Seeking a divorce? Then here are a few words of advice to heed over the coming months:
Make a list
Compile a detailed list of the financial assets that you and your ex-partner own jointly or as individuals, including businesses, property, pensions, shares, bonds and saving accounts; plus anything else of significant value like cars, art, collectables, and antiques. Wherever you can, gather written records of all of the above, like bank statements, share certificates or pension estimates for example. Sooner or later your lawyer will ask for all of the above, and the sooner you have this information in place, the better.
A crucial consideration in any divorce is if you or anyone in your family is still financially dependent on the other. If you have children at school, if one of you has given up a career to look after children; or if one of you has a medical problem or disability that means they can’t work, their financial dependence may be taken into account in any divorce settlement.
The needs of your children
Remember that the needs of young children, in particular, will always be put first in any agreement, ensuring they have a suitable and secure home for example.
The complexities of divorce
A divorce is likely to become more complicated if your assets are significantly unequal if only one of you has their name on the deeds of the house you’ve lived in together, if one of you has an occupational pension or if one of you has been financially dependent on the other. It’s at times like these that seeking professional advice as it relates to Family Law is especially helpful, crucial even.
Keep in touch
It’s all too easy to ignore communications like bills or letters from your bank, but stay in contact with your bank; and any other companies to whom you owe money. Enlist the help of a debt advisory charity, should the need arise, and be mindful of the fact that the earlier this is done, the better.
Consider your budget
Draw up a budget of your monthly living costs, so you have a realistic idea of what income you’ll need in the future. Also, look at what savings you have in your name, what existing income you have; and hence what budget you have to cover your divorce; and the related costs; like moving house for example.
In the short term
Where at all possible, reach an agreement about who will be paying the day-to-day bills over the next few months, so you know where you are financially secure in the short term.
Your potential income
Also, consider how you might earn a living in the future. Do you need to refresh your skills or retrain in a new profession? Also, ask yourself will you need financial support over the coming months or years to cover your costs while you retrain?
Your joint finances
Take steps to separate your finances as soon as possible; so that you do not become responsible for your former partner’s debts or spending.
Get a new mobile number
In addition, purchase a new mobile phone and number, so can be confident that you have complete privacy moving forward.