There are two different ways to look at divorce. On the one hand, divorce can be financially disastrous, but on the other hand, divorce can be the opportunity to lock in a secure financial future. Paul Barrett, a wealth adviser with over 25 years experience has developed the FREE Divorce and Separation Survival Guide . He explains the difference lies in how you handle the process. And there are many things YOU can do to keep the odds of a fair, successful outcome in your favour.
Put your emotions on the back burner
Negotiation and mediation are about settling the business end of the marriage. Try to put your emotions aside and handle the business aspect of your divorce separately. It’s time to think financially, not emotionally. The decisions you make during your divorce often have the potential to impact you for the rest of your life, so you’ll need to think clearly about the important financial decisions ahead of you. Remain objective and practical. Seek financial advice to point you in the direction of a stable financial future.
Maintain your cool under pressure
It’s possible that both your ex and their lawyer may constantly attempt to press your buttons by going over and over the same issues. It’s possible allegations and claims will be made that you don’t agree with. Don’t hand over your dignity by acting in ways that are beneath you. Stay calm, cool and collected. This is especially true, if you appear in front of a judge. Losing your composure or having outbursts of anger may severely compromise your case.
Recognize that you need help, for legal issues, financial matters and emotional concerns, and then organize a top-notch divorce team that can deliver results. Issue tasks according to professional abilities, so you can devote more of your time and your energy on taking care of yourself and your family.
Team up with an experienced financial adviser and you’ll be able to approach this major life change with confidence. First, you’ll need to shore up your financial position so you can enter the divorce process prepared. Then, you’ll need to develop a solid strategy to help you emerge from your divorce in the best financial shape possible and face your future with confidence.
Keep copies of everything. A file of monthly statements from your bank, brokerage and superannuation accounts, tax returns, credit card bills, should be independently maintained by you, not your spouse or their accountant. When you are armed with accurate, up to the minute information, you are a formidable and impressive opponent who makes decisions that are right for you and your children.
Know your finances
A successful divorce depends upon how invested you are in knowing about you and your spouse’s financial circumstances, Know the answers to critical questions, such as:
What are your assets?
What does it cost to maintain your lifestyle?
What are your expenses?
What will it cost to send the children to school and university?
What are your liabilities?
How and where are your assets held?
Is there a life insurance policy to protect you and the children?
Take out the unknown and provide your lawyer and divorce financial advisor with concrete information in order to obtain the results you want to achieve in the divorce.
Just as it takes two to make a marriage successful, it takes two to make a divorce successful. Being uncooperative will only drag out the divorce proceedings and add undue stress to the situation. Be cooperative, and work with your ex to ensure that both of you get your fair share.
Be Proactive About Your Case
Stay on top of your divorce matter. Dragging out a divorce for months only extends the emotional trauma and the cost. Reply to requests promptly and as succinctly as possible. Keep things moving along.
Be Open to Mediation
Even if the idea of sitting down with your ex to hash things out civilly doesn’t sound appealing to you, you would be doing yourself a disservice if you avoided mediation altogether. You may not be able to settle all of the issues out of court but resolving even just a few matters can save you money, time and emotional stress.
Be Mindful of the Needs of Your Children
While you may be hurting and you may be angry, it’s important not to speak ill of your ex in front of the children. You married your ex, but your children did not. Children should never be forced to take sides between parents. The issues that plagued your relationship should not encumber your children’s relationship with your spouse. Never ignore your child’s feelings or be convinced that your children don’t need both parents in their lives. The long-term impact of cutting a parent out of a child’s life is extremely harmful.
Never make a decision in a divorce without fully understanding the ramifications. Research as much as you can and talk to your lawyer about the possible consequences. The more information you have and the better your understanding of the situation, the better the outcome will be.
Be Reasonable but Firm
Compromise is always a good thing in divorce and you should set realistic expectations. It is unlikely that you will receive absolutely everything you wanted to, but you should never settle for less than you deserve or need.
Be fair and honest about your needs and capabilities whether you’ll be on the giving or receiving end of spousal maintenance and/or child support. Lying and making false accusations will not help your case and will almost surely backfire at some point. Falsely accusing your spouse of drug use, verbal or physical abuse will only complicate the situation, and may cause a judge to revoke your visitation privileges if the lie is discovered.
@Paul Barrett of Absolute Wealth Advisers is one of Australia's most experienced Private Wealth Managers. He is a financial expert in high net wealth divorce, estate management and inheritance. Contact him here