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A time of change

Whether it comes as a sudden shock or more gradually, divorce and separation brings emotional upheaval to people, and challenging issues with finances and property.

 With an expected one in three marriages ending in divorce it is a challenge many people face. And the need to start again applies equally to people in de facto and long-term relationships.

Where there are children, considerations such as meeting their future education needs, health care and other expenses, as well as the cost of holidays, excursions and visits to either parent or grandparents, all have to be discussed and agreed.

The solutions are not always straight forward of course. One partner may gain a major asset like the family home but struggle to meet everyday costs because of the drop in household income.

And because income is the main determinant of building retirement savings, this may also affect their long term ability to meet financial goals and aspirations. Conversely, separating finances may mean one partner taking on more debt to buy another house, or car, or furniture, or…the list goes on…

Looking ahead

It is true that the challenges may be considerable but with these challenges comes the opportunity to seek professional support, and to plan for a different future.

For many people, the cost of legal advice will come up quite early, but that can be money well spent if it helps all parties avoid protracted legal arguments, and the courts. Wills and estate plans may also have to be re-thought and re-written, while a review of the ownership of life insurance Policies are essential.

Property settlement might sound as though it just involves the house, but it also covers everything from investments, superannuation and trusts, right through to cars and companies.

With the best intentions you may think, “Don’t we just take half each?”, but the complexities of both life and the law mean that it may not be that simple, and you normally require the expertise of financial and legal professionals, working together to reach a clear understanding of the way forward.

By sitting down and talking with a financial adviser about your concerns and questions, you can tap into their experience and receive advice tailored to your personal situation. This provides you with real support when the challenges you face may be complex, and your life is taking a new direction.