DIVORCE-PROOF YOUR WEALTH
Financial adviser HELEN BAKER reveals how to protect your finances in a split
For more tips, get Helen’s book On Your Own Two Feet: Divorce ($39.95) onyourowntwofeet.com.au
Pre-settlement can be emotionally raw, making it even more important to make rational, informed decisions. It’s a time to define your values, needs and future goals, and understand what assets are in the pool and which best align with your values, goals and needs. While lawyers are the professionals of choice to turn to when facing a divorce, they are not authorised (or usually trained) to give financial advice.
Pre-settlement can take the heat out of the negotiation phase, often enabling a property settlement out of court. This saves time, money and stress: peace has no price tag. If the lawyers or mediators can’t generate a settlement at the agreed time, you have the advantage of better understanding what works for you – and why – as well as professionally organised paperwork to go to court with.
Post-settlement, the material assets of your union have been divvied up and it can be tempting to want to splash out on retail therapy or a holiday! Were those factored in when you were envisioning your needs, values and goals? Where you are positioned now, and how much you need to build – or rebuild – for your future will depend on factors including your age and lifestyle now, your planned lifestyle, assets, debts and future medical costs.
In the rebuilding phase, I encourage women to have all five financial foundations in place: a spending and investment plan, insurances, superannuation, an emergency fund and nd estate planning. When it comes to investing sting (even small amounts), nts), remember mber that time me is your friend.