Whether you are knee deep in divorce cake, quaffing champagne at your divorce party or hitting Debenhams to your divorce registry, the reason will be that your long awaited Decree Absolute will have arrived. The legal position will have caught up with your emotional reality and your relationship with your former spouse will have been formally severed.
But let me just pop that champagne back on ice for a moment. Has the practical position been brought in line with the legal and emotional ones? You might have spent a considerable amount of time and money reaching a financial settlement which may have largely been implemented but what other hidden ties remain between you and your ex that need to be snipped and tidied away?
A little checklist of things to consider updating:
Pension & Death in Service Beneficiaries
Life Insurance Policies
Powers of Attorney
Some of these may formally have been considered as part of your financial settlement but maybe not. It is worth double checking. If something wasn’t ‘in dispute’ potential issues may not have risen to the surface.
Wills most definitely will need updating. Divorce automatically affects provision under a will. You will need to give thought to the guardianship of any minor children as well as possibly making provision by means of a financial trust for their future. If you intend to remarry, you need to consider how your children will be provided for in the future if their carer will not be your new spouse. You may also consider a pre nuptial agreement to protect your children’s position in the event that the new marriage is dissolved.
So take advice from lawyers and IFAs. Use the opportunity to plan ahead. And enjoy that champagne with the peace of mind of knowing that you really so have a ‘clean’ break.