Even at the best of times, divorce can be both complicated and disruptive. It’s common to feel overwhelmed by the wide variety of different issues at hand, so people often turn to divorce attorneys to help them manage. However, many people don’t realize that a good financial planner is just as important.
Whether or not you have a sizable estate, a dedicated financial planner can help protect your interests and avoid costly errors during a divorce. In this blog, the legal team at Arenson Law Group, PC discusses how a financial planner can support you in your divorce and why it’s crucial to hire an advisor of your own.
Why You Need a Financial Planner During Divorce Proceedings
Immediately after you hire an attorney to represent you in a divorce, your next step should be finding a trusted financial advisor. With a dependable financial planner in your corner from the beginning, you can avoid potential errors that could cost you financially, both during the divorce and after it’s finalized.
Division of marital assets is one of the most complicated and emotional aspects of divorce, so it’s best to avoid leaving anything to chance. A professional financial planner can relieve you of the burden of figuring everything out yourself or second-guessing your decisions later on.
One of the most valuable ways a financial planner can help you is by reviewing your assets and expenses, both pre- and post-divorce. This is particularly important if your spouse was largely responsible for managing your investments or paying the bills.
A financial advisor can help you identify all marital assets to ensure you receive your fair share. Some commonly overlooked assets include:
- Marital homes and other real estate properties
- Engagement or wedding rings
- Jewelry, heirlooms, and antiques
- Bank accounts and retirement savings
- College savings accounts
- Life insurance policies
Why It’s Important to Find Your Own Financial Planner
If you’ve worked with a financial planner in the past, chances are they have interacted with your spouse and managed assets for both of you. You may feel inclined to continue working with a familiar face, but when it comes to divorce proceedings, this would likely be a big mistake.
Although your old financial planner is likely more than capable of helping you manage your finances during a divorce, continuing to work with them could lead to conflicts of interest. If they already know both you and your spouse, they may be subconsciously biased in a way that could negatively impact your financial future.
In addition to a lack of objectivity, sticking with the same financial planner during divorce could result in certain avoidable mistakes. For instance, let’s say your spouse made certain financial decisions without telling you, but they did tell your advisor. If the advisor expects that you know the details of those decisions, they may decide it’s not necessary to discuss them with you. This unintentional oversight could mean you end up losing out on your share of the assets.
When it comes to divorce, you ultimately want a financial planner of your own who has a fresh perspective and your best interests in mind.
Issues to Discuss with Your Financial Planner
When you find a financial planner who suits you, it’s important to make sure they understand every aspect of your financial goals. Every situation is different, but you’ll generally want to discuss your preferences for the following post-divorce issues with your advisor:
- Whose name will be on various assets. Do you have your spouse listed as a beneficiary for your life insurance policy or any other assets? If so, you probably want to make sure their name is removed after divorce. Your lawyer can help you modify certain documents, like your will, but a dedicated financial planner can provide additional professional guidance to help protect you in the long run.
- How your lifestyle and budget will change. Although your expenses will likely be lower after the divorce, your income probably will be as well, so you may need to make adjustments to maintain your current lifestyle. You may also need to change your budget to avoid incurring or adding to debts.
- How you will manage your investments. If you receive a substantial sum from your ex as a result of the divorce, you may consider investing all or a portion of the settlement. If so, your financial planner can help you plan for your future and structure your investments to give you the greatest long-term advantage.
Contact an Experienced Divorce Attorney Today
If you’re in the process of divorcing in Iowa, don’t delay in hiring a new financial planner of your own. The experienced Cedar Rapids divorce attorneys of Arenson Law Group, PC can provide useful advice and help you find a financial planner who works for you. Call us today at (319) 363-8199 or contact us online to learn more in an initial consultation.