Will yours be a $1,000 divorce or a $500,000 divorce?

The cost of your divorce tends to correlate directly with your ability to negotiate to calmly, fairly and amicably with your ex-partner or spouse. As a wealth manager, whilst I know it isn’t always possible, particularly if you have a dishonest or high conflict ex-spouse, I cannot stress strongly enough that a fast, fair and reasonable divorce is financially the best option in almost all circumstances.

I have known couples with a complex asset pool of more than $25 million who have settled their divorce for under $50k. Those funds were distributed fairly evenly between costs on both sides for lawyers, mediators, wealth advisers and accountants to administer and facilitate the process. I have also known couples with an asset pool of $2 million who have chewed up almost 20% of their combined wealth in a monumental legal battle.

Whilst the financial toll of divorce can be heavy it often pales into insignificance in comparison to the emotional toll and the time commitment required to partake in a 2-3 year long legal battle, which can draw children, friends, family and business partners into the fray.

I always hope that clients consult with me whilst they are considering divorce, when I can encourage them to look at things from a long term financial perspective - to consider setting themselves up for post marriage life rather than "getting what they are entitled to”.