6 Financial Tips for Going Through a Divorce

Divorces are hard — so hard that the financial side can take a backseat. This is understandable. Divorce is an enormous and immensely sad life event that can be damaging to your mental and physical health. As such, you might be so busy dealing with the psychological impacts of divorce that the financial impacts get ignored.

Still, it shouldn’t happen, and it doesn’t need to happen. Financial worry can lead to depression and stress, which means that not focusing on the financial side of a divorce can make you even more vulnerable to psychological issues.

What’s more, the two issues are intimately linked. After all, one of the most stressful aspects of a divorce is the financial uncertainty of it all. It’s not the only issue, yet to ignore it completely is a surefire way of making your divorce much more stressful than it needs to be. No divorce is “stress-free”, but there are ways to ensure that the financial side goes somewhat smoothly.

Consider a Prenuptial Agreement

If you’re already going through a divorce without a prenup, then this advice won’t help you right now. Though, it may help you if you plan on getting married a second time. If you happen to be reading this before your first marriage, it’s also worth considering.

Prenups are not romantic, but they are a great way of ensuring an amicable divorce, should the worst happen. Having that hard conversation when you’re deeply in love with each other will be a lot easier than trying to have that same conversation when the relationship is falling apart.

Communicate Sincerely, Honestly and Openly

Don’t play psychological games, and don’t take part in those games, either. Be open, be honest, and be frank about what you want, what you deserve, and why. There are no points to be scored here. Disagreements are natural, but don’t let pride get in the way of practicality.

For example, if your partner feels entitled to something which is personally important to you, tell them that this is a factor. They might not realise how sensitive an issue this is for you. Your knee-jerk reaction might tell you that they’re a mind reader and that this is some kind of bitter act of revenge. Yet, the moment you start thinking like that is the moment when the mental gymnastics start. Don’t assume the worst and don’t expect them to guess what’s bothering you. Just because the relationship is over, that doesn’t mean that all coherent communication needs to be abandoned.

Focus on Finance, Not Sentimental Value

Following on from the last point, feeling entitled to something because it has personal value can be damaging. It’s understandable that there are a few things you’ll want to hold on to, but don’t let sentiment get in the way of big decisions.

The family home is usually the main cause of arguments in divorce, and it can be one partner’s downfall. In many circumstances, it makes perfect financial sense to accept a monetary lump sum or a share of the pension instead of the family home. You can’t both live there after the divorce, so don’t get so caught up on who keeps it.

Remember The Debt

Debt doesn’t go away just because your marriage is ending, so make sure that you bear debt in mind during your divorce. Many people are unaware of how they can be held jointly responsible for certain debts, even if they are only in one partner’s name.

Close all of your shared accounts and know as much as you can about how your ex-partner’s finances might affect yours. If possible, talk to your partner about it before the divorce. They should be understanding because the reverse is true as well. In other words, if you have debt, it could affect them.

Use London Divorce Lawyers or Other Big City Divorce Lawyers

More than half of practising lawyers in the UK operate in London. This isn’t too surprising. London is a densely populated global capital which is packed with business and commerce, so going there specifically to use a London divorce lawyer is a worthwhile thing to do. The sheer number of London divorce lawyers creates more competition. In turn, this makes it easier to find a quality service.

This same rule of thumb applies to other big cities. California and New York State have a disproportionate number of lawyers due to the big cities — like New York City, Los Angeles, and San Francisco — in those states. Finding a decent lawyer is simpler when you go to the places where all the lawyers are.

Don’t Be Afraid to Get a Second Opinion

Asset valuation is not an exact science, so don’t be afraid to challenge your partner’s valuation of their assets. This doesn’t need to lead to fighting. The preferred approach is to agree for joint valuers to value your assets. This will hopefully remove any disagreements and allow you to agree on a financial settlement..

Likewise, don’t be offended if they get their lawyer to value your assets. You’re both looking out for yourselves now. This might be a difficult change to adjust to, but — sadly —- that’s just what a divorce means.

About the Author

Financial professional and online entrepreneur, I'm best known as The Financial Blogger. I want to make money because I like enjoying life the way it should be; with a lot of great food and wine! I also love to spend time with my lovely wife and 3 kids!