Legal group Resolution and IFA Karen Ritchie are launching a specialist divorce register to link legal and financial specialist advisers for couples going through divorce.
IFAs who want to sign up to the register will have to pass an accreditation process – which involves a two-day technical training course and qualifying exam along with additional training for collaborative divorce skills – and will be required to become affiliate members of Resolution.
The first register will be for those who undertake the technical training but who choose not to train as collaborative practitioners.
The second register will be for those who also undertake the collaborative training, which will give them skills to consider the pros and cons of various financial settlement options in divorce when the case does not go to court.
The register aims to enable solicitors to steer clients towards IFAs who meet a pre-determined standard and have a proven track record.
The training will be available from November 2006 with courses being rolled out across the country.
Sarah Lloyd, director of alternative dispute resolution at Resolution, says: “Anecdotal evidence within the legal profession recounts a number of recent instances where financial advisers, inexperienced in divorce process, have provided inappropriate advice which has later needed to be corrected. The new initiative will help prevent such instances arising in the future and work to everyone’s benefit.”
Karen Ritchie, IFA at Financial Planning for Women (FPW) and the first to sign up to the register, believes solicitors’ clients will be reassured by the existence of the register and the subsequent provision of specialist and complex financial advice.
She states: “People wouldn’t expect a doctor to deal with a toothache – they would see a dentist. Yet many people expect their solicitor to be able to advise them about financial matters when they are going through a divorce, which is a completely different skill set.”
If you have any comments you would like to add to this story or would like to speak to its author about a similar subject, telephone Emily Perryman on 020 7968 4554 or email [email protected].IFAonline
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