For most people the end of a relationship is an extremely traumatic time, and there are very few couples who go through this process without seeking the professional advice of a family lawyer.
But many don’t consider the substantial benefits of speaking with an accountant and financial planner when going down this path.
Whilst your lawyer will advise you on what you are entitled to as part of your financial settlement, a accountant can add significant value by providing information and modelling techniques that demonstrate long-term outcomes on the different options being considered.
Once you and your former partner reach a financial settlement and it is signed off it is almost impossible to go back and reconsider, that’s why it is vitally important to get it right in the first instance.
It is important to consider the asset vs debt calculations of your portfolio and the long term benefits vs costs of each of the elements. For instance, a share portfolio is not going to bare the same costs of the family home, even if the value of each is the same. Whilst the family home can have ongoing costs associated with it, it is an asset that can be sold tax free. Whereas, a share portfolio may provide ongoing income by way of regular tax-free dividends, but will attract capital gains tax when sold. Superannuation held by each of the parties is also another major asset that comes into consideration when lawyers are teasing out a financial settlement.
All assets come with pros and cons and it is important to consider the potential issues associated with each of these going forward. Your accountant can work alongside your lawyer to ensure any financial settlement is sound and fair, and helps you move on with your life after separation.