Going through a relationship breakdown can be a stressful and a highly emotional time. There are many moving parts involved when getting one’s life in order after such a big change. Financial stability becomes a key priority and is achieved by establishing a new framework on which to build future success. Assets need to be settled, and new financial habits and objectives need to be developed.
The following steps through some of the important areas that are essential to a successful settlement after a relationship breakdown.
Take stock and review the road ahead
The first step is to write a financial checklist. A detailed Divorce and Separation checklist is provided on the Money Smart website found at the following link:
The next step is to develop a comprehensive plan against which progress can be monitored and measured to ensure nothing is missed.
Important financial documents to be compiled include:
- Tax returns
- Bank accounts
- Managed fund statements and share dividend statements
- Will and estate plans
- Superannuation accounts (both yours and your ex-partner’s)
- Property paperwork (deeds, mortgage papers, home loan details)
- Insurance policies
- Utility and credit card bills
Contact details for your accountant and lawyer should also be recorded as they will be needed for the task ahead.
A qualified financial planner can be engaged to help develop your plan and undertake a full strategic review of your existing and likely future financial position. . If relevant, the financial planner can calculate and update future social security changes and provide details to the Departments of Human Services.
A qualified financial planner can also be engaged to prepare and brief other specialists such as your accountant and lawyer on matters relating to, for example, a statement of position, family tree, settlement objectives, wills, powers of attorney, self managed superannuation fund trust deeds and shareholder agreements/company constitutions.
Re-establish short, medium and long term goals
You need to re-establish your short medium and long term goals based on your aspirations.
Short term goals focus on ensuring there is adequate cash-flow and liquidity to meet immediate expenses, along with addressing estate planning matters.
Medium term goals are typically centred on settlement matters, including making provision for children, and the re-defining of an overall strategic plan.
Long term goals are based around ensuring you are on track to achieve broader goals such as retirement planning.
Financial planners are experts in assisting individuals to establish positive financial habits and new lifestyle goals and timeframes.
You’re not alone...
Engaging a quality professional financial adviser increases the probability of a smooth, efficient settlement, putting you back on track to financial success. Outsourcing also allows you to focus on other areas of your life that must be re-balanced, like that of your family. Taking care of yourself is imperative to ensure a happy balanced life is achieved. Therefore fundamentals such as getting adequate sleep, regular exercise, good nutrition and having fun should be factored into your daily life.
Once assets have been settled and financial strategies implemented a financial planner will work with you through regular engagement to monitor and measure your overall progress against that of your plan. This ensures any future changes in circumstances are captured and financial strategies are adjusted accordingly. Life is always dynamic as should be your financial strategies.
Simon Dundas-Smith is Managing director of Orbis Wealth Management Pty Ltd. Simon works with individuals going through significant life events to maintain financial stability and achieve success.
Important information and disclaimer
This publication has been prepared by Simon Dundas-Smith. Simon Dundas-Smith and Orbis Wealth Management Pty Ltd are Authorised Representatives of Consultum Financial Advisers Pty Ltd ABN 65 006 373 995 AFSL 230323.
Any advice in this publication is of a general nature only and has not been tailored to your personal circumstances. Accordingly, reliance should not be placed on the information contained in this document as the basis for making any financial investment, insurance or other decision. Please seek personal advice prior to acting on this information.