Securing Your Financial Future After Divorce
In his interview with Suzy Miller of the Alternative Divorce Guide, Charlie Reading, of Chartered Financial Planning firm Efficient Portfolio, talks about securing your financial future after divorce, and how to prepare for and deal with the financial impact of divorce.
The financial impact of divorce can be very demanding, especially as it comes at a time when the emotional stress is already high. Taking the time to plan financially helps ensure that your divorce runs as smoothly as possible, increasing your chances of a fairer settlement and greater future security.
As you make the shift from planning your finances as a couple to going it alone, you will need to develop a resilient, flexible strategy to prevent yourself running short of funds in the future. This will also help you to cope with the unexpected. A holistic financial planning service is the way forward, whether you need to reorganise your finances now, want to establish a new financial plan for the future or make sure your plan is adaptable to any future changes. Here is how you can tackle the situation in the most effective way:
Know What You’re Dealing With
If you’re facing an uncontested divorce or a default divorce, the process is more straightforward than a contested divorce, which can involve considerably more expense through court cases, barrister or solicitors’ bills and costly legal fees. A different plan will be needed in each case.
Take an Inventory
If you’re about to approach your spouse about a divorce or separation, make sure you have a plan about where you will live, and what your incomings and outgoings will be. Have a thorough idea of what your shared financial assets are, such as investment accounts, insurance policies and other assets (cars, houses, etc.)
As well as money for the lawyer and other associated legal fees, you will also need a financial cushion to help you move into a new house and deal with your living expenses. If you don’t, you might face the worst-case scenario of being forced to accept a divorce settlement that doesn’t fully compensate you or completely support your needs. Having a financial plan in place will equip you to ascertain what is rightfully yours.
Sort Out Your Paperwork and Create a Divorce File
Getting your finances in order means first getting all your paperwork organised. Taking copies of deeds, insurance policies and other important financial documents is a good start, and you should securely store account numbers for bank accounts, credit cards and car loans, investment accounts and retirement savings accounts. Be prepared for the splitting of your financial assets by starting a divorce file so you can easily get access to all the information you need.
Seek the Help of a Financial Adviser
To ensure that if something unexpected happens in the future, and your financial plan is not derailed, you need to find a highly-qualified adviser who specialises in estate planning, taxation and investments. A professional of this type will ensure that your estate is dealt with in a tax efficient manner and is protected for your family in the future. This needs to be someone who you can trust and who understands your needs. You can read our free guide to finding an adviser here: *Finding an adviser in a post RDR world.
Undertake Lifetime Cash-Flow Planning
This process will help you to clearly see how your new future looks from a financial perspective, allowing your adviser to identify opportunities and alert you to areas that require immediate attention. Your adviser will model and calculate your future financial needs, to help you understand the implications of different divorce settlements and outcomes. Working with your adviser, you will be able to identify how to make your money work harder for you, how to improve the pensions and investments you already have in place, and you will receive recommendations on the best strategy for your new future.
Efficient Portfolio help people to clarify their situations and equip them with the tools to build a new, successful future built around their individual goals. As the founder of this company, I provide detailed and bespoke financial guidance for couples navigating divorce with a view to the future they want to create for themselves – and for their now extended family. Just because you are divorcing or your family is ‘changing form’ doesn’t mean you can’t all have a bright future ahead.