Divorce and Money – Where to find help when making financial decisions

Let’s face it, money — or the lack thereof — is one of life’s most frequent stressors. In a recent survey by the accounting firm PriceWaterhouse Cooper (PwC), more than half (52 percent) of respondents said they were stressed about finances, and 45 percent reported that their stress increased over the last 12 months.

When you’re going through divorce, financial stress can be greatly compounded, especially for couples that found it difficult to resolve financial differences during their marriage. For individuals who weren’t previously involved with the household finances, taking charge of their financial well being might mean establishing fiscal independence for the first time. But if you feel at a loss when in comes to budgeting, 401k rollovers, annuities and other money matters, there’s no need to stress out. Financial advisors can help.

Professional financial advisors/planners are not just for the wealthy. They usually work on commission and/or a fee basis which may vary depending on your income and size of investment portfolio. They provide expertise on how and when to invest your money, as well as assisting with budgeting and setting up long-term savings goals, such as retirement or college funds. They (typically) are not CPAs but they may assist with investing in tax planning and tax deferred retirement savings.

Some financial advisors specialize in financial issues that are unique to divorce, such as division of marital property (including retirement assets and pensions,) child support, real estate holdings and tax law pertaining to divorce. These Certified Divorce Financial Advisors (CDFA) have additional training and often work with divorce or family lawyers to help clients create a long-term plans and resolve financial issues.

Could you benefit from the expertise of a financial advisor? Talk to your attorney. To find the right one for you, ask trusted friends and family members for referrals. (And always ask how fees are assessed before signing on.) You may find that a knowledgeable professional in your corner can help ease the stress of divorce while building a solid plan for your financial future.