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What is a financial plan for divorce?

Money is stressful at the best of times—in separation and divorce, it can be downright terrifying. A financial plan can help.

For many women, this is the first time where they have felt fully aware of their financial profile. Even if you are feeling that you are in a losing position at this moment, it’s important to take stock and see where you can build. People often come away from this with a positive outlook.

- Laura Fralick, CFP and unhitch Live Q&A guest speaker, November 2021

During Financial Literacy Month in November, we welcomed guest speaker and Certified Financial Planner Laura Fralick to join us for a Live Q&A to talk all things money.

Here we share some of her insight and advice for building a healthy financial plan and reducing anxiety about money as you navigate a separation or divorce.

A good financial plan starts with a good relationship

A Certified Financial Planner (CFP) is someone with a specialized designation and who is trained in many areas of investment, pension, retirement strategies, taxation, estate planning, savings for children (including those with disabilities), insurance protection, group health benefits, business/corporate planning, job transitions and more.

A relationship with your planner is particularly important when facing life changes (positive or negative). The ideal is being able to collaborate with someone who knows your situation from all aspects (financial, legal) and who understands your emotions, hopes and fears. Good planners really enjoy celebrating milestones with you and relationships that feel like friendships are common.

Financial planning is personalized and strategic

After finding a financial planner with whom you have a good rapport, there is a specific (documented and audited) process that your planner will begin. Goal setting and full disclosure of your financial situation is part of this process.

Goal setting in particular is very important and can be comforting during a time when you feel vulnerable. And don’t worry if your goals are small at this point. Goals get updated over time as you progress, but there needs to be an initial foundation for action steps. At this time, you can discuss your short- and long-term goals, as well as any stressors that keep you up at night.

As you move through the process, remember that a good financial plan is one that provides you with:

  • A reliable summary of where you are at any point in time

  • A repository of all your details, for the busy people out there who don’t have time for spreadsheets and detailed files, etc.

  • A personalized strategy for how to get ahead, feel secure and grow your wealth

  • Prevention of any pitfalls that can occur through lack of knowledge, lack of resources or just not knowing the right questions to ask

  • A financial plan specifically for staying afloat during your separation and divorce

As Laura told us, it’s important to remember that every good planner is interested in long-term, happy clients and positive outcomes—we think that’s a fantastic financial goal that everyone can benefit from, no matter how little or how much money they might have when they start a new financial chapter.

Want a checklist for financial wellbeing and security during separation and divorce? Join unhitch as a member and unlock exclusive content and additional resources.

Upcoming unhitch events

We offer affordable access to the experts on family law, financial health, real estate, health and wellbeing and more through our Live Q&A Events. Browse and register for our upcoming events—these one-hour virtual gatherings are an ideal way to get a friendly overview of separation and divorce from professionals in the field. Members get a discount on all events and the opportunity to submit questions ahead of time to our speakers.

Other resources

Listen to the IG Wealth Management podcast: A Wealth of Women’s Stories.

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