Funding your divorce

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2015 V1 SteppingTowardsANewLife Funding a divorce Funding a divorce can be a challenge for newly separated women. In this piece, part of a series, SteppingTowardsANewLife, MASECO Private Wealth offers practical tips on financial issues women typically encounter in the early days of divorce proceedings. The first step: Ensuring you have adequate resources for a lawyer. In the UK, lawyers (solicitors) nearly always require upfront payment of some sort. They generally never wait to be paid after a settlement, as this can often be two or three years down the road. This immediate need for payment can be a nasty surprise. "In situations where women are running the household, managing the children but not "earning" necessarily and are therefore for want of a better term "not the breadwinner", if the "breadwinner cuts off funds, it's a very emotionally challenging time," says Rory Dorman, MASECO Private Wealth. Suddenly becoming solely responsible literally for the family's daily expenses can be a nightmare. » How do you feed the family? » How do you clothe the family? » How do you pay the bills? » Where will you find the extra cash for the children's weekly piano lessons? » What about luxuries like your gym membership? "Ensuring that you've got enough financial fire power to live, to fund your lifestyle and very importantly at this time your legal bills during a divorce, needs to be squared away right at the get-go so that you can make important decisions from a place of strength, not duress," Dorman advises. Take control Take control and work out your expenses. Divide expenses into different categories, for example: Immutable expenses that are fairly predictable – your mortgage or children's tuition, insurance, legal bills etc. Another category might include items that are the glue of your life: hobbies, charities, family vacations, children's activities. The third category could be a catch-all for emergencies, like a medical crisis, a major household repair; even a new muffler for the car. Here is what your expense categories might look like: Set your priorities Set your priorities and estimate the costs to the best of your ability. This is important in terms of both making your claim for assets during the divorce proceedings and for determining how much money you may need to borrow until/if there is a settlement. As you go through this exercise, ask yourself: What holds your core together? There is no right or wrong answer about what you find important. Track your finances Establish a system for tracking your money. An accountant or financial adviser can help with this. But generally, women who take on this responsibility if they are not doing it already, are better at sticking to their » Mortgage » Car » Tuition » Food & Clothing » Household help » Professional services » Taxes » Insurance » Utilities » Repairs » Medical » Divorce fees » Memberships » Charities » Celebrations » Hobbies/culture » Children's activities » Socialising » Vacations » Personal care Health & Home Emergencies My Community Step 1: Funding a Divorce

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