Don't let divorce drive you to financial despair

The perfect Christmas gift

The perfect Christmas gift

BY GWENDA BROPHY

It's that time of year again - festivities, goodwill - and the seasonal surge in the instigation of divorce proceedings. It may not be the perfect time for clear thinking and forward planning, but taking decent financial advice now may make the path, pre- and post-divorce, smoother.

Divorce is expensive. Dividing the spoils of the marriage will make resources scarcer, so opting for specialist financial advice may seem an indulgent option, which risks duplicating the role of divorce solicitors.

But that is not so, says Donna Bradshaw, of independent financial adviser Fiona Price and Partners. "For a start, many solicitors have a lack of knowledge about financial products and financial planning generally. Our role is complementary. We develop contact with the solicitor to build a relationship that will best benefit the client."

Mark Ormerod, of IFA Hill Martin, agrees: "In divorce settlements we often provide financial advice and support both to clients and their solicitors." Don Percival, of SG Hambros, says most clients are introduced by a solicitor.

But what is the financial adviser's role? "Anyone going through a divorce should at least think about using a specialist financial adviser because their lives are about to change so radically," says Mr Percival.

"The main earner is likely to have to confront a set of liabilities which they will live with for a long time, and the person who was not the main earner is probably going to have to take a much greater interest in their own financial affairs if they are going to live independently and self-sufficiently. When their personal lives are in such turmoil many clients find it hard to focus on financial detail at all. The adviser's job is to apply an overall structure to their financial affairs."

Mr Ormerod says that the changes brought about with divorce will necessitate a new financial strategy, especially if a cash settlement is involved. "A specialist financial adviser can provide a full analysis of a client's financial position with realistic recommendations about his or her situation, and what he or she is trying to achieve, together with strategic financial planning and investment management advice," he says. "They are also likely to possess a depth of technical knowledge - for example, in the area of pensions."

For those going through a divorce, the question of the home usually dominates the agenda. " 'Where am I going to live and how much is that home going to cost me?' is usually the biggest issue," says Mr Percival. "In addition, for the main earner the question of how much they will have to pay and which assets and investments are going to be divided are also key concerns. The person who is not the main breadwinner will often be worried about how much they are going to be living on and, more broadly, how they are going to manage their affairs."

The larger the matrimonial financial pot, the greater is the rationale for using a financial adviser. "We would advise a minimum of net assets of around pounds 250,000 plus," says Mr Ormerod.

However, Ms Bradshaw says discerning financial advice is as vital for those with limited assets as for those with larger ones: "Life cover and future pension cover are important issues that need to be addressed by most divorcees."

n Contacts: Fiona Price and Partners, 020 7430 0366; Hill Martin Financial Planning and Investment Management, 020 7227 3700; SG Hambros 020 7597 3036.

BEFORE YOU APPOINT ADVISERS ...

Have an initial meeting, which should be at no cost or obligation. Does their manner and approach inspire trust and confidence?

n What is their reputation with divorce lawyers who have dealt with them? If possible, obtain references from other clients who have previously been advised by them.

n Check out how many years' experience they have in the divorce field.

n Is it a wholly independent company charging fees for its service on a time/cost basis to avoid product selling?

n Does it suit you? For example, does the organisation generally specialise in particular groups, such as women, or in high value divorce settlements?

n Take as much information as possible to the preliminary meeting. This could save time and cut the cost of the advice.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Voices
Barn owls are among species that could be affected
charity appeal
News
Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
Sport
After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
cricketEoin Morgan reportedly to take over ODI captaincy
PROMOTED VIDEO
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Carlton Senior Appointments: Private Banking Manager - Intl Bank - Los Angeles

$200 - $350 per annum: Carlton Senior Appointments: Managing Producer – Office...

Carlton Senior Appointments: San Fran - Investment Advisor – Ind Advisory Firm

$125 - $225 per annum: Carlton Senior Appointments: San Fran - Investment Advi...

Sheridan Maine: Commercial Finance Manager

Up to £70,000 per annum + benefits: Sheridan Maine: Are you a qualified accoun...

Sheridan Maine: Regulatory Reporting Accountant

Up to £65,000 per annum + benefits: Sheridan Maine: Are you a qualified accoun...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas