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Securing your finances after divorce

It is often said that marriage is about love, but divorce is about money. Coming on top of the emotional turmoil of separating, the financial implications can appear daunting. You may have fewer assets available to you, and be dealing with pressing issues around keeping a roof over your head and making sure your children are securely provided for.

But divorce, and the financial settlement that may accompany it, is also a fresh start to the rest of your life. Whether you are giving assets away or receiving them in settlement, you’ll want to make sure you make the most of the wealth you have. That means creating a robust financial plan to help answer the key questions that arise after divorce: Can I maintain my lifestyle? Will I be able to realise my goals and ambitions? Will I be able to retire comfortably? Will my children have a secure future? Can I still afford their education? Will dividing the family assets lead to huge tax bills? Am I confident in making sound financial decisions about these complex issues?

As a recent divorcee, it is vital to ensure your aspirations are underpinned by sound Financial Planning. This will give you peace of mind to focus on a new life and a secure lifestyle.

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More than seven in ten couples do not give any thought to pensions when they are going through a divorce.

The Pensions Policy Institute, 2019

Moving on from divorce – the key financial questions

How do I best provide for my children after the divorce?

Will I have enough money to afford my current lifestyle?

Should I keep the marital home?

What do I need to do about my pension?

At what stage should I consult my Financial Planner about my divorce?

If I receive a substantial lump sum settlement, how do I prioritise my financial goals?

How do I best provide for my children after the divorce?

Divorces are particularly hard on children, especially those who are under 18 and still in full-time education. One of the most important things parents can do when they separate is to put aside differences to ensure that there are no tensions or disputes around who is paying for what as far as the children are concerned. For that reason, it can be helpful to keep discussions about seeing your children and financial support as separate issues.
 

When it comes to the financial issues, our Financial Planners can talk you through your options and help you decide which are best suited to your circumstances. For example, if you are concerned your former partner may not honour their financial commitments, you may prefer to take a single lump sum rather than monthly payments. We can then help you decide how best to structure and invest this money to provide for your children’s future needs.

Will I have enough money to afford my current lifestyle?

Everyone’s circumstances are different. Whatever share of assets you may receive in settlement, and whatever the absolute value, the most important thing is what you do with them next. Many people who divorce feel that they have to spend less or downsize as they have less income and more outgoings.

 

One of the first things to do is take stock of all the assets you have, from pension funds, investments, savings and property to business income in order to create personalised financial forecasts for your future.

 

Our team of Financial Planners can help you plan for the future, taking account of your potential requirements and those of your dependants.

Should I keep the marital home?

There can be pros and cons to keeping the marital home and it is a very personal decision. However, financially, you have to take care when dealing with what may well be your largest asset.

 

For most couples there are two main options to consider. You may both decide to move out, sell the house and split the proceeds. Alternatively, one of you may wish to buy out the other. Other options include keeping the home and maintaining ownership with one partner staying on.

 

If you are considering staying on in the marital home we can help you find the answers to some important questions such as whether you can afford the mortgage repayments after buying out your former partner’s share.

What do I need to do about my pension?

Pensions are a vital source of income in later life and may actually be the most valuable assets available to a couple, especially if one partner is lucky enough to be in a defined benefit scheme. If you’ve been together for a long time and have built up substantial pension pots then this can be a major consideration.
 

The value of pension pots after divorce is typically reduced by a third for men and by half for women. There are several ways in which pension assets can be split each of which affect tax in different ways.
 

Our Financial Planners will help you to consider how your pension arrangements have been affected by divorce and can guide you to the best strategies to ensure that you will still be able to retire in comfort.

At what stage should I consult my Financial Planner about my divorce?

One of the biggest regrets among many people who divorce is a sense that they have lost out financially. Our Financial Planners are keen to support you at every stage of your life’s journey, so the sooner you consult them the better. Ideally, we would want to be involved as early as possible to offer guidance on how to identify and value your assets. We can also help you devise an effective financial plan that takes account of your needs and those of your children, helping you to rebuild your finances.
 

The earlier that a Financial Planner is involved the more they can advise on tax-efficient strategies for everything from income generation to pension fund allocations. This will ensure that your post-divorce income is maximised and that your cash-flow is sufficient to meet your needs.

If I receive a substantial lump sum settlement, how do I prioritise my financial goals?

You may receive a lump sum as part of your financial settlement. In order to live as comfortably as possible now and in the future, it’s important to make this money work as hard as possible for you.

 

At Investec we can help clarify your investment goals – from children’s education to regular income - then invest it appropriately in a diversified portfolio that is designed to deliver those objectives. We will take account of your income requirements and assess the risk to make sure the strategy fits with your needs.

Looking for help or advice?

If you’d like to have an informal, no obligation, conversation or ask any questions about securing your finances after divorce, please get in touch.

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Investec have been there for us and our family for a while now, providing advice and guidance in a number of areas.

Grant, Scotland (name changed to protect anonymity)

Take control of your finances after divorce

Investing for an income

Income investing is especially important for those looking to retire, fund care costs, pay for education or simply top up your main earnings.

Want help with planning how you can move on financially?

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Let us help you get on with your life

To have an informal, no obligation, conversation about Financial Planning during and after your divorce, please get in touch.