In Focus: Advice for Women  

Why advice is invaluable for women post-divorce

Why advice is invaluable for women post-divorce

The majority of women do not understand the cost of running a home, meaning they end up financially vulnerable if they take on the family home after divorce without professional advice.

Abbie Hookway, managing director of Touchstone Education, said the women she has spoken to tend to underestimate how much it will cost to "go it alone" after divorce or a break-up.

Speaking on the FTAdviser In Focus Podcast, Hookway, who set up her property advice business following her own divorce, said: "Nationally, it costs, on average, £1,800 a month across the UK."

When you add the other things such as childcare and petrol into the mix, it is clear there is a need for professional advice to help clients get back on their feet and out of the red following a divorce.

Catherine Beaumont, independent mortgage adviser at London Money, echoed this view. She said: "Female clients sometimes do not have an independent account. Some are quite savvy, but on the whole, when going through separation and divorce, it is concerning how few... understand the true costs."

Preeti Ferrier, area director for Just Mortgages, said: "It all comes down to affordability, and finding the right adviser to hold your hand through the whole process. 

"It is a very nerve-wracking experience to go through as a woman, so if you find the right adviser who can offer that one-stop-shop, helping you understand the finances, the house-buying process, what's involved from a solicitors' perspective, you will be able to understand the process better."

The panellists said it was important to have professional advice at the point of divorce, to prevent the woman ending up "lost". 

Hookway added: "You need someone to help the woman work out what they can afford, whether they sell the family home and move or whether they decide to stay."

A big concern is "affordability", said Beaumont, citing how the rise in property prices, particularly in the South East, can prove problematic.

"Sometimes you have to give people bad news. Our job is not just arranging the finance for them; quite often we become their counsellor, giving them confidence to forge a clear path going forward."

To read the various ways in which advisers can help educate and support clients in this situation, listen to the full podcast using the link above.

simoney.kyriakou@ft.com