Your finances and divorce

Divorce is undoubtedly one of life’s most stressful experiences. And, as more people are getting divorced, thanks in part to the lingering legacy of the pandemic, it’s one a lot of us go through. But a few things can help your finances recover, helping your life look rosier over the long run.


Splitting up is on the up

American country singer Tammy Wynette knew a thing about divorce. Married five times, her best-selling single hit number one back in 1968.

Back then, around 46,000 couples divorced in 1968.[1] Compare that against almost 112,000 opposite-sex plus 1,500 same-sex divorces in 2021, according to the latest data.[2] These high numbers include an almost 10% spike in just a year, as the lockdown effect took its toll.


Get help

If this is something you’re facing, or you know someone going through it we sympathise. It’s a stressful, emotionally draining time, and expensive too, in many cases.

One way to focus on what’s important is to get the right help in place. This means legal, emotional, and financial.

When our clients get divorced, we always suggest they speak with specialist solicitors or mediators. The earlier you do this, the more robust your plan to protect your interests and achieve a satisfactory outcome.

You may have already been through joint counselling but now the focus falls on you as an individual. The right emotional support, from friends, family, and healthcare professionals, will help you with the burden. It’s too important to ignore.

Financial support is just as essential. Your adviser will help you determine how much of your wealth remains at the end of the process – and what you can afford to pay for in future.


Cashflow Modelling

We help our clients to pinpoint assets, in flows and liabilities over their lifetime through cashflow modelling*; we look at their desired future lifestyle; and then we create an allocation of assets designed to balance everything in pursuit of that lifestyle goal.

For example, one client will need stock market risk to get their wealth into the right position; another will require lower yielding assets to preserve a large capital pool; and a third might require a more nuanced approach.

Our cashflow modelling skills and tools enable us to establish all of these, and then we work with our clients towards their goal. It can help provide stability when just about everything in life feels like it’s whirling around.


Retirement, home

The two largest assets up for discussion are usually pensions and homes.

Divorce courts aim for a fair distribution of assets, in many cases a 50:50 split of the aggregated pot and this includes your pension and your home.

It’s useful to know that the law on pension assets differs between Scotland and the rest of the U.K. The former will review pension rights built up during the marriage or civil partnership – the latter pension assets in their totality.

You will need to start with a pension valuation. Looking at a recent statement or the current value online will help you plan – but a court will need a formal valuation (including home valuation) from your provider.

Instead of dividing the value of each asset, you may wish to consider a trade-off: one keeps their pension, the other the home. This approach necessitates means big decisions: one will need a home, the other a plan for income in retirement.

As you make these decisions, please remember that a pension comes with significant tax breaks. You have relief on contributions and a pension will usually sit outside your estate when it comes to inheritance tax.


Business as usual?

If you own a business, this is also likely to come into the court’s purview.

The company either enters the pension + home 50:50 agreement, where they are aggregated and divided accordingly, or you agree with your soon-to-be-ex partner that, say, you keep the business, they the home and the pension is split, or a different permutation.

There are lots of options. But when a business is involved, it’s worth considering whether you want to work with your ex or if they should retain an equity stake – and therefore a say – in how the enterprise is managed. There’s a lot to be said for a clean break.



If your pension is depleted, you’ll need a plan to get it and your wealth more broadly – back on track.  Conversely, if you’ve received a big divorce settlement, you might feel overwhelmed with options. In both cases we always recommend a financial planning discussion, where we think hard about your future needs and dreams, assess your assets and income, and set a course towards a realistic target.

No matter what stage you’re at in the divorce process, it’s never too late to plan. Get in touch on or call 020 7467 2700.


*Please be aware that cashflow modelling assumptions can be incorrect. They provide estimates only, and therefore require regular review, particularly as personal circumstances and objectives can change.




This document is marketing material for a retail audience and does not constitute advice or recommendations. Past performance is not a guide to future performance and may not be repeated. The value of investments and the income from them may go down as well as up and investors may not get back the amount originally invested.

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