April 8, 2021

I’m divorced: How do I plan my financial future?

Jones Myers niche family law firm shares insights into how to take control of your finances post divorce

By Collaborative Family Lawyer, Norman Taylor 

Having undergone divorce and its practical and emotional challenges, taking control of your financial future is the next critical step.     

Fear of starting all over again can leave many people in a state of paralysis. This is particularly applicable to spouses who have not had to deal with financial practicalities such as tax, standing orders and direct debits.  

In divorce, a financial agreement sets out how you and your ex will divide your finances. It can include you obtaining a share of your former spouse’s pension and/or regular maintenance payments.

As part of its holistic approach, Jones Myers advises and guides our clients through the stages of divorce. Our post divorce support includes helping them to stay on the right financial track.

When preparing for the impact of your divorce, you may already have organised your finances ready to move towards being in control. If not, here are some practical tips to assist you in taking charge of your own destiny:

  1. Create a ‘to do’ list of all things financial (bills etc) and an aspirational list to set goals for enjoyable things such as treats and breaks
  2. Linked with this, have two bank accounts – one for day-to-day expenses for the house, food, car and associated expenses, direct debits, standing orders and credit card payment. The second is for setting aside some savings for exceptional expenses such non-essential clothing, holidays, and house repairs.
  3. Set out the absolute and exact payments needed every month for your house and family 
  4. Don’t have bills estimated and only pay for what you use
  5. Pay off your credit card monthly and avoid debit cards 
  6. Know when your maintenance payments arrive and budget accordingly. Ensure standing orders don’t go out before your monthly payments are due in
  7. Apply to your Council for a 25% council tax discount. The concession applies if you are on your own or have younger children  
  8. Expand your support network if you’re on your own or have children. Now is an ideal time as the country emerges from lockdown
  9. Be prepared and plan for child maintenance coming to an end
  10. Take professional advice on preparing and budgeting for your own retirement
  11. Make a will. If you have a pension or life assurance, ensure it includes your chosen beneficiaries and is updated. Review it every few years.
  12. Stay healthy in body and spirit – try new things. You could also consider engaging a life or Divorce coach who specialises in helping people in your situation prepare for their new future 

If you meet a new partner and are thinking about moving in together, seek the advice of an experienced family law firm like Jones Myers as it could affect existing maintenance agreements.

For advice on divorce or family law related issues, call us at Leeds on 0113 246 0055, Harrogate on 01423 276104, or York on 01904 202550. Visit jm2023.jonesmyers.co.uk, email info@jonesmyers.co.uk or tweet @helpwithdivorce