When divorce becomes an inevitability
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When divorce becomes an inevitability and financial issues need to be focused upon there is a subject that is rarely addressed, and yet, is one of the most fundamental pillars of certainty and security.
 
You’re going to hate me saying this but… it’s protection.  Please read on even if the prospect of just thinking about the subject gives you a chill.  It is fundamental to providing security for children until they are independent if you are not in a position to do so and your ex has died.
 
Negotiation about maintenance, education, housing and the basics such as food pale into insignificance if the previous partner providing this, or indeed yourself,  is critically ill and has reduced or no income or dies before your children have reached independence.

With some forethought, the payment of the premiums can be agreed as part of the maintenance settlement so that you have control of this and know that they are being paid.

It’s important that the policy is set up before the divorce is settled because, while you are still technically man and wife, you have an ‘insurable interest’ enabling you to insure against each other’s lives. Once the divorce is through you are no longer able to do this.

You should seek independent financial advice to establish cover amounts, types of contract and premiums but here are some pointers …

• Go for the best value for money contract
• Try to establish an accurate amount of capital that would be needed to provide the outstanding maintenance if the worst thing happened
• Look at Critical Illness cover as well as life insurance if possible
• Look at putting the benefit into a trust with you as one of the Trustees if this is appropriate.
Putting the capital into a trust for the benefit of the children is often reassuring to a partner who is having to stump up the premiums as they can also be a trustee.

There are so many different contracts out there, and so many different companies to choose from, it can be mindboggling even when you’re considering it in a stable relationship. In the emotional maelstrom that is a relationship breakdown it is even more fraught. 

However, put the ‘Business Head’ on – you have children and yourself to consider.  Their future security is paramount and should be non-negotiable in my opinion.  Seek professional advice and ensure that your options are clearly laid out and relate to your own particular set of circumstances.

Considering this aspect of your finances might actually empower you too I often find that clients are afraid of finance but, once they have bitten the bullet and faced their fear, they feel better, more in control and less battered by circumstance.

As a dear friend who has been there says

“The more head-on I was with things that frightened me and that I wasn’t used to dealing with the less afraid I become and the more I grew.  In a sense, I’m a more independent person as a result.”
 
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