A fundamental fact of divorce is that it realigns relationships. When their clients divorce, financial planners must make sure they promptly and clearly redefine their own relationships with those clients.

"This is an area of practice fraught with conflict-of-interest issues," says Stewart Koesten, chief executive of KHC Wealth Management in Overland Park, Kan. Financial planners "have to face the fact that married couples and partnerships split up," he says.

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