Marriage Split - The Financial Ramifications
By James Anthony
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
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
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
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
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.
Property & Superannuation Splitting