About SplitSmart

What is SplitSmart?

SplitSmart is an online divorce tool to help couples organize financial and child issues so they can avoid most divorce expense and drama.  Our tool focuses on the human side of divorce to get couples organized so they can quickly reach an agreement with minimal expense.  SplitSmart provides couples with a: marital worksheet, co-parenting plan, and an alternative approach to child support. 

How much does SplitSmart cost?

SplitSmart is $199 per couple per year.  Most will only need to use SplitSmart for a couple of months, but the annual subscription gives others ample time to work through the process.

What is the basic divorce process?

For financials and children, the basic process is the same: disclose, negotiate, and settle.  Financially, couples are trying to figure out property division.  Parents are figuring out how to co-parent and provide for their children after divorce.  SplitSmart streamlines and simplifies the financial disclosure process to organize couples for transparent and efficient negotiations.

Our parenting plan and child support process disconnects issues of custody and money so parents can quickly reach amicable agreements for a peaceful co-parenting future.

Why is organization important in the divorce process?

Organization is critical for couples to avoid the expense and emotional traumas of divorce.  Lack of organization enables gamesmanship that exponentially explodes the costs and conflict of divorce.  Organization helps ensure each individual is meeting his or her obligations to one another both honestly and transparently.  Organization empowers more couples to quickly reach responsible agreements on their own.  Even when some couples need the help of a mediator, transparent organization of the open issues will dramatically reduce the mediator’s expense.

For SplitSmart, it’s the transparency and accountability of the disclosure process that leads to organization for productive and efficient negotiations/settlement meetings.

How does SplitSmart help with financial disclosures?

Every state requires mandatory financial disclosures to be shared between a divorcing couple.  SplitSmart’s approach for managing disclosures streamlines the process and adapts to the needs of the couple.  As each person identifies incomes, assets and liabilities, SplitSmart creates an electronic folder for each and a list of the supporting documents that should be collected and shared between the couple.  SplitSmart connects with over 15,000 banks, credit cards and financial institutions for current balances and transaction history statements.  Amicable couples may not be concerned with supporting documents while less than amicable couples will make an expensive game out of it.  SplitSmart’s process minimizes expensive disclosure gamesmanship.

How do we keep your data safe?

Only the couple getting divorced has access to their data. SplitSmart creates a separate database for each couple so the most a hacker could get would be a single file. In order for SplitSmart to connect with the banks, we have to meet the highest standards of security. 

What is SplitSmart’s alternative approach to child support?

Amicable parents figure out child support on their own, every day without involving courts or the child support system and the conflict that inevitably brings.  SplitSmart simply created a tool to help other parents figure out child support in a more holistic and lower conflict way.  Two parts to our approach: sharing child specific expenses and contributing directly to child specific accounts.  Parents go through a short process of line item estimating expenses for each child and indicating whether or not they agree to the expense and who normally pays for the expense.  Then the expenses are totaled up by category and parents reach agreements as to their share of financial responsibility by category.  For savings, each parent outlines their intentions for their regular contributions to college savings, first car, allowance or any other investment in their child they wish to make.  The result is a low-to-no-conflict financial support approach for your children.

Will courts accept child support agreements based on SplitSmart’s alternative approach?

The short answer is YES, most will.  Courts greatly prefer parents reaching child support agreements on their own so long as the court views it to be in the child’s best interest.  If your calculations are significantly different than state child support guidelines, you might have to indicate that you are deviating from guidelines and show the expense and savings calculations as justification. 

Can only one person use SplitSmart?

Technically, yes but the benefit and value come from both using SplitSmart.  One person signs up, pays for the couple, and invites the other to connect with them through the app.  Whether that invite is sent at the beginning or later once you have had a chance to organize yourself is up to you.

How much time will I need to spend on SplitSmart?

Short answer is a fraction of what you would spend otherwise. As an organization tool, how much time depends on much data you have.  The average amicable couple with a moderate marital estate can accomplish the financial Intake in 2 hours or less in total between the couple.  Figuring out parenting plans and child support is pretty straightforward for most and can be done in a couple of hours.  How much time it takes you to reach agreement once all the data is there is dependent on you and your future ex-spouse.

For Couples

How can we keep our divorce expense to a minimum?

Step one: get organized and focus on the task at hand. Be respectful and treat the other as you wish to be treated. Be transparent, reasonable in what you want and focus on having a relatively peaceful relationship with your future ex-spouse. Most reasonable couples can reach settlement on their own. If you still have financial issues to resolve or with more complex estates, hire a neutral CDFA (certified divorce financial advisor) to help mediate your property division settlement. With children, use SplitSmart to figure out a parenting plan and how both parents will financially support the children. Once agreements are reached on property division, parenting plan and child support, there are plenty of mediators that will formalize the agreements for less than $500.

What are the divorce pitfalls we should watch out for?

