The pandemic has taken its toll in different ways. For many this has included relationship breakdown and sadly we have seen this happen with our own clients.
It’s clearly unavoidable but the breakdown of long-term relationships and potential divorce in later life is one of the biggest risks to your financial future.
We’ve spoken to some highly regarded North East divorce experts to get their thoughts on what’s important.
Joanne Major, managing director, Major Family Law comments on the importance of financial planning, particularly when it comes to pensions during divorce:
“What is so often a problem is that so much of a couple’s wealth is tied up in pensions, which they themselves may well not understand the value of. For many couples, their pensions are worth more than their home, yet time after time, they come to us thinking they have very little as a family, assuming that the equity or savings is all they need to consider. Quite often pensions are so complex that experts need to be brought in to ensure fairness.”
Jaqueline Emmerson, solicitor and managing director of Emmersons Solicitors notes that investing in good financial planning now can help save difficulties further down the line:
“So often I see couples who do not consider the entire long term financial impact of the divorce and how this can affect them in later life. They think splitting monies is as easy as saying, “you have the house; I’ll have the pension,” but there are often many more complex points at stake, especially if a couple have multiple financial assets as they approach retirement.
“Ignoring pension assets or trading them away without ever knowing their true value, can see one party end up in difficulty in later life. Pensions are part of the assets that a couple have built up together, and they must be accurately considered. This is where proper independent financial advice can help ensure lifelong financial fairness.”
Fiona Ryans, solicitor, Beecham Peacock Solicitors comments on the rise of “Silver Splitters” and the need for long term financial planning advice for a successful outcome:
“We are seeing an increasing number of “silver splitters”. It is extremely important that specialist advice is obtained early on to ensure that the parties can enjoy a similar standard of living in later life. Advice in relation to pensions is particularly relevant as there are many different pension schemes and they all have their own rules.
“A pension is valued for divorce purposes using a CETV (Current Estimated Transfer Value) but this is a figure which can be misleading as it may not actually give a proper value and does not provide information as to what a pension will look like in reality when it is paid out. It is simply a “snapshot” of the fund value at that time. We would always advise proper financial advice and a collaborative process for successful solution.”
Sam Hook, life coach at Uniquethinking coaching comments on the importance of having a strong support network around you during divorce:
“I work with many women who are going through a divorce or separation as after so much negativity, it’s common for people to lose their confidence, have low self-esteem and struggle with their thoughts and emotions as they adjust to a different life without their partner.
“This is a perfect time to work with a Life Coach as we look at a client’s strengths, values and identity and the life they would now like to live while helping them to manage their own mindset to create a happier life.”
Sam offers a 4-week programme to help those going through a relationship breakdown, separation or divorce. Check out the life coaching after separation programme
We hope that these expert comments help raise your thoughts to the issues you need to consider. Real financial planning is essential for those looking to find financial fairness and to have a “good” divorce. Get in touch