Saving Money

How to Invest Your Money Post-Divorce

Divorce can be a financially trying time where one feels that her head is barely above water. There still may be attorney fees to pay along with the cost of buying a new house.  Your alimony and child support may not be what you had anticipated. Or you may have received a bid chunk of cash and not sure of how to invest it.

I bought a house during the end of my divorce and my priority was paying off the mortgage, so I would not have to deal with it when my alimony ran out. Look at different policies to ensure that there is not a penalty for paying it off before the fifteen or thirty year loan expires. An acquaintance who had a bad break-up, has a ten percent penalty if she pays off her mortgage early. She did not read the fine print. I paid extra every month and used most of my divorce settlement for paying off the balance. I like having this security.

Meet with a financial planner who charges by the hour and has no vested interest in certain investments. Working with one who only gets commissions may steer you into a plan that pays a high commission to them. This happened to one women who ended up with a lousy annuity and lost a chunk of its value when she dumped it post-divorce. Word of mouth is one way to find reputable financial planners, but check their web sites and the Better Business Bureau to get a fuller picture.

I looked at financial institutions that did not give their CEOs and top echelon multi-million dollar salaries or bonuses. I checked out who has low fees, paid less to administrators, and has been in business for a while. I found Vanguard ticked all of these boxes. Investments that reach a certain dollar amount do not pay, or barely pay, an administrative fee. My divorced friend is quite happy with Charles Schwab and feels she pays less in fees.

Keeping your money in line during divorce

Divorce is always difficult and there’s rarely a smooth way around it. Big money divorces regularly make the headlines and serve as a constant reminder that the process won’t just take its toll on your emotions, but also your bank account.

If you are thinking about divorce, it’s important that you understand how costly it can be. For example, the court fee for filing a divorce in the UK is currently (as of March 2014) £410. In addition, fees are required to obtain your final order and conclude financial arrangements.

Solicitor Fees

You’ll most likely require some form of legal advice before you start the divorce proceedings. Hiring a solicitor may seem expensive; however, the cost of attaining expert guidance could be minimal in comparison to what you could lose.

Hiring a solicitor will help to secure your assets and ensure you are as protected as possible. Fees can significantly vary on a case-to-case basis and the more you can resolve yourself, the less it will cost. Using mediation or collaborative lawyers could also reduce expenditure. In addition, there are plenty of free online resources available that will help guide you through the process.

According to Money Advice Service most solicitors will charge between £100 and £200 per hour to draw up legal documents that contain the agreement between you and your partner. If you use a solicitor to negotiate finances and assets on your behalf it could cost between £3,000 and £10,000.

Other Costs

Aside from the legal aspects, there are plenty of other costs that you must discuss before getting a divorce. For example, who will pay for your child’s living costs? Who will move out of the house? Do you have a place to stay when the procedures begin? Can you afford the rent without your partner? Will you be able to accommodate buying and moving costs?

Children can be particularly at risk during divorce proceedings, which is of course heartbreak for any parent. One way that Cathy (co-author of this post) is watching her money is by setting up a trust for her little one. One of the benefits of a trust fund is that it does not fall in line with the other assets that can be at risk during divorce proceedings. You can find out more about trusts on this page.

Getting Financial Aid

There is currently no form of financial aid to help cover divorce fees in England, unless you can prove evidence of domestic violence. If you believe that you qualify for financial aid you must contact Civil Legal Advice. They will tell you whether or not you are entitled to support and may also provide a mediator on your behalf. This can cause much emotional strain, but it is crucial that you protect yourself and ask for help if you feel you have been threatened in any relationship.

If you can’t afford your divorce fees and staying with your partner isn’t an option, then you may have to borrow money and could be entitled to litigation funding. This is a loan which is specifically granted to cover legal fees. Not many financial service institutions will provide litigation funding, and if they do, they’ll most likely deal directly with your solicitor.

Going through divorce can be one of the most emotionally challenging times of your life. Dealing with the financial arrangements and your assets can cause a great deal of unnecessary stress. Without taking the appropriate procedures you could find yourself significantly out of pocket. If you would like advice about how to handle your divorce, contact a specialist that really knows how to take care of the proceedings in a professional, and most importantly, heartfelt manner.

Written by Jessica Baker (@JessBaker89) and Cathy Graham of Mercer and Hole

Divorce tip: Beauty for Less

When you are going through a divorce or other life transition, you may be on a tight budget. You still require high quality products that are plant based for healthy  skin. You do not have to down grade to cheap products full of chemicals, but rather upgrade to ones that deliver a powerful punch for rejuvenation. Your skin becomes sallow and more wrinkled with insomnia and stress.

Boots pharmacies  in the UK, have their own lines of skin care and are available stateside at Target and other retailers. Botanics are particularly packed full of botanicals and are endorsed by Kew Gardens in London, along with Oprah and some leading physicians. Theses products are  reasonable starting at $8.99 to around $24.99.

I really like the Facial Oil 100% organic which is $8.99. The Facial Serum Triple Age Renewal and the matching eye serum have orchid as one of the plant ingredients and sell for around $16.00. I use the facial super balm($8.99) as both the top layer of moisturizer and as a night eye balm.

Boot’s No. 7 line has the popular Protect & Perfect skin serum which has undergone studies endorsing its qualities. The No. 7  Overnight Hand Treatment ($14.69) makes my middle aged hands look young. The No.7 foundation and blush is made in France and is every bit as good as the high price department store ones that I used in the past.

Lumene skin care from Finland also is plant based and usually under $25.oo. These can be found at CVS Pharmacy and Walgreens, sometimes on sale. Prevent future problems by taking care of your skin now with these nurturing and reasonably priced items. Not only will you look and feel better, but your budget will too.