Even in the normal years, the run-up to Christmas can be a very stressful time, and the added financial pressures and family tensions over the festive period are often one of the main reasons why relationships can break down early in the new year.
However, the past year has not been normal for anyone, and the pandemic and the resulting lockdown have only added to these pressures, and law firms have reported a huge increase in enquiries about divorce, as much as a 122 per cent increase, according to the .
It’s also thought that the increase in divorce cases early in the year will end up creating a bottleneck at the courts, leading to a backlog of cases to process and some serious delays.
Divorce can take a huge emotional toll, but there are some practical steps that people can take with their finances which may help the process go a little more smoothly. We have four tips to help protect your finances during a divorce or relationship break-up.
1. Consider your finances in the future, as well as now
A first step is to create a full list of assets and needs, and not to neglect projected budgets for the future. Remember to factor in additional costs that may involve children or dependant, as this will be a big help when putting a financial agreement in place.
Potential future expenses could include school fees and the future costs of moving home or buying a new house.
2. Make sure you’re clued up about your household’s finances
It is not unusual for one partner in a relationship to have taken more responsibility for the family finances, and may have more knowledge either out of interest or from being more proactive about taking care of bills and budgets.
After a divorce, the less fiscally experienced partner may not fully understand how or what they should be doing with their finances.
Make sure you have the financial support and education needed to help and support you now and in the longer-term. It may be worth seeking out financial advice if you have a lump sum of cash or assets to ensure that long-term finial goals are met.
3. Consider putting a will in place or updating your existing one
In the light of a divorce or relationship break-up, the people you would want to leave your money and assets to in the event of your passing may well have changed. It is important to make sure you revisit your will or put one in place to protect your assets, provide clarity, and gain a feeling of greater control, independence, and confidence.
4. Don’t forget pensions
While the focus might be on immediate assets, such as the family home, it’s important not to forget about pensions. If these are not prioritised or divided in the best way for all parties concerned, it could cause further financial damage, and maybe even leave one of you at risk in the future.
If you need help and advice from divorce solicitors in Surrey, come and talk to us today.