What often get’s missed out with a quickie divorce
A recent question came up in our Secret Facebook Group about what is the best online divorce provider.
It’s a good question to ask, because the feedback I have had from many people who have used them, is that the quality of the service can vary enormously. But I notice the real problem they have, is that their expectations about what a divorce actually involves, are often way out of kilter.
The person asking the question in this case seemed very much in control of the process and was presumably looking for a simple way to finish it off – to end the marriage contract. But the guidance received in the group was so useful to the majority of people who are looking for a quick fix solution, that I thought I’d share it. Obviously, I keep everything that is in the group Secret (hence the name) but I’m pretty sure that the experts from the Alternative Divorce Directory, who offer their guidance within the group, are happy for their pearls of wisdom to reach a wider audience! (Isn’t that right, Sam?)
My own comment on the post was…. “What I would make sure of is that you have spoken with a financial planner to make sure you don’t end up with tax bills you might not need to pay or pensions poorly ‘split’. Also, make sure that you turn your financial agreement – consent order – into a legally binding document. I was speaking about that the other day with solicitor and mediator Laura Sherlock. Just because you do the divorce bit that doesn’t mean your ex husband or wife can’t claim a right to your finances years down the line.”
Chartered Financial Planner Sam Whybrow popped into the group and explained the following – which was so valuable I wanted to share it:
“That’s right Suzy Miller. Regardless of going through divorce it is imperative to consider the full financial implications of any decision before they are made reality. The tax consequences amongst other financial implications could be life changing, especially during divorce.
The need to do this is even more important before, during and after the divorce process because the implications both financially and emotionally could be far worse. It amazes me that people still do not fully explore or understand their pensions yet there could be a significant amount of wealth tied up in them. The fact that pensions don’t provide instant gratification like the matrimonial home means that they are often forgotten about – yet the value and income potential means they could be worth a lot more (both financially and emotionally further down the line).
Perhaps it’s because people don’t understand them or they’ve been made to feel they are too complex.? It’s rubbish. They are a valuable asset just like any other and should be treated as such. You wouldn’t buy a house without instructing a solicitor, perhaps an estate agent, a surveyor and even a designer – so why wouldn’t you instruct a financial planner to analyse the pros and cons of the pension and how this might look pre and post divorce?
We have a duty as financial planners to help people to understand their pensions and finances in a jargon free way so that they can make informed decisions regarding their future. This, I am sure, provides people with clarity and control whilst going through divorce during a period in life when it feels like these don’t exist.”
So for all those out there who are considering a ‘quickie divorce’ online, more important than which company you use, is to have a conversation with a financial planner and save on tax and miscalculation of the real value of pensions – and not having a proper financial plan going forwards. Divorce is much more than the closing of a contract.
Thank you Sam for sharing!
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