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How to Leverage a Financial Advisor During or After a Divorce

By: Steven Hannigan

The story is a common one: the divorce settlement has been finalized. The couple parts ways, with both parties walking away with certain assets. Inevitably, only one of the parties has likely maintained a relationship with their financial advisor. Often, it’s been the husband who has managed the couple’s investment accounts alongside a financial advisor. He most likely will continue that relationship, while the wife, who is walking away with a nice settlement after the divorce proceedings, is left without a financial advisor.

It’s important for that spouse to quickly find their own financial advisor who can help manage the money that was obtained through the settlement.

Even better, women should consider bringing in a financial advisor during divorce proceedings. According to a recent study, only 5% of women have an investment advisor as a part of their divorce team, yet 61% said they wished they had used a financial advisor during their divorce.

Having a financial advisor as part of the divorce team can be a tremendous help. The financial advisor, when working alongside the attorney and possibly a forensic accountant or valuation specialist, can be a powerful advocate who helps position the client for long-term financial stability.

How Should You Lean On a Financial Advisor During and After a Divorce?

Obviously, when a spouse obtains a significant amount of money after a divorce settlement, he or she will benefit from having a financial advisor to help manage and invest those funds. The financial advisor can also help him or her come up with a financial plan for the future so they can achieve the lifestyle they wish to have.

But there are other financial-related areas to consider both during and after the divorce process, including:

  • Analyzing proposed settlement offers

  • Preparing a lifestyle analysis

  • Setting up a budget

  • Organizing assets

  • Paying off debt

  • Saving for retirement

  • Creating an emergency fund

  • Purchasing a new home

  • Creating new sources of income

The financial advisor can help with all of these items.

What Should You Look for In a Financial Advisor?

The most important aspect in the client/financial advisor relationship is trust. Whether it is an established relationship, or a new one, trust is the foundation upon which success will be built.

There are three main characteristics you should look for in a financial advisor:

Fiduciary: A Registered Investment Advisor is held to a fiduciary standard, meaning they are required to act in the client's best interest 100% of the time.

Fee-based: You want an advisor whose interests are aligned with the client's. A fee-based system means the advisor is not selling  products for a commission, but instead the only way for the advisor's fee to increase is when the account value increases.

Independent: An advisor who can choose from the entire universe of investable options, instead of just the funds produced by their company.

Need Help?

Our team of financial advisors can help get clients into a positive financial position during or after divorce. Contact us online or call 800.899.4623.

Published October 23, 2020

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