Divorce is a time of many changes and is seldom easy for anyone involved. Still, certain steps you can take now may make the process less stressful and help simplify your life when the divorce is finalized.
First things first – assembling a strong, experienced team of confidential professional and personal advisors can provide critical guidance and support, helping you make more informed decisions while you approach the future with greater confidence.
Consider building a team that includes:
Your Own Lawyer
Yes, it is possible to get through a divorce without a lawyer, but usually it’s not wise. Your lawyer takes on the responsibility of safeguarding your best interests and can deal objectively and unemotionally with the many complex issues that typically arise. Plus, an experienced lawyer can help ensure that you take advantage of any benefit afforded to you during the divorce process.
Your Own Accountant
Your tax filing status changes significantly as the result of a divorce. An accountant can advise you on matters such as income and capital gains taxes — as well as any residual tax issues that may linger from your marriage.
Your Own Financial Advisor
You and your spouse may have worked with a financial advisor to help plan and manage assets during your marriage. Now you need a financial advisor who can focus solely on you and your needs and goals — on a completely confidential basis. Your financial advisor can help you understand the assets you own and your liquidity and cash flow issues, as well as strategies for reaching long-term objectives such as educating a child, funding your next business venture or planning for retirement.
Your Own Personal Counselor
Divorce is a legal, financial and emotional process. If you don’t feel comfortable discussing certain private matters with your financial or legal advisor, you might consider seeking a therapist, clergyperson or other personal counselor. Their help may become invaluable as they guide you through the very human side of divorce.
As you go separate ways remember you are now in charge. Work with a team that helps you keep your balance, while planning for short-term realities and long-term possibilities.
Anita Srivastava is a Financial Advisor with the Global Wealth Management Division of Morgan Stanley in Ridgewood, NJ. The information contained in this article is not a solicitation to purchase or sell investments. Any information presented is general in nature and not intended to provide individually tailored investment advice. The strategies and/or investments referenced may not be suitable for all investors as the appropriateness of a particular investment or strategy will depend on an investor's individual circumstances and objectives.
Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC (“Morgan Stanley”), its affiliates and Morgan Stanley Financial Advisors and Private Wealth Advisors do not provide tax or legal advice. Clients should consult their tax advisor for matters involving taxation and tax planning and their attorney for matters involving trust and estate planning, charitable giving, philanthropic planning and other legal matters.
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