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Relationship breakdowns: Why you need a financial planner, not just a lawyer

Often in a breakdown of a marriage or de facto relationship, women walk out of a property settlement with a lot less super than they should have. This is often the result of the woman’s emotional attachment to real estate and a failure to get financial advice.

Carol Yang

Often in a breakdown of a marriage or de facto relationship, women walk out of a property settlement with a lot less super than they should have. This is often the result of the woman’s emotional attachment to real estate and a failure to get financial advice.

In relationship breakups, very often the woman has not focused on the accumulation of superannuation and many women ignore it at property settlement time. One partner will therefore end up with a large sum of super and the opportunity to accelerate their wealth quicker than with just the property settlement.

Women tend to become more emotionally attached to their real estate often pursuing the need to keep their house no matter the cost, and again often this may not be the best financial strategy as the ongoing costs of mortgage, rates and maintenance can cause financial strains on income during this already stressful time.

The best way to protect your assets following the collapse of a relationship is to get a financial planner involved, and not just legal advice. This is also a time of great emotional stress and pressure and being able to think clearly is paramount, a life coach can help stabilise emotions so that you are able to make more informed decisions. A lawyer can only take a client through the property division process according to the Family Law Act, indicating what they’re entitled to, a financial planner can advise a client as to whether it’s financially smarter to pursue the house or their share of the superannuation or a combination of assets appropriate to your ongoing future needs.

The difference in these circumstances between my male and female clients is by placing importance on financial advice, will ensure that you are able to extract the “true value and capital” out of the relationship.

Here are the 5 things you must know in order to protect your assets from the beginning

  • Keep records of assets and liabilities from pre-relationship or think back to these dates and document them especially any valuations on real estate at the time that you started living together, so that there can be no misconceptions about what your net worth was as this will be seen as your personal cost base.
  • Close off your joint accounts. Talk to your bank to establish your own pool of money, and make sure your partner can’t access it. Check that your pay is going into this account. Contact Centrelink to see what assistance you can get to help with income in the meantime.
  • Update your rental agreements. If your name is on the lease then you could be liable for any unpaid rent or damage caused by your partner.
  • Record any turning points: Note down the dates of your separation. To apply for a divorce you will need to prove that you have been separated for at least 12 months.
  • Seek legal and financial advice prior to leaving a partner, during a separation and if not by then, as soon as you leave, relying on family and friend is usually based on opinion and experiences rather than facts.

Most important thing is to find a support community such as www.facebook.com.au/divorcedwomensclub on facebook, remain composed, calm and fair. Consider your children’s wellbeing www.ourchildren.com.au Accept that you entered into the relationship together so there will need to be compromise on the exit too.

All the very best of luck to you x

Please LIKE my facebook page, if you felt this article was relevant and would like more tips and strategies to live a better life.

Lou Agnew at www.facebook.com.au/LyfeAcademy

 

Disclaimer The information contained in this brochure is of a general nature only, does not take into account your particular objectives, financial situation or needs. Accordingly the information should not be used, relied upon or treated as a substitute for specific financial advice. Whilst all care has been taken in the preparation of this material, no warranty is given in respect of the information provided and accordingly neither Lyfe Academy, Lyfe Planning or Lyfe Property nor its Directors, employees or agents shall be liable on any ground whatsoever with respect to decisions or actions taken as a result of you acting upon such information. Your privacy is important to us. If you do not wish to receive information of this kind in the future, please contact the office noted above. Lyfe Academy ATF The JLA Family Trust ABN 54 285 544 664

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