Resolving financial matters to reach a financial settlement is usually what takes the time (and costs the most money) in getting divorced.
You get one chance to get the financial agreement right, so it is well worth making sure things are done properly and you feel comfortable with the agreement reached.
There are various different options available to help you and your spouse reach an agreement, and these are covered in my blog – How Do I Approach Getting A Financial Settlement In My Divorce?
Any settlement will have a significant impact on your financial position when you first start your post-divorce life. To help ensure you feel confident in the negotiations and reach the right financial settlement, it is worth ensuring you get specialist professional advice. As well, as your solicitor and divorce consultant, it is helpful to engage the services of a financial adviser. Most people only consider using a financial adviser once they already have their financial settlement, but there are good reasons for engaging their services long before this.
To help explain more about this, I have had the opportunity to interview Chartered financial planner Claire Harlow. Here is what she had to say;
What is a Chartered financial planner?
“Most people have heard of financial advisers, but many don’t really know what we do. Basically, we help people make the most of the money they have and structure their savings effectively for what they want to achieve – whether that is working out how to use their savings in retirement; give money to children or grandchildren, or sell a business.
Some advisers are Independent Financial Advisers (IFAs) which mean that they can advise you on any product, and are not limited to the products of just one company (known as “restricted” or “tied”).
Some financial advisers are Chartered, which is seen as the “gold standard” of the industry. We have at least 5 years’ industry experience, and have taken enough exams at undergraduate degree level in financial planning to qualify. We pledge to adhere to the Chartered Insurance Institute’s “Code of Ethics”, and ensure we keep up to date with changes to our industry, legislation, types of product, recording at least 35 hours of relevant training, reading and research each year.”
What are the different ways that a Chartered financial planner can help during divorce?
“There are several ways experienced advisers can help during divorce;
1. Early stages – helping with financial disclosure
We can help put together information that you would need for financial disclosure, as well as making sense of information put together by the other side. We can help chase down information from multiple financial organisations, and identify and challenge any discrepancies for you.
2. Helping clients to understand different options for their financial settlement
We can help you to understand both what you will need to live on, and what is being offered, as well as whether there are any changes that can be made to improve the outcome. We can explain the implications and generally help guide you through the financial side of what can be a challenging process.
3. Future financial planning
We still find that there is often one in each couple who “runs the finances”, often leaving the other partner struggling to work out where to start at a time when the last thing they want to do is learn a whole new set of skills (which, we appreciate, not everyone finds as interesting as we do!). We help guide and explain everything from the very basics to more complex elements and make the process as smooth and simple as possible for you. We will also keep an eye on everything for you in the coming years, and raise anything with you that needs attention. You can rest assured that someone is in the background making sure nothing gets missed.
What else can you tell us about your role as a Chartered financial planner?
“In reality, much of our job is not about the numbers and financial products, but about getting to know our clients, understand what they want to achieve, and working out how best they can do that.
Many people are not used to talking about money (it’s not very “British”!), and often talking to us is the only time our clients talk about money. We know that a big part of our job is making people feel comfortable talking to us, and entrusting us with their hopes and concerns. We take this confidence seriously, and take our time in getting to know you. We use that information to build a financial plan with you, which we then hone together over the years, providing support and assistance throughout.”
Claire has worked as a financial adviser for 13 years, becoming Chartered in 2009. She works closely with her clients and their existing advisers to ensure a joined up approach to their life and finances. To find out more about how Claire Harlow could help you with your financial planning (whether you are getting divorced or not), get in touch with her here.
Introducing you to other divorce professionals, is just one way a divorce consultant can support you during your divorce. To find out about other ways in which I could help you in your situation, please read my blog How A Divorce Consultant Can Help During The Legal Process and get in touch with me here.
If you have found the tips in this blog useful then you will find lots more in my ebook “Tips for Coping with Divorce” which you can download here: free ebook.
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