How to Avoid Being Unhappy With Your Divorce Settlement By Vickie Adams{3 minutes to read} In my years as a financial planner, I noticed distressing trends within my client base. Those who had been through the divorce process either did not understand their financial settlement or were unhappy with the outcome. Many were wiped out financially.

People tend to make costly errors when they don’t take a cohesive, team approach to divorce. One of the outcomes is what I call “divorce fatigue.” They are worn down and they accept any kind of settlement.

At times during a divorce proceeding, the immediate focus is on settling unrelated, individual issues, such as spousal support or who retains the marital home. As a result, clients do not understand the financial ramifications of the agreement in its entirety. And frequently, they are disappointed with the ultimate outcome.

There are primarily three reasons for this:

  1. Confusion – They lack clarity and outlook on their life goals post divorce.
  2. Emotional Overload – The emotionally-draining divorce process clouds the ability to understand specific settlement details.
  3. Capitulation – They are worn down by the expense & inconvenience, and accept any kind of settlement due to divorce fatigue.

They lack a team approach, believing that their lawyer knows best. While the lawyer is an expert in the law, we cannot expect them to be an expert in post-divorce financial planning.

Benefits of a team approach:

  1. Therapist’s perspective: Provides the emotional support, because divorce is a state of trauma, and people are overwhelmed with new emotions & situations.
  2. CDFA’s perspective: Helps create a complete overview of their financial settlement options and post-divorce budget. Click here to read an article I wrote about how a CDFA can save you time, money and stress, as well as document your factual foundation to assist in a better settlement.
  3. Lawyer or mediator’s perspective: Assists you in negotiating for the life you want post divorce and helps you comply with the legal requirements of the divorce process.

So many people are dissatisfied or unhappy with their divorce settlement. They don’t have an overall plan that includes accurate budgeting and what their settlement will look like on an after-tax basis (taking inflation into account). They are often distressed as they just realized that they’ve been billed for 30 minutes of talking with their attorney about emotional issues instead of using a therapist. All this could have been avoided with a team approach.

Who do you know who is suffering from divorce fatigue? This article can help them.
Vickie Adams Divorce Financial PlannerVickie Adams, CFP®, CDFA