Divorce for couples over 50 is rising so significantly as this generation approaches retirement age that it has its own nickname: ‘grey divorce’. And the biggest contributing factor is thought to be money. Interestingly, the major consequence of marriage breakdown for the over 50s is also money, with divorce hitting older couples much harder financially than their younger counterparts. Read more to be clear on the benefits of working with a financial consultant before, during and after your divorce and settlement period.
Financial advice before your divorce
Your financial advisor can help alleviate any anxiety you may have about not being able to cope financially post-divorce. They offer experience, objective guidance and calm impartiality about an emotionally-charged issue – your financial future – at a highly distressing time that many people find extremely difficult.
Historically, divorce has been largely handled by an adversarial legal process where, once the dust settles, each party receives a cheque or asset in their own name, along with an introduction to a financial planner. The real need, however, is for a couple to understand the financial implications of any asset division and the impact it may have on their financial future before any sale or division of assets.
Financial advice during your divorce
During divorce negotiations, your financial advisor can help you understand the long-term effects of your financial settlement. This usually revolves around there being not one but two households to be maintained and two independent sets of lifestyle goals to be achieved from the same cashflow or asset base. This long-term focus is much more important than the familiar short-term brawl for extra dollars that is really no more than a ‘points-scoring exercise’ that achieves very little.
Your financial advisor is also able to model alternative settlement arrangements so that you can clearly understand your options. While a lawyer may know how to value the assets in a settlement, you need financial advice on how to best structure the division of these assets in order to provide optimum financial benefit for both parties.
Finally, if a matter isn’t resolved by negotiation, financial advisors can be brought in as expert witnesses and provide financial models which can be incorporated into a court assessment.
Financial advice after your divorce
If your divorce settlement includes any lump sum payments (such as for alimony, pension rollovers or the sale of a home), your financial advisor can help you develop a sound strategy for managing those assets. Establishing and then sticking to a financial plan is essential, both for financial stability and peace of mind. Such a plan will need to address your financial needs in both the short-term (day-to-day expenses, monthly utilities, mortgage, car payments, insurances and so on) and long-term (school fees, retirement, travel and more).
After your divorce, there are a number of other essential housekeeping jobs that your financial advisor can help you with. These include notifying banks, utilities and insurance companies, credit card companies, the motor vehicle department and your children’s schools. You may need to modify titles on houses and vehicles and register these with lending institutions. You will also need to update beneficiaries on your life insurance, superannuation and property. If you changed your name after the divorce, you’ll also need a new driver’s licence, passport and credit cards.
If you would like to find out more about how financial advice can help you before, during and after your divorce, please contact Collins Mann by phone: (07) 3251 3201 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.