you have assets and or children, then yes. If no assets or children, then no.
Q: Does SplitSmart include needed court forms or file forms with courts?
A: No. For DIY couples, your best bet for legal forms is LegalZoom.com. Most forms are available for free on court websites. If you are using a divorce professional, they can assist or direct you in filling out and filing the necessary forms with the court.
Q: How do we protect our children from our divorce conflict?
A: While 50/50 parenting time is not always practical or desired, denying a fit and willing parent equal parenting time is harmful to the child. Custody battles are fought for reasons of money, control and hatred, rarely, if ever, for the best interest of the child. Realize this and determine parenting plans that work for the entire family, are flexible and respect the fact that children want, need and love both parents, no matter how flawed either of you may be. Determine child support amounts based on actual child expenses (not lifestyle expenses) and contributing directly to child specific accounts. DO NOT count overnights to determine child support.
Q: Do we need financial experts involved?
A: Depends on the complexity and often the value of the marital estate. The more complex or higher the value, you should certainly have a financial neutral involved. It is normal for each to have different and sometimes conflicting beliefs of asset values and a neutral financial advisor helps see things objectively and can figure out solutions to complex situations.
Q: For child support, why is SplitSmart unique?
A: SplitSmart believes that everyone wants to financially support their children to the best of their ability and that no one wants to support the lifestyle of their ex through child support. Every state has child support guidelines that courts will use to determine child support when the couple cannot reach an agreement on their own. The problem is that traditional child support puts a price tag on a child’s head that incentivizes parents to fight for custody. SplitSmart provides an alternative approach for parents to share child related expenses and contribute directly to child specific accounts. By putting the focus on a child’s wellbeing, much of the custody conflict is avoided.
Q: What is discovery?
A: Discovery is any documentation, like bank statements and home appraisals, used to support incomes, assets, liabilities or any other issue that is before a court. From mandatory financial disclosures required by each state through sharing exhibit books before a hearing, there are hundreds of rules, laws and statutes that govern the discovery process for a contested/litigated divorce.
Q: When do divorces get ugly?
A: Divorce gets ugly when a bad actor is involved. Divorce can be an adversarial arena where otherwise good and decent people can easily get tripped up by their emotions, negative motivations (money, control, hatred), personality disorders (narcissist, sociopath, borderline) or bad advice from friends or lawyers. Bad actors can be one or both, man or woman, litigant or lawyer. SplitSmart’s process is designed to expose bad actors and to minimize the harm they can cause.
Q: What is parental alienation?
A: Parental alienation (PA), in some form or fashion, is prevalent in most all divorces and can range from mild to severe. Mild cases can include speaking poorly of or trying to undermine, often without realization, the other parent. Severe cases often include false claims of abuse and active efforts to interfere with a child’s love of and relationship with the other parent. Severe cases often lead to tragic outcomes for children and targeted parents alike. PA is easily recognizable but can be hard to prove.
Q: Does SplitSmart help with spousal support?
A: No. Most state laws regarding spousal support have not kept up with changing times, demographics or societal norms. SplitSmart believes that spousal support should be the exception rather than the rule. We also know that financial independence between the parties greatly reduces ongoing conflict.
SplitSmart is critical for providing peace of mind and sanity amidst any type of divorce, whether DIY, mediated, collaborative or contested, amicable to high conflict. A settlement-promoting platform for parties, attorneys and mediators alike.
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