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    Why hiring the right experts is critical during divorce proceedings

    Emotions can run high during a divorce, but working with the right professionals can help to streamline the process.

    During divorce proceedings, there can be many emotional moments for the dentist. From getting served with papers for probably the first time in his or her career to communicating with professionals and having problems with getting calls returned, this may be one of the few circumstances in his or her career that the dentist is not in control of the outcome.

    Unlike financial, clinical and employee situations, the dentist is now at the mercy — from a timing perspective — of his or her own advisers and those offering advice to the ex-spouse. If the experts are slow in communicating, there is certainly going to be tremendous angst in waiting for an outcome to a proposal or opportunity to discuss settlement ideas. The mediation portion of a proceeding is one of the best ways to reach closure based on the money and effort being expended. One of the few ways to accomplish this is to get the professional advisers to coordinate things so that a conference can be held. Even if no agreement is reached, ideas will be exchanged so that each party has a better understanding of the status of the opinions.

    There are many areas to learn about before retaining experts who will shape the next few years of the dentist’s financial life. Read on to find out more about who to retain for this matter.

    More from the author: What effect does divorce have on dental practice values?

    Who should be hired and who should take the lead?

    It is rare for an attorney to have much experience in dealing with those in the dental world. Dentists seem to be the last bastion of advisers to have been sued. When that suit does occur, it is typically from a former partner, employee or spouse and not from a patient. Finding the right attorney to represent the dentist is an important step in making sure that the legal adviser is ready for what to expect from the dentist who rarely is a litigant.

    From an experience perspective, the dental CPA would be the one offering the most insight into the dentist’s financial situation from an income standpoint as well as from a valuation approach to the actual value of the dental practice. The importance of the communication between the attorney and the dental CPA can not be stressed enough. It is incumbent upon these advisers to work together to assist the dentist through this precarious period of his or her life.

    Even with the cooperation of the professional advisers, the dentist most likely will still experience difficulties in accomplishing the finality of the proceedings. There is little that can be done about the delays because the court will award postponements on a very flexible approach. This makes the cooperation between the dentist’s advisers that much more important. The dentist’s experts want to make sure that they are not the ones delaying the proceedings since the dentist typically will want to end the proceedings to be able to move on with his or her life.

    Up next: How to find the right experts...

    Bruce Bryen, CPA, CVA
    Bruce Bryen is a certified public accountant with over 40 years of experience and is a part of RKG Tax & Business Services LLP, an ...


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