Divorce advice without the lawyers

Divorce can be traumatic – both emotionally and financially. It’s the closing of a chapter of your life with another person.

It can be stressful, confusing, and extremely expensive. But it doesn’t have to be.

At Divorce Planning, we take a different approach.

For separated individuals, or couples going through separation who are trying to resolve their financial assets, Divorce Planning is a mediation and advisory service that won’t cost you a fortune.

Unlike divorce lawyers, Divorce Planning looks at separation from a financial services perspective, guiding you through the steps required to make a clean financial break from your partner.

We are not lawyers. We’re a team of financial consultants, advisers, stockbrokers, counsellors and mortgage brokers, here to guide you through the complex process of dividing up your life.

Divorce planning: dividing up your world

If any of these points describes your situation, Divorce Planning may be able to help:

  • Are you separated – or about to be – and don’t know what to do, or where to turn?
  • You don’t have a pre-nup or binding financial agreement and you’re concerned about where you stand financially.
  • You don’t want to stump up exorbitant lawyers’ fees, but want advice that’s cost-effective and judgement-free.
  • Perhaps lawyers are already involved but you feel like you’re getting nowhere and wasting money.

The divorce process

Divorce presents many challenges, including spreading the income you previously used to run one household, across two. Not only do you have to worry about making sure you understand your household’s current financial position, you also must be prepared for the budgeting challenges your divorce or financial separation will present.

Establishing a divorce ‘pool’

The most critical document you’ll prepare during your divorce or financial separation is to establish a pool of assets. This forms the legal foundation for your settlement and lays out each party’s entitlements. Before you start the divorce or financial separation process it is critical to make sure you have an in-depth picture of your financial situation. Making sure you understand what assets, liabilities and financial accounts you have created with your partner will help. Remember, as your advisers in this process, we can only be as good as the information you supply us with.

Getting a divorce: key information

Most people will begin with their bank accounts and major assets (house, car, etc.), but will overlook some essential pieces of the financial picture.  It’s important to consider not only assets but also liabilities, such as car payments, home loans, credit cards and the superannuation accounts of both parties. Remember, it’s not just about making sure you get what you are entitled to. Seeking expert advice from Divorce Planning will ensure you consider the big picture, including how to manage your finances during each phase, and how to set yourself up for a secure financial future.

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Divorce in Australia: questions to keep in mind

The divorce process can be traumatic. It can be intimidating. It can be adversarial.

As a result, it’s important to arm yourself with as much information as you can, in order to help the divorce process go as smoothly as possible.

Divorce Planning can help you to answer these questions:

  • What can I do now to protect my financial security after the separation/divorce?
  • How do I know my partner is fully disclosing all assets so I’m getting my fair share?
  • Who should be part of my divorce team, and why are they essential for my protection?
  • We can no longer live together but I am not in the marital house and the other party is. What does that mean?
  • Can I continue to receive my divorce or financial separation settlement payments should my former partner suddenly become ill, disabled or die?
  • I have been a victim of abuse in the relationship and separation.  We have kids and I do not know what to do.
  • How do I determine whether I can still afford to stay in the house and meet my mortgage payments? And what if I can’t?
  • I do not know if the house is in my name. Should I pay the mortgage?  I can’t afford it but my ex-partner is no longer living in the house.
  • We were gifted money from my family but there is no paperwork, what does that mean?  Will my family get their money back?
  • What should I be doing to protect my assets now so I don’t pay the price in the years to come?
  • Am I responsible for my former partner’s debts if they should default on payments?  Is there a way to safeguard myself against this?
  • Am I entitled to my partner’s superannuation even if I haven’t worked outside the home? What can I do to ensure my long-term financial security?
  • How can I make the settlement process as painless and effective as possible in the shortest amount of time?
  • I have received an offer and now I need financial advice for my future - can you help?

Whilst many of these questions can be addressed by lawyers, engaging Divorce Planning’s experienced financial advisers could create less conflict, be less intimidating, and help to finalise the separation more amicably.


Divorce help: where to from here?

What are your rights?

