Making smart choices about your divorce property settlement

No one enters into a marriage expecting it to fail. Still, nearly 50% of marriages in the UK end in a divorce, according to the most recent data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The breakdown of a marriage is a painful event for both spouses, not only emotionally but financially. But when a disputed property is added into the equation, the entire divorce and separation process becomes more of a nightmare.

And this begs the questions: Is it possible to have a healthy divorce? If so, how do you make the split process as smooth as possible? In this article, we’ll delve into some smart choices you can make to ensure the divorce property settlement is fair and healthy.

1. Hire a financial advisor/analyst

If you and your partner are headed to ‘Divorceville,’ you’ll want to hire a financial analyst, especially if you’re a part of a high-net-worth household.

Let’s assume you’ve accumulated £700,000 in a joint investment portfolio, £800,000 in investment trusts, and about £650,000 equity in the family home, all acquired after marriage. When it comes to settlement, it’s easy to sell the house and divide the proceeds equally (see how divorce impacts your house ownership status here)

But how do you settle the joint portfolio?

Keep in mind that some holdings in the portfolio may have capital gains and others capital losses. You could offer to retain the house while the husband keeps a portion of one of the joint financial assets. But doing so also comes with some challenges. 

For instance, the house may have significant carrying costs for the mortgage, insurance, taxes, etc. Unless you’re an expert in investment analysis, you’re likely to make a decision that will affect your settlement and future earnings.

To settle this fairly and without fuss, it’s wise to hire a financial advisor. Such professionals will review the entire portfolio and give you expert advice that will ensure you’re not deceived during the property settlement.

2. Try to avoid court

On average, people in the UK spend £8,926 on divorce legal fees alone.

And according to the divorce app Amicable, Londoners spend up to £18,269 on legal fees. This could add up significantly when you factor in other court fees such as barrister fees, solicitor fees, consent order fees, property transfer fees, etc.

Who pays the court fees? Well, don’t get started on that! But keep in mind that every penny spent on divorce and court hearings will shrink the marital pot you’re divvying up.

That said, you should try to explore every means possible to have your divorce settled outside of court. Sure, having it done in the court does have some advantages, but it’s a costly and lengthy process that could take up to 12 months to settle.

3. Consider seeing a psychologist

It’s worth pointing out that the rollercoaster of emotions that come with divorce can make the whole process drag out, and even impact your decision making.

Moreover, it can be hard to put things together when emotions are running high.

Talking to a psychologist can help you deal with the emotions and adjust to the changes. Also, a psychologist can help you figure out what went wrong in your marriage so you can avoid repeating the same mistakes in your next marriage.

We hope this article will help you make smart decisions about your divorce property settlement. Feel free to comment and share.