Susan and Sam Hais

By Sarah Crowder

To assist in the areas where legalities and finances overlap, family law firm Hais, Hais, Goldberger & Lambson has brought in a new, dual-role team member: a legal professional who also is a certified divorce financial analyst.

“People go to lawyers for divorces, and they go to financial planners for financial planning—but sometimes, people need to combine disciplines for specific purposes,” says attorney Sam Hais. “There are contingencies and possible pitfalls that are peculiar to many of our life situations, and divorce is certainly one of those. To be more specific, it’s not just a matter of coming in and planning what documents and arrangements you need; it’s how to plan financially for the short, medium and long term with regards to the reproductions related to divorce, which are many and varied.”

This service begins with Hais' new legal professional, Ellen Hilboldt. And if having an employee like Hilboldt serve in this dual role is as beneficial as planned, the service may expand into future offices in the greater Metropolitan area, according to the Haises. 

“What that means practically to the client is this: Someone comes in and says, Should I sell my house? Should I keep my house? What’s going to happen if I keep the house and I do certain things with my financial planning? … [And this] will at least give them an educated view of what they can expect, and it gives them the ability to make informed choices,” says Susan Hais.

The Haises explain that this “educated view” is beneficial not just for their client, but the pair seeking the divorce—and that it could possibly help maintain professionalism between attorneys. “Rather than behaving in a professional manner, [some] lawyers file all kinds of hostile motions and generally behave in an uncivil fashion,” Sam explains. “We’ve always taken the position that it’s not necessary to be hostile about this, and the person who is a lawyer ought to conduct herself or himself in a professional manner. If both sides are clear about what their goals are, sometimes those generalized kinds of conflicts don’t get the chance to arise in the first place.”

Sam explains that having a certified divorce financial analyst within the office can better help clients prepare and plan for their financial future by using the same strategic planning used in other areas of the divorce process. Privacy and budget also are perks of this new system, according to Susan, who notes that the firm always has been able to outsource a financial pro—but using someone in-house makes more sense for the client economically and in regards to client-lawyer confidentiality.

On The Cover: Family law firm Hais, Hais, Goldberger & Lambson now offers in-house financial expertise thanks to new legal professional, Ellen Hilboldt, who also is a certified divorce financial analyst. Pictured: Sam and Susan Hais. For more information, call 862-1300 or visit

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