Reducing the financial impact of
a relationship breakdown

It’s a sad fact that one in three marriages in Australia end in divorce*. Separating two intertwined lives can be complicated (and very costly), and amid the emotional trauma it’s easy to overlook some of the financial implications, or make quick decisions that seem inconsequential at the time but can later have huge significance.

The average age of divorcees has increased in recent years – and the divorce rate has jumped for the over 50s. The socio-economic reasons for this are varied – but the result is often that couples who go through a ‘grey divorce’ have much more complicated financial arrangements to deal with when they separate, and less time to financially recover if they need to rebuild their asset base.

*Source: McCrindle Research 2015, ABS Marriages and Divorces, 3310.0, 2014

How can a financial planner help with divorce or separation?

Consulting a financial planner if you’re going through a divorce can protect your interests and make sure you’ve considered all the financial implications. More importantly, a good planner will work with your lawyer and can help you make the right decisions and remove some of the feeling of being overwhelmed – particularly for divorced people where the other partner managed the joint finances and made most of the decisions.

Divorced women with dependent children, or who have spent long periods out of the workforce in the past, can be particularly financial vulnerable post-divorce because for example they’re likely to have a much lower superannuation balance than their former working partner.

Fiducian financial planners understand how stressful and emotionally difficult it can be to deal with the financial effects of divorce or separation. They can help you:

  • Understand your financial situation: assets, liabilities, income and expenses
  • Create a fresh financial plan for you as an individual or with a new partner
  • Review your cash flow and budget
  • Understand the financial impact on your children – for example, the cost of their education
  • Rearrange your day-to-day banking and credit cards

Another possible outcome of divorce is that one or both parties want to remarry, and ensure that children from the original marriage are provided for. This is where an estate management plan needs to be implemented or updated. Your financial planner can help with this too.