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Marriage Split - The Financial Ramifications

By James Anthony

Marriage Split - The Financial RamificationsSo the shock of the split has come and is slowly easing but, believe me, there are so many more things that are going to hit you fair and square between the eyes, shoulder blades and legs before your ex has done with you.

The ones that hit you between the eyes are ones you can see straight off and involve custody, finances, asset splitting and disentangling bank accounts, hire purchases, insurances, life policies whatever.

These are fiddly and annoying and can lead to some serious problems.

There are three magnificent words for people in our situations: Lawyer, accountant, lawyer.

Use them to get advice on how not to be ruined. If you can't afford a legal person, go to your local Citizens Advice Bureau as they will either be able to offer good legal direction, or have a list of lawyers to contact.

For mine the kids, finances and asset splitting were fairly easy. We had jointly looked after the kids all their lives so that was the decision - seven nights a fortnight each. It is a private agreement and by sharing in that way there is no maintenance or officialdom involved.

The finances worked out at 50-50 for cash, investments - after all pretty much everything we had was put together during our years together - and then did a pick of assets. With my larger income I figured it was better to allow the ex to take the important things so she didn't need to eat into savings - so the fridge, washing machine, drier, sofas, TV, seating, stereo, pots and pans went her way.

Then came a nasty one. I got clobbered with halving of superannuation, plus I got whacked with difference in vehicle values. All up it was a 50-50 split minus about an extra $20,000 for me (see this article for legal advice on property, asset and superannuation splitting during a marriage split).

I can live with the vehicle, pain though it is, but I was not thrilled with the super. After all, I can't touch it until I'm 55-60-70-dead, depending upon the whim of politicians and yet it comes straight out of my share when I need the money most.

And don't do what I do and ask if your ex thinks that's fair. I got a "Well, yours will be worth more in the future." No pity or reasonableness there, gents, let me tell you.

So there it was all that hard work for $X. Still, now it is mine, and that is something you should keep with you as you go through the divvy up. Whatever you are left with is yours.

I should also point out that I am lucky in that I can work part-time and therefore can take the kids 50-50. It also helps that the cash the Ex has in the bank precludes her from hopping on a benefit - therefore she has to work part-time.

If you are full-time and your Ex can't/doesn't want to work then the case is way different and very expensive. I know of guys who have been cheated on, then kicked out of the family home, have had to keep paying the mortgage and spouse maintenance. How's that for fairness!

Earlier, when referring to the shoulder blades that can be the nasty surprises sprung on unsuspecting chaps and the back-stabbing can be a healthy slush fund set up by the Ex-to-be as she sets up her escape plot. It can also be a cleaning out of the bank account, locking you out of the house, false moves for restraining orders or the worst of all - false allegations.

As said before the key thing to keeping yourself okay mentally during this trying time is to stay positive. Talk to friends, workmates and you'll discover that anyone who has been through it will have a sympathetic ear. Given that such a high number of marriages end in divorce then a pre-nuptial agreement may be worth considering.

Related Articles:
The Marriage Split
Telling the Kids

Legal/Financial resources:
Pre Nuptial Agreements
Divorce: Property & Superannuation Splitting


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