Which one first, divorce lawyer or financial advisor?
Get a Specialist Divorce Financial Planner.
Fatal financial mistakes people make during their divorce process is not analysing how their various divorce settlement options will impact their future financial security.
Once your final divorce order is signed, it may be difficult and expensive to make changes.
Unfortunately, you often have only one shot to get it right, so you should do everything in your power to make sure that you do. If you suspect that your ex-spouse hid some assets, then make sure that you have a clause in your contract that states:
- “All assets have been disclosed by both parties at the date of divorce, if any assets have not been disclosed on the individual or joint balanced sheets of both parties or if any assets were dishonestly disposed of without the consent of one party then, then a subsequent claim on those asset will be ensued.”
- This clause will be subject to you being married in community of property or ANC with accrual.
Remember that divorce is a legal process that takes time, you need to do some strategic planning and ensure accurate decision making. Don't let your emotions to finalize your divorce as quickly as possible stop you from thoroughly analyzing both the short- and long-term financial needs and tax implications of any proposed divorce settlement. Never sign any documentation that is blank or that you do not understand.
A proposal might seem reasonable, especially when you get the first “offer” or proposed settlement from the opposing lawyer. This may prove to be disastrous for you 5 to 15 years into your new future. We are firm believers in an equitable division of your joint estate and you should expect to get your 50%!!! (Subject to your marriage regime).
The only way to know that is to work with an experienced divorce financial planner who can analyse your various divorce settlement options to make sure that your financial future will be secure.
It is crucial to remember that divorce lawyers act on their client’s instruction (your ex-spouse) and they are not necessarily financial planners who do in-depth financial needs analyses for you. My suggestion would be to get financial advice from your specialist divorce financial advisor it terms of your requirements, take that information to your lawyer and then go back to your financial advisor once you received the proposed settlement agreement.
Mediation /financial mediation is always a cheaper and less stressful option.