We periodically feature our members (Fellows) to help you learn more about them, Collaborative divorce, and our organization.
Name: Kieron C. Inalsingh
Profession: Financial Planner, Financial Specialist, Financial Neutral
Title: Certified Financial Planner™, Certified Divorce Financial Analyst® and Mediator
Where do you practice Collaborative Divorce (i.e. in what geographical area)? In general most of my clients are within a 50-100 mile radius of Chicago so that can also include some of Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin. However with technology today and ease of travel I have some clients that are further away.
What drew you to become a Collaborative Divorce Professional? I’ve experienced the divorce process first hand in 2005. Families going through divorce can be stressed, and financials are another level of stress for many. I see my role as one of providing financial information and analysis of the family’s situation, allowing them to choose their best scenario for their new post divorce life. Also, I’ve noticed that when a competent financial expert is not involved in the divorce process, the families may not get the best financial advice. Often things are overlooked when it comes to tax filing status, tax rates and claiming strategies for dependents, as well as not protecting spousal or child support income in the event that one parent/spouse gets sick or injured and is unable to work, or if one parent/spouse suffers a premature death. Protecting the stipulations in the decree is paramount, but are often overlooked or not sufficiently addressed. It cannot be stressed how deep and profound the effects of not accurately addressing these topics can be for parties involved in a divorce. The financial ramifications of poor financial advice and poor planning can be significant and not in a good way.
What do you find rewarding about practicing Collaborative Divorce? The most rewarding part about helping a family going through divorce is just that, helping them. It’s already an emotional time for the family, so I view my role as helping to simplify what their current financials look like, compared to what it may look like post divorce. A lot of this is through education. Sometimes one spouse (or both spouses) may not be well versed in financials, so my role is to level the playing field and get all parties informed about their current financials so that they can make good decisions. The best part, in my opinion, is that the parties to the divorce can determine how they want to divide their property, assets, investments, liabilities and debts etc in a manner they see best for themselves versus in litigation, typically a judge will follow state guidelines and ultimately determine the outcome. I believe Collaborative provides an environment that can be more conducive to equitable settlements and a higher satisfaction rate of all parties if the collaborative divorce process is done well.
How do you choose your Collaborative Divorce team? In general a Collaborative divorce team would consist of attorneys, financial neutrals and mental health professionals (which can also include child specialist). When selecting a team for collaborative divorce, some things to consider are proficiency, experience, knowledge and team based attitude. In addition to those, some soft skills are also very important, almost like a doctor’s bedside manner. But more specifically how other professionals are able to work together in harmony, be respectful to all and not create further conflict either among the team or between the parties to the divorce. This means putting the client’s interest first and checking their attitude and ego at the door. Professionals that are able to be self aware of any biases and not let that affect their part in the process are also highly desirable. E.g. Being aware of cultural differences as one example.
Tell us something interesting about you.
I’m originally from Trinidad, moved to South Bend, IN in the 90’s to attend the University of Notre Dame, and then moved to Chicago in the early 2000s. I have a thirst for knowledge and am constantly building upon the portable encyclopedia that is within. Being around fellow professionals helps to grow my knowledge. My family enjoys travel both domestic and international, being near a body of water is always peaceful and we enjoy various global cuisine from street vendors to fine dining.
For more information please visit www.mywealthplanadvisor.com