How can the financial questions around divorce be made less complex?
Divorce.....whether it's amicable or not; complications, surprise expenses and lots of financial jargon don't help an already stressful situation.
In an interview with Divorce Financial Planner Lisa Conway Hughes, I ask for her top tips on how to make financially savvy choices when going through divorce:
Get informed and in control
In order to have an idea of where you stand financially after divorce you need to figure out your financial status as a married couple. Gather all of the documents relating to your assets and liabilities e.g. savings, investments, pensions and debts (mortgages and loans). Next create a pre divorce budget plan and a post divorce budget plan - don't forget to include all the possible income streams i.e. child benefit if relevant.
Hire good professionals that you understand and trust
Regardless of your financial situation you should speak to several legal and financial professionals to get the best guidance through the divorce process. Usually you will be offered a free consultation which will enable you to get a feel for who you like the most.
Don't just automatically go for the family home
Most people underestimate the values of pensions, especially ones that come with guarantees e.g. final salary schemes. Although the family home may seem like the biggest asset you need to consider if you will be able to afford the upkeep and also if you will have enough time/disposable income to make up your retirement shortfall.
If your partner has run up debts in their name then the money to settle these debts can only be taken from their share of the assets. However if the debt is in joint name then you are both liable. It would be wise to check your credit rating to see how you are affected.
Common Law Wife
To be brief - THERE IS NOT SUCH THING! It is an urban myth that if you are cohabiting but not married that you have the same rights as a spouse. Even if you have children together."
Financial Divorce Planner during or after divorce, Lisa Conway Hughes.