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Why divorcing couples and families need to find alternatives

  • Learn about how divorce proceedings work now and why there is demand for reform.
  • Understand some of the options available to divorcing couples that may ease the process.
  • Consider what role advisers can play in mediated divorces.
CPD
Approx.30min

Collaborative law is another option – in this instance, couples appoint their own lawyers but take part in four-way meetings which help reduce antagonism and encourage everyone to come to a workable ongoing arrangement.

London is known as the ‘divorce capital of the world’ and although it is likely the city will continue to lead in this field, it is expected that we will see more conciliatory options for couples.

Financial advice 

So why should a financial adviser be minded as to what sort of divorce their client has?

Many reading this article will be all too familiar with the paperwork involved – the ‘form E’ for instance, which is the financial statement for a financial order. This gives the court all the details relating to an individual’s financial position. 

But the role of financial advisers in a divorce process is imperative – much more than just a form-filling exercise, especially if the couple has significant assets cross-border.

Their assistance will include the disclosure process, structuring a settlement and important tax considerations.

They can provide invaluable help in putting together future budgets and for calculating capitalised maintenance. If a spouse is wealthy, the adviser will be relied on to provide clarity in the divorce process, in particular as to the scale of assets and how they can be realised.

However, for a financial adviser, divorce can be a stressful time.

Until the point of divorce they will often have advised the couple together. However, they can be put under pressure during litigation to be more partisan, which can make it difficult at the end of a divorce to maintain an ongoing professional relationship with both sides. 

Therefore, if a financial adviser’s clients decide to use mediation or another conciliatory approach, this makes the whole process much easier, more transparent and ultimately cheaper for everyone involved. 

There are not any rules stopping advisers working for both parties in a divorce (solicitors for example cannot do this) and this joint process can work very well – the adviser remains financially neutral and gives information (rather than advice) so both spouses can get to a practical position they are happy with.

From a financial adviser’s perspective, particularly those who, pre-separation, were advising a couple together, it fits very well being able to recommend a service to clients which will serve them both and enable them both to receive impartial advice.

CPD
Approx.30min

Please answer the six multiple choice questions below in order to bank your CPD. Multiple attempts are available until all questions are correctly answered.

  1. The divorce process takes, on average, how many months, according to research from Seddons?

  2. Finish this sentence: "In the modern world, the current law is..."

  3. What pilot scheme was dubbed a "triumphant success" and has been rolled out nationwide?

  4. When couples appoint their own lawyers but take part in four-way meetings which help reduce antagonism what is this known as?

  5. Which city is known as the 'divorce capital of the world'?

  6. Is this statement true or false? "There are rules stopping advisers working for both parties in a divorce."

Nearly There…

You have successfully answered all the questions correctly, well done!

You should now know…

  • Learn about how divorce proceedings work now and why there is demand for reform.
  • Understand some of the options available to divorcing couples that may ease the process.
  • Consider what role advisers can play in mediated divorces.

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