Under normal circumstances, financial planning can be one of the keys to the long-term financial health of your family. But imagine that you wake up one day in your adult life and have to start over. Of course, nobody plans for it to happen, but unfortunately, approximately 40 – 50% of all marriages in the U.S. end up in divorce.¹ When this happens, the need for financial planning can become even more essential.
Although there is no way to address every divorce's financial needs, here are a few guidelines that can be helpful no matter what your situation.
Many separations focus on the division of assets at the onset, including homes, cars, and other physical properties. Although this may look favorable on paper, remember that assets don't always produce immediate cash flow. You will have basic needs you may not have had to worry about in a joint relationship.
Once you determine which assets are yours, it’s important to make sure they are insured properly. Also, pay attention to medical insurance needs. How are you currently covered, and how will you obtain coverage for yourself and the children moving forward?
Variable Expenses for Children
Both spouses assume the children will be cared for in a divorce, but they often forget the details. Of course, the most obvious question is funding for college. But don't forget the smaller items like coaching, therapy, music, tutoring, proms, and any unexpected medical expenses.
Uneven or Changes in Compensation
Although the courts will help with uneven compensation distribution, remember that future compensation is not always guaranteed at the same level. Jobs and careers can change, and past bonuses may not be a part of future compensation.
New Estate Plan
Although you might be tempted to only worry about the urgent, it is also important to start thinking about the long term. Begin working on a new estate plan with a new successor trustee, new powers of attorney, and a new will.
While it may be painful to work through all the items above, the short-term pain will be worth it in the long term for both spouses, especially the children. Perhaps the most important thing to remember is clarity and communication, so both parties walk away with as few surprises as possible in the future.
In today's world, many have been affected by divorce or know someone who has. Feel free to share this email if you feel this information may be helpful.
As always, you can reach out at any time if you have further questions.
Securities offered through Raymond James Financial Services, Inc., member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advisory services are offered through Raymond James Financial Services Advisors, Inc. Stonegate Financial is not a registered broker/dealer and is independent of Raymond James Financial Services. Any opinions are those of Stonegate Financial and not necessarily those of Raymond James. Expressions of opinion are as of this date and are subject to change without notice. The information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee that the foregoing material is accurate or complete.
Raymond James and its advisors do not offer tax or legal advice. You should discuss any tax of legal matters with the appropriate professional.
*The tax advice and/or services of Trey Stilley are independent of RJFS.