Divorce or separation? Don’t leave yourself financially exposed.

The Christmas festivities are over for another year, the decorations are coming down, and the only Celebrations left in the tin are the ones that nobody likes!

Suddenly it really is the bleak mid-winter, and the stresses and strains can start to test any relationship.

And this is why the first working Monday in the New Year has become known as ‘Divorce Day’.

Lawyers report a significant increase in inquiries about divorce or separation in the dark days of January as people try to get back on track after a couple of weeks of living in each other’s pockets.

But it is not only the lawyers you need to consult if you have decided it’s ‘New Year, New You’ – with an end to your relationship. You need to consult an independent financial adviser as a split typically has major implications for your finances.

The most obvious area is the marital home – probably the biggest financial asset. The mortgage may well be in joint names and a divorce typically results in a need for a new home.

After the value of the matrimonial home, the pension provision of one or both spouses maybe the largest capital asset of the marriage. Pension Sharing is a very complex area, so specialist pension advice is essential.

Then there is the bank account and any investments you may have in addition to the mortgage – what implications would a divorce have on these? For example, cashing in any investments – you may become liable to tax and extra charges such as Capital Gains tax. Again, it’s imperative that you get advice.

Other issues to consider include life assurance – if you have a joint policy, it cannot be divided. One of you has to take it over or it has to be cancelled – which could leave you without cover.

Do you want to review any death-in-service benefits you might have, where you normally have to nominate the recipient which is often your husband, wife or civil partner. It might be you want to change this.

And do you need to change your will?

Divorce is not only sad and stressful but such a complicated issue, especially when it comes to financial matters.

If divorce is inevitable, your financial future depends on the decisions you make now and you need experienced professionals you can rely on to guide and support you through this difficult time.

Don’t delay, contact Innes Reid today on 01244 347583 or email info@innesreid.co.uk to arrange a free and confidential consultation to see if we can help.

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The Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) is an agency for arbitrating of unresolved complaints
between regulated firms and their clients. Further details of the FOS can be found on its website:
www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk