No one gets married expecting to get divorced some time later in the relationship but the reality is that is what happens, as 42% of UK and over 50% of U.S. marriages end up in divorce according to government figures.
Despite the relationship ending, not every split is straight forward and many couples simply want to agree to a finance divorce settlement which they are happy with and allows them to move on with their life.
Finding a solution
When you decide to end your relationship and seek a divorce or dissolution of your civil partnership, there are often a number of important financial issues that need to be resolved.
How you manage to sort out and separate your finances when you go your different ways is largely down to how easily you and your ex-partner still find it to talk to each other about money.
The level of cooperation and cordiality you are able to achieve will often help determine the amount of professional help that you might need to resolve your financial affairs satisfactorily.
Even if you are parting on good terms, there is often a sound argument that using a professional firm to draw up a divorce settlement will help to ensure that your affairs are concluded correctly and you can then both start a new chapter in your lives.
What needs to be sorted
There are four major factors that are the most critical aspects of a divorce settlement.
If you have children, you need to decide and agree who they are going to live with when you part and where it is practical in terms of schooling and contact access.
A major financial issue that needs discussing and resolving is how you will each financially support the children that you have. The other major financial question that needs answering is what money you both need to live on.
Another issue that will need to be addressed is dividing the retirement accounts and pensions. It will save you both time and money to include detailed language in the divorce decree or settlement so that when the qualified domestic relations orders (QDRO) are prepared there are no potential conflicts.
The other consideration is where each of you will live. Maybe this will involve one person moving out of the marital home or it could be that the property needs to be sold so that the proceeds can be distributed.
Every couple’s situation is unique to a certain extent and when you start to prepare for sorting out a divorce settlement, things like what level of income you both currently have and what property you own, will be taken into consideration when trying to agree a deal.
The age of the children will make a difference to a financial settlement. If your children are independent adults, a judge would not consider their financial needs to be relevant if the matter came before a court.
How long you have been married and how old you are can also be factors in determining a financial settlement.
Even if you are both in general agreement about a number of these key issues, a financial settlement can still be a complicated matter, which is why you may want to hire some professional help so that you get divorced and become financially independent of each other in the best way possible for both parties.
Eloise Porter works as a financial advisor. She likes to share her financial experience on the web. Her posts appear on many finance blog sites.