Each person is different and request advice and guidance at different times in the process. Complex divorce settlements can take a long time to resolve and finalise, but parties involved will need advice along the way. From experience, I find it is best to meet as soon as possible at the start of the divorce process, to ensure you do not make any decisions that may prove detrimental to your financial security. However, once a settlement has been reached and all paperwork sealed by the court, financial advice is vitally important in ensuring plans are put in place to help work to achieve your new financial goals.
The process can be broken down into 3 main parts, although this does not necessarily mean, 3 meetings! Several meetings may be needed at each stage and it is important that we work together, closely to ensure the right advice is provided at every step of the way.
Step 1: No Obligation Initial Consultation
During this first meeting, the areas discussed will depend on the stage you are at with regard to the divorce and any settlement.
- Prior to formal Settlement: If the meeting is before settlement has been reached, the meeting will cover all areas of your finances, getting you to understand the implications of any potential settlements proposed, but also ensuring you understand your current financial situation and your goals for the future. It may be that you need only general support at this stage, and can arrange a further meeting once the divorce is near finalisation.
Collaboration: With your agreement, I can work with your legal team, if required, in order to ascertain the best settlement option for you based on your needs, now and for the future.
- Post Decree Nisi or Absolute: If the divorce has already been finalised, and sealed court orders received, we can begin to look at all areas of your finances and prioritising various issues. This may involve reviewing all your own investments, or those you have obtained following the divorce. It is important to ensure that they are invested appropriately based on your personal needs, and reflect your personal risk appetite balance with being tax efficient. I work closely with individuals with regard to Pension Sharing Orders and ensuring the pension is invested appropriate to your own Retirement Planning objectives.
Step 2: Planning & Prioritising
Often it feels a daunting task to try and get all your financial plans in order, especially during such a stressful time in your life. However, following face-to-face meetings, I will identify all areas of your financial planning needs, and we can begin to agree a plan to prioritise your needs and I will recommend the best options for you.
Rest assured you will have the support and advice from me, during and after the divorce process, and we can implement my recommendations at a pace that suits your needs.
You will receive a report detailing my recommendations, alongside personal illustrations and key information relevant for any investment or financial protection plan. You will have the control to make decisions that are appropriate for you, alongside tailored advice which match your needs.
Step 3: Ongoing Support
Life continues to change and so do your needs and priorities. You may change your plans and want to adapt your financial goals to suit changes in your life after divorce. You may change careers, find a new partner, want to travel the world, support children through University, care for an older relative etc. Whatever these changes are, it is important that your financial plans change and adapt too.
That’s why I continue to support and work with my clients ensuring regular reviews of their personal situation, aspirations and general everyday needs. We will decide together the support you require, and ensure your finances are monitored and reviewed to ensure they match your changing needs. You may need more support during the early-post divorce stage, and then less frequently. However, ongoing support is central to the service I offer, at every future stage in your life.
This process will ensure you have the confidence to move forward in your life, knowing your financial plans are in place and can be adapted to any situation you may encounter.
The value of an investment with St. James's Place will be directly linked to the performance of the funds you select and the value can therefore go down as well as up. You may get back less than you invested. The levels and bases of taxation and reliefs from taxation can change at any time. The value of any tax relief depends on individual circumstances.