Moving on

Financial advice

Where do I start?
Getting good, professional financial advice isn't rocket science but you must do a bit of homework in order to achieve this. This is so important when you are divorcing as sound financial advice can set you on the right path towards a more secure future but you must do this with your solicitor's input. This is like a reality check; translating your various life choices into real numbers and considering how much money it is going to take to achieve these goals. This could involve selling your home and starting a new life or taking some of the equity out of the home, starting a pension, ensuring that you are covered by insurance, paying university fees or changing your career path. We all have dreams but sometimes it takes a life-changing event such as divorce for us to seriously consider them.

"All men dream, but not equally.
Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes, to make it possible."
T.E. Lawrence

What is an Independent Financial Advisor? (IFA)
This is the largest group and they are required by law to give you the best, unbiased advice. They are usually paid by the hour or with a flat fee or others give their advice free of charge but then are paid a commission by the company you eventually buy a policy from. You should always ask how much this commission is and when it is payable. Some charge a mixture of fees and commission. But they are not "tied" to any company. It should also be noted that many specialise in different areas and if you are looking for a wide range of advice you should check with him first and shop around. Alternatively, you could opt to go with a large firm. You should always check out references.

Where can I find an IFA?
For a list of Independent Financial Advisors Tel: 0800 085 3250 or check out their website at - Here you can search by postcode for an IFA according to your topics of interest and you will be given details of the nearest three to your address. Having searched, you may be given the option of downloading a voucher for a free initial consultation. You should, of course check the validity of this with the representative concerned.

What can an IFA do?
A good professional, in return for a fee, can help you put your financial affairs in order. It should help you to:

  • assess your past and current financial status
  • set realistic goals for the future
  • recommend a number of strategies to achieve your goals
  • help you to research and but good, commission-free products
  • help you to make important financial decisions
  • prioritise your financial tasks

Are there different types of IFA's?
There are three types of professional financial advisor: independent financial advisors, tied agents and other professionals such as solicitors and accountants who give advice as part of their work.

What should I ask at the first meeting?
The Financial Services Authority recommends these five questions:

  1. How many companies' products do you recommend and why only these?
  2. What other options could I consider apart from the products you recommend?
  3. What are the pluses and minuses of this investment?
  4. How much commission will you get paid for each of these products?
  5. How long am I locked in for and am I committing myself to making regular payments for a long time?

Are there any warnings?
Yes and these apply irrespective of which type of advisor you choose.

You should turn and run if any of the following apply:

  1. You are told you must buy now or the deal will not be available later.
  2. Someone suggests that you put your money into a special deal which they are not able to explain properly and there aren't any proper documents.
  3. Someone suggests you should put all your money into one investment.
  4. The advisor tries to get you to sell all your present investments and buy new ones. If this is done to excess, it is called churning. The advisor would get commission for every deal and you would incur costs. (Source: FSA)

Divorce Aid is now able to refer you personally to a family law solicitor to suit your needs throughout the UK and to international lawyers abroad.
If your area is not listed in our Solicitors/costs article in our Legal section or the firm does not have a public funding franchise (used to be called legal aid) please use the link below to e-mail and we shall send you details.

Please indicate your nearest large town and/or postcode with your full name and address. A contact number would be preferable.
Tell us if you require legal aid. Details are in our Who can help section with calculator. Legal aid may be in short supply in your area. Please also include some very brief case details. If your spouse has a solicitor, please provide details as you need separate firms.
E-mail: Divorce Solicitor Request

When you feel overwhelmed by outside circumstances beyond your control, do something positive like getting your paperwork in order and this could be the first step in tackling a larger task. We all feel afraid as we go through this process but burying our heads in the sand will not reap the rewards we hope. Often the first step in trying to sort out your finances is the hardest. But the rewards of starting this are great; a feeling of taking control and more peace of mind. When feeling rather demoralised with the whole divorce process, it is so tempting to let things slide, to continue as you were but in the words of C.S.Lewis,

"The safest road to hell is the gradual one - the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts."

Read through our Financial section for more details about housing, debt, pensions, children, tax credits and benefits.

Top of page


Search our Directory for our recommended divorce solicitors. Also personal referral service.

[Search Directory Now]