SEPARATION AND DIVORCE
When partners split up, there are a large number of financial implications for mortgages, savings and tax that need careful consideration to avoid hardship.
Splitting up with a long-term partner, particularly a spouse, can be devastating. But while you deal with the emotional implications of this major life change, it’s all too easy to forget about your financial plans for the long term. As hard as it is, you shouldn’t do that.
At Financial Framework, we have years of experience in helping couples deal with their finances at separation. We are accredited members of Resolution, a community of family justice professionals who work with families and individuals to resolve issues in a constructive way.
The financial impact of divorce
While it is possible to divorce without incurring large legal fees, most couples will find the process expensive. Solicitors’ fees for a negotiated financial settlement will be in the low thousands of pounds. And if the case gets to court, you could be paying tens of thousands. If there are children involved, or large amounts of joint assets, the costs could be even higher.
Such costs may be unavoidable, but they are likely to leave you in a vulnerable financial position. And your day-to-day living costs may increase as you move from joint outgoings for housing and bills to running two separate households.
A divorce can also call your retirement planning into question. For example, your pension may have been set up to be shared between you and an ex-spouse. Making the most of your cash, rethinking your long-term financial goals and ensuring your money is still invested as tax-efficiently as possible is crucial. Like all the work we do, we take a holistic approach to ensuring you both come out in the best possible financial place. We can work with all the assets you hold jointly and separately, as well as projected budgets for both of you and costs involving any children or other dependants, to achieve a financial agreement that takes everything into account.
After a divorce, it is important for both parties to review their finances and legal positions to ensure everything reflects their new status. This includes reviewing who will receive your pension or other benefits in the event of your death.
You may also need help with mortgage finance for a new property and updated pension provision, and protection policies for any child maintenance that you will have to pay. Some older divorcees may also wish to take advantage of the new pension freedoms to access cash to buy new properties. It is vital to take advice before doing this.
Without financial advice, the complex process of divorce could leave you financially vulnerable for many years and may also leave your family unprotected. It is essential to ensure you have everything set up on a good footing as you begin your new life.