There are seven common mistakes that she sees women make all too often while going through a divorce:
1: Not using a solicitor
A DIY divorce will be cheaper in the short term, but may be more expensive in the long run if you don’t know the assets and what you are entitled to.
2: Assuming you will end up in court
Using a solicitor needn’t result in a long drawn out legal battle in Court. There are alternative routes:
An independent mediator will meet with you both to help resolve the areas you haven’t yet
been able to agree on.
Each party appoints a collaboratively trained solicitor. Issues are dealt with by face to face
with you, your spouse and the two solicitors.
Family Law arbitration
You both appoint a qualified arbitrator to make a decision as to a fair outcome. This decision is final and binding.
If you do this the whole process will take longer and be more expensive. Talk to a solicitor and a financial adviser as soon as possible.
4: Assuming you can maintain the same lifestyle
If there are sufficient funds, then you can probably maintain your previous lifestyle, but consider what will happen if there isn’t enough money.
Listen to what your family solicitor advises – they have years of experience and can predict the likely outcome with some confidence.
5: Being determined to keep the family home
Consider what income you will live on. It’s understandable to want to stay in the family home, but it’s not necessarily the best financial option for you in the long run.
6: Thinking you’re not entitled to a fair share of the assets
Frequently women believe that if they have not contributed financially then they will be entitled to a lower share of the joint assets.
This is incorrect. The court will base the settlement on the financial needs of both parties, especially the one looking after the children.
7: Thinking you a “common law wife”
There is no such thing as a “common law wife” in law.
Following separation there is no legal requirement for your partner to provide for you.
In conclusion, when going through a divorce, or even at the ‘considering a divorce’ stage, it is important that you are clear about the realities and practicalities of the situation and you get professional advice. By taking the right steps now you won’t live to regret it in the future.
By Mary Waring, author of ‘The Wealthy Woman’
About Mary Waring:
Mary Waring is an independent financial adviser and the founder of Wealth For Women, specialising in financial advice to women going through divorce. She is both a Chartered Financial Planner and a Chartered Accountant, being one of only a handful of advisers in the whole for the UK with this high level of qualification.
Mary is passionate about changing the way women think about finance. Too many women stick their head in the sand and ignore it, or rely on a man to sort it for them. Mary is also author of ‘The Wealthy Woman – a man is not a financial plan’.
To buy your copy of Mary’s book click on the link below.