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Jeff Marshall is a board certified specialist in Family Law
Raleigh Divorce Blog

Do I Need a New Financial Planner After My Divorce?

There are many pitfalls facing people after a divorce. One of them is how to manage the money transfer of assets from their joint state pre-divorce to separate accounts. Even in a modest division of property, items may need to be sold and bank accounts transferred. You may not know what to do with large sums of money or transferred property. It can be easy to leave it in a savings account, but that may not be the best option for you and the rest of your family.

In today’s financial climate, you may want to take some of that money and prepare for your future, or your children’s future, instead of leaving it in the bank. In order to get a head start on this, you may want to think about consulting a divorce financial planner.

What Is a Divorce Financial Planner?

When it’s time to write up the divorce settlement agreement, you want to make sure you got your fair share. It can be tricky to be certain that things like pensions, insurance, and other less tangible forms of marital property were properly divided. Things like stock options and partnership benefits are even more ephemeral.

If you or your partner have this kind of property, your attorney may suggest bringing in a divorce financial planner. These professionals understand how marital property is divided and how investment accounts are meant to pay out over time. If you need to divide the payouts of stock dividends over a period of time, a divorce financial planner is the person to consult.

A financial planner can assist you in other ways during and after the divorce. Even the best household money manager is not prepared to suddenly divide their incomes and household expenses in two. A financial planner can give you insight into other financial divisions.

  • Lifestyle expenses, bills, and future expectations. The old cliché of the wife being left struggling with the kids while the divorced husband buys a condo and a fancy sports car is just that, a cliché. The reality is that most people don’t realize where their money goes. A planner can show you how you’re actually spending your money and give you guidance about how you should be spending it.
  • Budgeting and forecasting. Once the cliché husband bought his fancy sports car, he often found himself broke in a couple of years. Budgeting is important to get through the first few months after a divorce. You want to be able to pay for everything you need and still have enough for emergencies.
  • Options during the divorce. Is it better to keep the home and pay off your spouse or sell the house and split the proceeds? How long will it take for your spouse’s pension to mature, and do you wait for that or ask for a lump sum now? Financial planners can help you decide what’s best now and in the future.

After the Divorce

Once the divorce is over, you may wonder whether you still need a financial planner. You may also wonder if you need a different planner since this one was involved in your divorce and knows about your spouse’s finances as well as yours. There are some things to think about when deciding to retain or terminate your divorce financial planner.

  • Confidentiality. Certified financial planners are bound by a standard of professional conduct that requires them to keep your information confidential unless it’s about something illegal. If it troubles you that this financial professional knows everything about your finances and could also work for your ex-spouse, you should retain a new one.
  • Future investments. If this planner acted as an investment broker, you should inquire about transferring your portfolio before you make any decisions regarding your planner. If you anticipate receiving any money transfers in the future (such as pensions or stock options), you might wish to keep your planner for some time until you are sure of your financial status.

When You Need Advice

Financial planning during and after a divorce is hard enough for professionals who are not involved in the process. You and your spouse have enough to concern you without having to wonder about what to do with your divided property and make future investments.

If you are considering divorce in North Carolina, contact the Raleigh divorce attorneys of Marshall & Taylor PLLC at (919) 833-1040 for a consultation. Call us. Our attorneys will be glad to discuss your options for property division. Let us help make your life easier.

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