Blog Post – Divorce and financial stress

Divorce is a serious and life-altering event. You’ll need time to grieve and process everything and it can take time so be mindful that this is a normal and natural part of your healing journey.

Separation is an emotional and sensitive process and with a long-term partner or spouse in the mix, it comes with the added pressure of legal and financial hurdles to overcome.

Often support and advice is there and that’s great but it can come in many forms, from well-meaning friends and family members to colleagues and self-certified “experts” on the internet. When you’re amid negative emotions, you may find it confusing and hard to know what to do next and where to seek the right kind of help.

The complexities that arise from divorce can seem overwhelming because, on top of heartbreak, the many important factors to consider can cause a lot of stress and worry, such as: how the dissolution of your marriage will impact your financial situation. From the division of assets to the cost of legal fees, the financial impact of divorce can be far-reaching, mind-boggling and long-lasting. In this article, we will explore some of the key financial considerations of divorce.

Division of Assets

One of the most significant financial impacts of divorce is the division of assets. When going through a divorce, you must divide all of your assets and liabilities, including property, investments, retirement accounts, and debt. Depending on the length of the marriage and the financial situation of each spouse, this can be a complex and time-consuming process.

In most cases, assets and liabilities are divided equally between spouses, but this is not always the case. The courts will take into consideration several factors, such as the length of the marriage, the earning potential of each spouse, and the contributions each spouse made to the marriage when determining how assets will be divided.

It’s important you gain a good overall picture of your assets and financial situation early on so you have a rough idea of what to expect and how you can move forwards.

Spousal Support

Another significant financial impact of divorce is spousal support. In some cases, one spouse may be required to pay spousal support to the other spouse after the divorce. The amount and duration of spousal support will depend on a number of factors, including the length of the marriage, the earning potential of each spouse, and the standard of living established during the marriage.

Child Support

If you have children, child support will also be a significant financial consideration. The non-custodial parent will typically be required to pay child support to the custodial parent to help cover the costs of raising the children. The amount of child support will depend on considerations such as; the income of each parent, the needs of the children and the agreed living arrangements.

Legal Fees

Divorce can also be expensive due to the cost of legal fees. Both you and your spouse may need to hire a solicitor to represent you during the divorce proceedings, which can be costly. In addition, there may be other fees associated with the divorce, such as court fees, mediation fees, and fees for expert witnesses. In some cases, a loan can be granted to cover these costs which is usually paid back from the sale of assets, such as the family home.

Pension Accounts

Divorce can also impact pensions acquired during the marriage. When a couple divorces, they may need to divide any pension funds they have accumulated during the marriage and it’s important to seek advice from your financial advisor or accountant so you know exactly what’s in the pension pot and if there are any inequalities between yours and your partner’s account.


When you separate, some of the tax benefits associated with being married may be lost. For example, they may no longer be eligible for certain tax credits or deductions, such as the child tax credit or the deduction for mortgage interest. Additionally, the division of assets may result in capital gains or losses, which can impact the tax liability of both parties. In some cases, it may be necessary to consult with a tax accounting professional to determine the best course of action for minimizing tax liability.

Other things to consider

Divorce can lead to time off work which may result in a loss of income. Court cases, mediation, solicitor or accountant meetings or poor mental health as a result of your separation can lead to time off work which may not, in every case, be paid. Remember to consider how this may affect you financially and look at measures you can take to minimise the impact such as reducing any outgoings you can live without or taking on overtime.

Remember, if you are struggling with your mental health, it’s vital you contact your GP to discuss your options and get the right help at the right time.

Main takeaway

Being aware of the financial impact of divorce and planning ahead can give you back your power. Getting the right professional help and advice early on will help give you clarity and reduce the burden of worry you may otherwise be struggling with.

The key to getting through a divorce and moving forward is tackling each symptom of divorce one step at a time. Things such as how to tell the children, coping with feelings of low self-worth and sadness, worrying about your financial future and losing the family home can bind together to create an impossible feeling of loss of control.

When I’m coaching my clients, we work on tackling one thing at a time, breaking down the giant, sweeping, Niagara Falls of divorce into manageable stepping stones that we can cross together at a pace that’s right using tools that work.

One of the first things I do with my clients is to help them put together a support team of friends and professionals who will be there to give the right advice at the right time. This is one of the most important steps in helping remove the burden of divorce and its many complexities.

With the right can of help and support, you will move forward and you will create a future to get excited about.

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