It’s very common to find that one member of the household pays all the bills, does the taxes, and generally manages the finances. But once you’re in the midst of a divorce or financial separation you may find it harder to get financial information from your partner. No matter how far your divorce or financial separation has progressed, Divorce Planning can help you to solidify your financial foundation and avoid the expense of engaging a forensic accountant to unearth accounts. We can also help you avoid the trap of letting your partner control the information once your divorce or financial separation is finalized.

Your post-divorce future

Do you know how you’ll fill the financial gaps of your post-divorce life? If you haven’t taken the time to think about it, now is the time. You’ll need to figure out what extra expenses you may incur to help provide for your new household. Will you be going back to university, or will you require any career training? What about saving for your children’s education? Divorce Planning can help you to answer these questions, making sure nothing gets missed, and ensuring the process is as stress-free as possible.

Divorce is more than just a legal split

While they are important, there are a range of critical considerations beyond child support and spousal maintenance. It’s imperative to review the tax implications of retirement and investment plan distributions, and you’ll need to consider your long-term financial future. Plus, Divorce Planning can help you analyze your divorce settlement and identify any weaknesses so that you can offer a counter-proposal and make a better, more informed decision.  


Divorce advice from a financial services perspective

Helping you with your financial separation

Divorce Planning is set up to disrupt the divorce industry and streamline the divorce process. We analyse a couple’s financial affairs and background and mediate the terms of an agreed settlement. Then, and only then is a lawyer appointed to complete the legal contracts. This is completed for a fixed fee (hourly or package) to give our clients peace of mind.

Scott Haywood BBus, Dip FP, CFP®   

& Leah Ioannou BBus

Our goal for you is simple:  save you time, save you stress and save you money!

We are not lawyers. At HFM & Partners we have over 25 years combined experience in financial planning, and as our business has evolved we have observed a gap in the financial services market, providing advice for couples who separate. We understand that every divorce or financial separation is different, and we approach each situation in a completely non–judgemental way. That’s why our first half hour of service is absolutely free of charge and obligation.

In that first meeting we endeavour to collect as much information about your situation as we can. After that our rates are $440 (inc. GST) per hour. Before proceeding, we will provide you with a written quote as to what we think your divorce or financial separation will cost in total - both with and without lawyers.

Remember the first half hour is at no charge and in that time we will try and give you a guide as to a likely outcome, explain the importance of establishing the pool of assets, and save you the heartache and grief of doing it alone.

At Divorce Planning we look at divorce through a different lens.

We aim to help you through one of the most difficult times in your life quickly, with minimal anxiety and stress.

We work hard to provide you with long-term financial security, peace of mind, and the confidence to tackle the next phase of your life.


Case Studies

The 4 steps courts use to divide up your world

At Divorce Planning we’ve taken a careful look at the four steps courts use to divide up the assets, financial resources, debts and liabilities between the parties in a Property Settlement Application.

These four steps are exactly the same every time, and are what we base our mediation process on.

Couple - married - children 9 and 7 - both in private schools

At Divorce Planning we’ve successfully assisted a range of couples achieve a fair divorce outcome, without the stress and trauma of engaging divorce lawyers and going to court.

This couple came to Divorce Planning together, as they had heard we specialise in achieving fair and reasonable divorce settlements, without engaging lawyers or going to court.

Divorce Planning went through everything from custody of the children, to a fair and reasonable asset split.

Couple – De facto for 13 months – together 3 years in total

This young couple bought an apartment off the plan, and qualified for the first home owners grant.

He was from overseas and she was from Melbourne. When they separated, he returned to his home country. She didn’t know what to do, so she contacted Divorce Planning.

Inside a couple of hours we provided advice that solved the situation.

Want to hear more stories from clients we have helped?
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Contact Us

Email address:
enquiries@divorceplanning.com.au

Phone:
1300-1234-36

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Address

The Loft
229 Lennox Street
Richmond, Vic, 3121

Scott Haywood is a financial adviser and director of WJ Haywood & Associates Pty Ltd ABN 11 005 304 861 Authorised Representative of GWM Adviser Services Ltd ABN 96 002 071 749 trading as Haywood Financial Management & Partners Pty Ltd . Australian Financial Services Licensee 105-153 Miller Street, North Sydney NSW 2060. Click here for the Financial Services Guide.