Financial planning after divorce

Financial planning after divorce

By James Lurie of Holland, Hahn & Wills

Although we enter marriage with excitement, hope, expectation and above all, love, we might divorce with sadness, bitterness, betrayal and above all, a sense of loss. That’s before we consider the (often messy) financial side of things – splitting of assets, sale of family home, pension sharing, custody of children, and so on.

Over the many years I’ve been advising, I have met a good number of ex-spouses who have a settlement but need to make sense of it, and appreciate guidance to set them on a new and positive path.

Here are some post-settlement tips that may help:

1. Cancel joint accounts and open new accounts in your name alone.

  • Confirm that the account cannot be re-opened.
  • Make a list of the accounts you had while married and replace these as soon as possible in your own name.*
  • If you shared your computer and passwords, make changes.

2. Change beneficiaries.

  • Life insurance policies, pension schemes, death in service benefits usually require a named beneficiary and for most people that’s your spouse. Don’t forget to change this after divorce.*

3. Redo your Will.

  • Your ‘married’ Will becomes invalid on divorce so it’s worth updating this with your solicitor ASAP.

4. Update your home and contents insurance and retitle assets.

  • Update the policy and remove assets that are your ex spouse’s – which could save you premium costs.
  • Retitle assets in your name, especially if you retain the property as part of the divorce settlement.

5. Financial planning.

  • As financial planners we would of course recommend that you seek our advice and council, we will help you to make sense of the finances. Often you’ll need to transfer ex spouse pensions and re-invest, plus potentially use money from the divorce to create an income for you.

6. Take your time!

  • As the saying goes: ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’. Create a budget with a short term cash reserve to give you some breathing space.

If you want to know more about how our financial planning process can help you, or perhaps want a second opinion on your own planning or investment strategy please get in touch:

020 8943 9229 | |

* In respect of divorce settlements there may be caveats or circumstances which prefer the closure of joint accounts and changes of beneficiary. Please consult your legal advice before taking such action. This article is for information purposes and should not be treated as advice. Individual circumstances should always be considered prior to purchasing any financial products. For further information please contact your Financial Planner.