A Guide On Divorce Asset Protection: Before, During & After Divorce
Navigating the complexities of divorce involves a range of financial aspects, including divorce asset protection. There are many financial planning considerations before, during, and after a divorce.
From property and pensions to savings and investments, understanding your assets and your options in advance can help make the process less daunting.
Asset division is one of the major financial components in protecting assets during divorce and the legal and financial decisions involved can be highly complex.
Once the divorce is finalised, a crucial (but often overlooked) part of the process is updating estate documents and beneficiary designations.
Money might not be at the forefront of your mind when your marriage breaks down but given the impact divorce can have on your finances, it’s important to consider the steps you can take now to safeguard your future financial security through divorce asset protection.
Get specialist advice early.
Your first step should be to seek specialist advice early on and assemble your team of professionals. At Hepburn Delaney, your Solicitor manages the entire process for you. They can help advise on what assets would be most favourable to retain after the divorce and work with financial advisors to support this process. Our inhouse Inheritance team is here to structure these assets in the most tax efficient manner as part of a wealth management plan.
Asset division strategies
A lot goes into creating the right asset division strategy for your joint money when protecting assets during a divorce. At Hepburn Delaney, we prioritise your individual circumstances and goals to drive the process. Here are several common key points to consider:
What do you want your life to look like after a divorce?
Splitting assets during a divorce is more than pounds and pence, even though it may not feel like it. In determining what you want to keep, think about how the asset fits into your future.
- Will you be happy in the matrimonial home?
- Who gets the pets?
- What investments best suit your risk profile and goals?
Day to day financial needs
A key factor to consider is the liquidity of the assets being split. This is cash flow and covers day to day needs. For example, a property isn’t cash until sold and future benefits like pensions won’t help pay the bills right after the divorce.
Capital Gains Tax liabilities.
Bear in mind that CGT liabilities could arise later. For example, if you receive an asset from your partner and subsequently sell it, this will count as a transaction rather than a transfer, meaning you might have to pay CGT on the profits. Once your divorce is finalised, it’s important to regularly review your finances, assess your tax position, and make sure your financial plan, including any measures for divorce asset protection, still suits your needs.
Financial planning after the divorce
The divorce may be over, but you need to ensure a proper wealth management plan is in place. At Hepburn Delaney this is tailored to your own individual requirements, to give you the peace of mind to know your affairs are in order and your family will always be protected. Some considerations:
Update pension plan beneficiary designations.
- Any pension/retirement plan beneficiaries will likely need to be updated. Estate planning is an important part of this, especially if you have young children, so consider setting up a trust.
Changing life insurance beneficiaries
- Again, you’ll want to make sure all your life insurance policies reflect your wishes and the terms of the divorce agreement.
Get a new estate plan. After a divorce, you’ll want a Solicitor to help you with your estate plan to ensure effective divorce asset protection. This is a really important step. An estate plan includes wills, trusts, your wishes for the disposition of tangible assets, and inheritance tax planning. Within these documents, you name people to key appointments: executor, trustee, power of attorney, guardian for minor children, etc. After the divorce, you are likely wanting to change the appointments you made while married.
Getting your trusted team of advisors in place to help you navigate a divorce is critical to getting through it. There are numerous complex and emotional issues to endure, so you’ll want a strong team around you. This is especially important for high-net-worth divorces, as it becomes increasingly complex.
But you don’t have to do it alone. Our specialist legal advisors can help you understand your assets, and help you build a financial plan for your next chapter with divorce asset protection.