Divorcing Your Spouse and Your Financial Adviser

Divorcing Your Spouse and Your Financial Adviser

By: M. Scott Gordon

When you file for divorce in Chicago, it is likely that you will have many questions and concerns about finances. To be sure, dealing with property division during the divorce process can feel personal, unfair, and frustrating. Whenever finances are involved, we know that there is significant tension between spouses. Considering the complications of finances in a marriage and after divorce, a recent article from MarketWatch emphasized the need to hire your own financial adviser; do not stick with the financial adviser that you and your spouse shared during the marriage. Why do you need to find a new financial advocate? In short, you need as many advocates on your side as possible.

Dealing with Financial Issues as Early as Possible

As soon as you begin considering divorce in Illinois, it is essential to hire an experienced Chicago area divorce lawyer. At the same time, you should begin thinking about who usually handles your marital finances. When you have been in a marriage for a long time or if you are part of a high net worth household, thinking about the financial consequences of divorce is particularly important. And you need to start considering the economic impact of a marriage dissolution sooner rather than later. For instance, seeking financial advice early on can help to ensure that you are dealing with your immediate needs, such as those involving short-term care, insurance, or child support.

The first step in thinking about your finances is, as we mentioned above, to work with a new financial adviser. To be sure, “at least one spouse should not rely on the financial planner or adviser the couple used during the marriage.” In the most basic terms, using the financial adviser from your marriage is essentially a conflict of interest. You do not want to be in a position where your financial planner is also providing advice to your ex-spouse. And you will need to be sure to take this step on your own, as financial advisers and financial planners “are not bound by any hard and fast rules” on advising both spouses who are in the process of divorce.

While it might sound like a good financial decision in the short-term to stick with the same financial adviser, that decision could end up costing you a lot more in the long run.

What Does a Financial Adviser Do?

Why do you need your own financial adviser at all? As the article points out, financial advisers and planners can help you think about the immediate economic repercussions of your divorce, as well as the financial issues with which you may need to deal in the long run. Examples of matters for which you will likely want a financial adviser include but are not limited to:

  • Short-term money needs;
  • Medical insurance;
  • Spousal support;
  • Child support;
  • Trusts;
  • Retirement income planning;
  • College plans for your children;
  • Home maintenance costs;
  • Long-term care costs; and
  • Social Security benefits.

Of course, your divorce lawyer can provide much-needed legal advice about each of these categories, too. If you have questions or concerns about the financial impact of divorce, you should reach out to a dedicated divorce attorney in Chicago. Do not hesitate to contact Gordon & Perlut, LLC to learn more about how we can assist with your divorce.