Divorce hits close to home for me. When I was six years old my father left my mother to raise my four siblings and me. Our lives and our finances were turned upside down overnight. I witnessed firsthand what can happen without proper guidance and planning. As a result of my personal experience, I am a passionate divorce financial planner who works with women who are going through or have gone through a divorce.
Divorce can create fear and uncertainty. Regardless of how affluent the couple is, there is often a great deal of worry about the financial future. If you are preparing for, in the middle of, or have finalized your divorce, you need immediate clarity of what you have and how your new life will look financially.
People are often surprised when I talk about divorce as a form of sudden wealth. Divorce can often create financial hardship through the splitting of assets and attorney’s fees. Families are often divided and finances are pushed to the limits – one of the most common predictors of bankruptcy is divorce. In my own experience as a child experiencing my parents’ divorce, we had very little to begin with, and so there was no windfall for us. However, for those with significant assets, a divorce can elicit many of the same characteristics of other sudden wealth events.
For the spouse with financial experience and relationships with advisors, this can be an easy transition. But for the spouse who either hasn’t been working or in charge of managing the finances, this influx of money and responsibility can feel like a windfall. Even though they were in a marriage where they had substantial assets, they didn’t control the wealth. It is common to feel overwhelmed, confused, and unsure of who to turn to, which are all classic characteristics of a sudden wealth experience.
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