Confusing your divorce legal professional with your financial advisor can be an expensive mistake. While an attorney or mediator can help you navigate the many legal aspects of separating property, a financial advisor can help you plan your future as a single adult. They can help you save money and time throughout the process of divorce, helping to ensure you are making sound financial decisions now and for the future.
Most divorces end up being about children and money, when you leave the emotional connection out. Marriage is a contract that legally binds the partnership you embarked on. Unfortunately, there are many valid emotional aspects to it that make this separation very challenging. Lawyers and other legal professionals are available to help separate the emotional aspects of dividing property, while financial advisors can help separate the emotional aspects in all areas of your financial future.
The number one mistake women make in divorce is letting their emotions run the show. Men and women deal with conflict and separation of partnerships differently. Once it is clear the path to divorce is laid, men will often move very quickly from emotional upset into winning the deal, while women let their feelings grab the wheel. Divorce is emotional, so it is even more important they surround themselves with stable, rational and compassionate professional support.
Many women may find they need to start a new financial advisory relationship when they are getting divorced. Naturally, the best time to do this is when considering divorce vs. when you are in the midst of it, but any time is better than none.
A financial advisor can help you
- See the future more clearly – not what you can get or take from the marriage but what you will need to sustain and take care of yourself in the years to come, and the actions you need to take to get there.
- Ask the important questions around assets and planning that may or may not have been considered in your marriage.
- Provide knowledgeable financial advice, education and resources to give you confidence in moving forward.
- Help remove the emotional currency involved in separating a partnership without the conflict of interest of getting paid by the hour to dissolve your marriage.
If you have children, naturally they are at the head of the table when it comes to considerations and settlements in divorce. The financial aspects of raising children, providing a good quality of life, education and designing their future can be aided with the knowledge of an experienced financial advisor. Having your financial advisor and your attorney work together can bring optimal results that help bring a sense of organization and calm to an emotionally charged situation. Together they can help you avoid pitfalls resulting from poor planning or lack of knowledge.
Some things you will want to consider are:
- Childcare, education and welfare – now and in the future.
- Temporary maintenance to help you get started on your new life –having access to cash.
- Knowledge of the family finances, income and investments –Review or obtain insurance to protect your future and engage an estate planner.
- Discovering any debt that needs to be addressed (sometimes this is hard to uncover – start with a credit report).
There are many things in life that aren’t fair; it’s how you handle them that make the difference. How you handle your money matters now and even more in the future. Realizing that your standard of living will change regardless of how much you have is critical in accepting divorce. Once you do, you can be proactive and actually take charge of your financial future. This could even lead to more confidence than you ever had in your marriage or your life.
Zoe Sexton is Director of Marketing at Rosenblum – Silverman – Sutton, a women-owned investment firm in San Francisco. You may contact Zoe at firstname.lastname@example.org or www.rssic.com to schedule a complementary portfolio review. Phone: 415-771-4500