The Practice wife sits across from the ex, separated by 12 feet of highly polished maple, flanked on one side by counsel. The room is silent save for some papery rustling noises and the scratch of a pen. The room designed beautifully and intentionally. Contemporary art, statuesque corner pillars, textured gobs of paint clinging to canvases strategically and expertly hung about the windowless room. Its been 4 hours already, hermetically hostaged, as she sits and wonders the inception of the divorce factory. Tic Toc Tic Toc distilled to dollar signs, hopefully half way done.
The room has been stage many times before and will again host who gets the silver tea caddy and who wins the weed whacker. It may be at the beginning, middle or end of the divorce process, the division of chattels, perfunctory, necessary, dehumanizing. It can be an unanticipated expense necessitating legal representation, invoiced at a combined $1,000.00 an hour, minimum.
In some instances it is crucial if the family strappings include invested wine collections, Titanium golf clubs and 7, 467, 232 air mile points. However, for the everyday combined income of $200, 000.00 it is without a doubt a battle of who wins and who loses, an emotional pissing contest for Uncle Harold’s fishing gear.
So why mention it? Time and again reason and level headed thinking produces results far greater than the Tupperware war. Consumed with replaceable items the parties grind each other down as the lawyers write lists and trade off dates. The Practice Wife must be skilled at calculating the Return on Investment, this is not the time to waste money and resources on Rubbermaid. Seriously consider flipping a coin or drawing numbers from a hat because no one walks away from this table feeling equalized.
The Practice Wife must ensure that items of quantifiable financial worth are to be included in the column within a Net Family Property Statement (NFP) versus mediated chattel. It is the same column of divisible pensions, CPP and accumulated corporate stocks. An important note is a term of disposition fee’s. If RRSP’s are being rolled over for settlement the disposition fee’s and accompanying taxes are deducted from the bottom line of the total NFP Statement. A trick to be aware of is to check and triple check that the fee’s are only subtracted not the fee’s and RRSP value combined. Yes, this double dip does happen, often too late realized or recoverable. CPP contributions are considered as equal property and often overlooked so along with a pension evaluation (this is a free 1 time service available to both parties by the provider) an evaluation of CPP credits is a must.
5 hours now, the list added to, subtracted and moved around as chess pieces. The savvy Practice Wife conceding on the small picture, understanding that the value of contents are deeply discounted as garage sale items. She knows better now, choosing instead to focus past the $5,000.00 already consumed by counsel and vows that she will buy herself a new rug, couch and chia pet. She leaves with her dignity and her list of compromises and much more than the kitchen sink, which is now on the list of her ex.
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Tomorrow’s blog….”In the Best Interest of who? Oh, right, the Children”