"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."
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 www.unbiased.co.uk - 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:
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:
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:
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.