During divorce, many of us are vulnerable to getting tripped up by our emotions.  When heightened emotions combine with bad advice from lawyers or friends and or mental health issues divorce can quickly spiral out of control.  When that happens, divorce becomes about money, control or “just winning” instead of common decency.  While we may be able to control our own behaviors, SplitSmart’s process helps keep the other on task as well., One of the many benefits of organization is preventing gamesmanship that is all too common. SplitSmart helps couples avoid most divorce pitfalls by simply having them focus on the tasks ahead of them.

How does SplitSmart help with property division?

Through SplitSmart’s Intake process, each person can list assets or liabilities, their respective values and upload documents that support their valuation. (ex. appraisals) The Intake data, whether manually entered or electronically captured by connecting to a bank account or credit card, populates a marital worksheet.  SplitSmart’s marital worksheet is an itemized listing for all assets and liabilities organized for transparency and efficient property division negotiations.  More complex or higher net worth estates may benefit from the advice of a financial neutral to help facilitate agreement. Most middle income families can reach a property division agreement with relative ease on their own.

What is special about SplitSmart’s approach to parenting plans?

The goal of every parenting plan should be to help set children up to thrive with healthy relationships with two loving parents. SplitSmart believes that the best parenting plans are the ones built on love, respect and flexibility.  While 50/50 parenting plans provide children with the best outcomes, 50/50 is not practical for all families. SplitSmart believes that parents should create a schedule that works best for the whole family without counting overnights to determine child support.  SplitSmart combines a comprehensive parenting plan template with a line item negotiation process to empower both parents, not just one.  Each parent can make his or her own proposal on an individual item or accept or reject a proposal from the other.  By parents stating their proposals in black and white, otherwise unreasonable positions quickly soften to a common ground that works well for everyone. 

What is wrong with counting overnights?

In most states, child support can be determined by counting the number of overnights a child is with each parent.  The unintended consequence of this is that it creates a financial incentive to custody putting the child directly in the middle of their parent’s divorce conflict.  Tying child support to custody is the primary source of conflict for most parents both during the divorce process and long after.  Figure out a schedule that works best for your family. Be flexible, accommodate one another as needed and resolve scheduling disagreements peacefully.

What parenting plan schedule is best for children?

The best parenting plan is the one without conflict. Outcomes for children are best when children can spend substantially equal time with both parents. However, because of work or travel schedules, distance between homes or schools, a 50/50 parenting plan might not always be practical or desired. Regardless of the schedule, the most important factor for children and parents alike is that parents are cooperative and respectful of one another and are in mutual agreement that the schedule works best for everyone. Disagreement and discontent with a schedule invariably creates conflict between parents that is never beneficial to the child.

What mistakes do people make in getting divorced?

Acting or reacting out of emotion is the single biggest mistake people make in divorce. Period. Next is not being organized.  Without organization, emotions can flare, expenses spiral out of control and you will not be in control. Organization helps keep emotions in check, everyone focused on the task at hand and you will be in control of the process.

 

Divorce can be 100x – 200x more expensive when people lawyer up, go to court and or have custody battles.  The adage of “nobody wins in divorce but the lawyers” is entirely true.  Invariably, people who take this path have lost control of their own emotions OR have no choice because the other irrationally took them down this path.  If your divorce takes this path, SplitSmart is more important than ever in keeping costs and gamesmanship to a minimum.

For Mediators

Is there a fee for mediators to use SplitSmart?

No.  Currently, only the couple uses SplitSmart.  Couples use SplitSmart to manage the disclosure process to each other’s satisfaction and to organize themselves for productive mediation meetings.  Print marital worksheets, parenting plans and child support calculations as working documents for settlement efficiency.  If mediation is online/remote, either may share his or her screen with the mediator while either user may edit the working documents.  If mediation is in person, working document printouts are helpful while many prefer to log into SplitSmart, and make edits in real time.  Displaying SplitSmart on a large screen can be helpful.

How does SplitSmart help mediators?

SplitSmart helps mediators by having clients organized and ready to mediate in advance of first meetings.  No more time wasted trying to track down or manage disclosures. Marital worksheets list all assets and debts and each person’s valuation with easier items resolved leaving tougher issues organized for your guidance.  Parenting plans are comprehensive and detailed and where there are unresolved items, each parent’s position is listed side by side for productive resolutions.  Since child support is framed as how each parent will provide for the children, financial responsibility is embraced instead of argued.  Bottom line is that mediators will have happier clients making more referrals.

How can I incorporate SplitSmart into my practice?

Simply have new clients use SplitSmart and email you PDFs of their marital worksheet, parenting plan and child support calculations in advance of your first meeting with them. 

Augment these working documents with your own intake form for any other issues that need to be addressed.  Modify your divorce agreement templates to incorporate the marital worksheet, parenting plan and child support calculation as printed from SplitSmart. 

Can I get referrals from SplitSmart?

Yes. Soon you will be able to register your profile on SplitSmart’s resource page and prospective clients can find you from there. 

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