After divorce, it is common to feel nervous about making more changes in your life. On one hand, it may be comforting to keep as many things the same as possible because you have already experienced a great deal of turmoil. Alternatively, you may prefer to make a clean break from your prior married life. When it comes to deciding whether to change financial advisors (i.e., your accountant and/or financial planner) after divorce, these conflicting emotions may come into play.
The Importance of Getting Financial Advice During and After Divorce
Divorce often results in significant changes to your financial circumstances, including your income, expenses and retirement plans. Ideally, financial experts should be involved during your divorce negotiations to help you value assets, determine the financial and tax implications of settlement offers and analyze your post-divorce financial circumstances. After the divorce, it is also advisable to consult an accountant and financial planner to assist with short and long-term planning.
Benefits of Keeping Your Financial Advisors After Divorce
If you have a good relationship with your advisors, it may make sense to continue to work with them. They already know your finances, personal circumstances and communication preferences. Assuming you are happy with your advisors, it is fine to retain them. Importantly, your advisors should explain to you that they have a new duty of loyalty to you alone. That means they cannot discuss your finances with your spouse and vice versa.
Disadvantages of Keeping Your Financial Advisors After Divorce
In many marriages, one spouse primarily handles the finances including hiring and working with accountants and financial planners. As a result, the other spouse really doesn’t have a relationship with the advisors and may not know whether they are providing good services. If you don’t have a solid relationship with the advisors your spouse hired, you may want to meet with them to determine whether you want to continue to use them or just decide to start fresh with someone you have personally selected. If you are uncomfortable with the advisor for any reason, then you will probably want to find someone new.
Ultimately, the decision to retain or change financial advisors is personal. You must feel comfortable with the advisors and trust them with your finances. When in doubt, ask people you know for recommendations, research their credentials and interview several candidates before you decide.
If you are considering divorce, it is important to have experienced legal and financial experts representing your interests. Contact us to discuss how we can help you achieve the best result in your case.