DI­VORCE-PROOF YOUR WEALTH

Fi­nan­cial ad­viser HE­LEN BAKER re­veals how to pro­tect your fi­nances in a split

Woman’s Day (Australia) - - Finance -

For more tips, get He­len’s book On Your Own Two Feet: Di­vorce ($39.95) ony­ourownt­wofeet.com.au

PRE-SET­TLE­MENT

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.

NE­GO­TI­A­TION

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

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.

RE­BUILD­ING

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.

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