Après Divorce Financial Planning

Your divorce if over, the ink is dry on your settlement agreement or final judgement, as the case maybe.  Now begins the picking up of the financial pieces.  As a family, your financial status was fairly affluent.  There was the large marital home, the vacation home, retirement accounts and savings/investment accounts.  There is a successful family business awarded to your spouse.  You have received roughly fifty percent of the value of all this.  Now what?

Needless to say, a sound financial plan with mechanisms in place to monitor progress is imperative.  While it may be true you have received an award of alimony, reliance on alimony alone is ill advised.  The alimony payments are only as secure as the payer’s ability to pay.  No one knows what life will bring.  Disability, retirement, business reverses are all very real risks endangering your alimony.

Seek out the services of a qualified accountant who has specialized knowledge in the niche of financial planning.  This should be a professional without products to sell.  Interview several and check references.

A sound financial plan should be integrative in nature.  Tax planning, estate issues, standard of living and tolerance for investment risk should all be integrated together in a sound plan.

Avoid taking excess risk in return for increased return on your investments.  Your divorce settlement is your nest egg.  Barring a lottery win or significant inheritance, the nest egg must last until you die.  Your financial planning goals should center on capital preservation not income maximization.

Monitor your plan periodically.  Be mindful of your levels of spending.  Set formal meetings with our advisor each quarter.  Demand a high level of diligence and accountability.  Become educated on investment markets by taking advantage of seminars and reading material.  Most of the large investment firms provide free seminars on a regular basis.

You may not have handled the family finances while married, however, you accomplished many other things at least as difficult.  You are well capable of handling your finances “Après Divorce”.