Driving down the cost of divorce
A recent study has shown that one of the biggest financial regrets people feel later in life is getting married and subsequently divorced.
While nobody on their wedding day plans on getting divorced, for around 118,000 UK couples a year it does become a reality, with almost half of these divorces occurring in the first 10 years of marriage.
A recent survey by Partnership has revealed that getting divorced is one of the biggest financial regrets in the UK. A survey of 40 – 70 year olds found that getting married and subsequently divorcing was the 3rd biggest financial regret (13%) behind not saving enough (36%) and not putting enough into a pension (25%).
As more people start marrying later in life and retiring couples start to spend more and more time together, cracks in their relationships may start to show, sometimes leading to relationship breakdown and subsequently divorce.
If you do have to go through the divorce process, there are steps you can take to help drive down the costs of such a financially and emotionally difficult time.
Choose a specialist solicitor
Try to avoid rushing into a decision when choosing your divorce lawyer. Emotions can often get the better of us and cloud our judgement, and you need to make sure you do the correct research into exactly what sort of legal aid you’ll require, what your options are, and what questions you need to ask.
Choosing the wrong lawyer and having to switch part way through can mean starting the process again, and incurring even more costs.
Keep costs to a minimum by preparing what you can before any meetings take place. A lot of time and money can be saved by planning ahead and avoiding having to ask unnecessary questions of your solicitor.
One of the longest processes can be listing your financial assets. Preparing as much of this as possible beforehand will cut down the work necessary for the solicitor to undertake. It can also help to ask questions by email; not only will you have a paper trail of all correspondence, but it can genuinely be a simpler, more efficient process for all parties involved.
Seek financial advice
An independent financial advisor or tax specialist will be able to advise you of any potential tax implications of the divorce, particularly when large financial assets are at stake. An independent advisor will also be able to provide tips for minimising certain tax costs.
If there is a pension involved they will be able to advise you further on your available options.
Keep your cool
When going through a divorce it is essential to try and keep your emotions in check. The longer you and your ex-partner spend arguing over the small things, the more work and time for your lawyers, and the more money spent by both of you.
If you can discuss the matters and come to an agreement with your ex without involving lawyers then the whole process becomes much simpler and much more affordable.
And finally, litigated divorces can be prohibitively expensive. Try to come to an agreement outside of court wherever possible. Consider using support services such as mediation, or creating an online parenting plan. If you’ve got questions about the legal process, you might find it useful to read our article, Should I take divorce proceedings to court?
This was a guest article by Ryan Smith. Ryan is part of the content development team at Compare Annuity, providing a free annuity calculator to ensure retirees get the best rate possible in their retirement.