Did you know that the first day back to work after the festive break is termed to many as ‘Divorce Day’?
This is traditionally the day where enquiries to family lawyers about divorce increase substantially.
In a world of social media where it is fashionable to label days for content – ‘Bring your dog to work day’ or ‘World Book Day’ but the Divorce Day messages that filled my inbox reflected sad reality and one that I myself faced back to January 2018, when I became a Divorce Day statistic.
As with any transition in life, change can be lonely and scary. I was full of anxiety about what my new life was going to look like, how would it affect my children, and wider family and friends.
The emotional upheaval is enormous, and although I am blessed to have an amazing family and friends, the loss of security that the couple status brings can be overwhelming.
Then there are the financial stresses. Suddenly you are solely responsible to pay the mortgage, the utility bills and feed everyone. I was managing the same outgoings but now on one salary and the loss of income into the household was significant.
‘Only 7% of divorcing couples seek financial advice’
Fortunately, as a financial adviser I already had the tools to help me carve a plan and a deal that was fair to my situation. However, there were often occasions where my thoughts were clouded with emotions, but Susie and the team were always on hand to steer me.
At Raymond James Hitchin, we have helped many divorcees with their financial planning but mostly after the settlements have been agreed. Sometimes these settlements seem fair, but often they are not due to pensions being overlooked.
‘two-fifths [of divorcees] feel that the financial outcome was not fair’
In recent research published by L&G they found that only 7% of divorcing couples seek financial advice during the divorce process, and two-fifths feel that the financial outcome was not fair.
No surprise then that their research also shows that only one in five couples included their pensions in the division of assets and 29% waive their rights to them completely.
It is important to ensure that all parties are fairly provided for in retirement, especially where in most cases there has been a primary earner as the other has taken time out to care for family.
Engaging with a financial advisor early should increase the likelihood of an equal and fair outcome, and often that initial conversation will be free and maybe all that is needed.
As with any big life event, divorce, widowhood, retirement or even health issues, guidance from family and friends is kind and well meaning, but impartial professional opinion is important to ensure the best outcome for you or your loved ones.
Yours happily divorced,