It is a sobering thought that over 40% of UK couples will divorce and it has been said that splitting matrimonial assets in an acrimonious divorce can be more challenging than splitting the atom!  But however daunting a marriage breakdown might appear, taking professional financial advice from AV Trinity will help you to take full control of your financial situation, put things into perspective and plan for your post-divorce future with confidence.

Our experienced team of female and male advisers will steer you through this challenging time with clarity, sensitivity and discretion.

Financial advice in divorce has legislative issues that don’t always apply within normal financial planning, and it is our experience that clients who involve an independent specialist pension & financial IFA such as AV Trinity will often achieve a more favourable outcome.

Pensions and the matrimonial home are among the two largest assets that a divorcing couple are likely to have and our expertise will help to ensure that these assets are dealt with in a fair and equitable way.

We have strong relationships with divorce professionals such as lawyers, forensic accountants, pension actuaries, mediators and barristers and will be happy to introduce you to the right person to match your individual needs.

There are alternatives to going to court and you can opt to deal with the legal consequences of the marriage breakdown by using mediation, collaboration or arbitration. You can find out more about these options by clicking on the topics on the right hand side of this page.

Getting qualified professional advice is vital –

Since the advent of ”Pensions Freedom”  it has arguably become an even more complex aspect of advice, and within a divorce situation, perhaps the most significant area of financial planning for individuals. And this is why obtaining specialist, qualified advice is so vital.

Having an appropriate, suitably qualified expert working alongside your legal advisers is likely to prove invaluable. Perhaps you may identify with some of these main areas where we feel that our pension experts can help within a divorce settlement.

  • They will be able to help weigh up which of the three options, Sharing, Offsetting or Earmarking it is best to pursue. They explore the advantages and disadvantages of each, dependent upon personal circumstances and individual requirements.
  • The adviser will evaluate any existing pensions (Defined Benefit and Money Purchase), especially checking the accuracy of a “Cash Equivalent Transfer Value” (CETV).
  • Earmarking or Pension Sharing will lead to a reduction in pension entitlement for one party in the divorce and our advisers can help that person plan for a new financial future and rebuild their pension benefits in the most efficient way.
  • In the case of a Pension Sharing Order we can help an ex‐spouse assess whether or not a pension should be kept with the existing company or if a transfer to an alternative arrangement would be more beneficial.
  • Any loss of life assurance / death benefits will be addressed and plans put in place to replace them in the most advantageous way.
  • Post‐divorce settlement financial matters can be daunting but we can help an individual to rebuild with clarity, simplicity and understanding
  • Often a divorce settlement can leave one party with the decision of how to invest a lump sum payment and this is an area where we have many years of experience.

It is testament to the quality of AV Trinity’s Matrimonial Service that many of the people that we have helped through this very traumatic event, now value us as their trusted adviser on all financial planning matters. There is no substitute for experience and our fully qualified team of independent male and female advisers will work with you to achieve the best outcome.

We will be happy to meet for an initial discussion at our cost, in order to discuss your individual situation and see how we might be able to work together.

 

Your Pension

There is no getting away from it – pensions are beset with “smoke & mirrors” at the best of times and in a divorce situation, if anything, they become even more complex. At AV Trinity we have the experience and expertise to work with your legal advisers and to liaise with the insurance companies or trustees that administer any existing pension arrangements.

We gather all of the relevant information about the pension arrangements and then adopt a forensic approach when reporting on the options that are best for you.

Our role (in conjunction with your solicitor) is to support, advise and give guidance on the options that are available, depending on the stage of the divorce process when we meet.

We can advise either pre-settlement, during the negotiations or post settlement once the divorce is finalised.

Post-divorce we will report on how you can ensure that your future pension plans are brought back into line with your expectations. It’s easy to be confused and baffled by the complexities of different pension arrangements, especially since “Pension Freedom” came into effect in 2015, but by arranging to see one of our male or female advisers, we will help you to make informed decisions and guide you through the jargon. One certainty is that the work that is completed in relation to pensions needs to be right first time, as you will only have one chance to make settlement work best for you….

Your Assets

Whilst undoubtedly pensions can form a large part of one’s financial assets and need to be looked at in isolation, other investments and life cover arrangements require expert evaluation and our forensic approach will help you to decide if and how these assets should be divided.

You may, perhaps with your partner, have invested in –

  • Investment Bonds
  • Cash ISAs and/or Stocks & Shares ISAs
  • Buy to Let property
  • Unit Trusts, OEICs or Investment Trusts
  • Endowments
  • Direct Equities
  • Offshore Investment
  • Enterprise Investment Schemes (EIS) or Venture Capital Trusts (VCT)
  • Joint Life Assurance/Critical Illness
  • Structured Products

It is our job to highlight the issues that will may affect these investments going forward. It has to be remembered that taxation and possible surrender penalties have to be taken into consideration when deciding the most efficient way to distribute these assets.

At AV Trinity we are advisers not product salesmen. Formed in 1986, we now look after the holistic financial planning needs of over 1000 clients and advise on over £400m of investments, and are well placed to ensure that your financial assets are well cared for.

Your Business

The complexities of divorce are undoubtedly magnified where one of the parties owns a business, or if both parties run a business together. It is highly unlikely that in the latter scenario the divorced couple are unlikely to want to continue working together on a day to day basis!

The effects on business partners and shareholders have to be balanced against any effects upon the family. Business assets and personal assets have to be dealt with in distinctly different ways and we are here to guide you and create the most palatable solution in what is often a very complex situation.

Where necessary, we will call upon the services of a forensic accountant in order to obtain an accurate picture of the business finances, look at the availability of “liquid” funds within the business, ensure that the taxation aspects are considered and help decide, where appropriate, if a lump sum settlement or a settlement involving dividends or share transfer over a set period should be considered.

Our aim is to work with you, your accountant and legal advisers, to explore all avenues in order to reach a fair settlement that helps to preserve the future of your business and if required, your working relationship.

Your Future

Once the divorce is completed, there comes the time to take stock and to plan a rebuilding exercise to secure your financial future.

You will probably need to address your pension funding, possibly replace life cover arrangements and this should be done with expert, independent advice. There is no substitute for experience and our fully independent team of male and female advisers will work with you to achieve the best outcome.

The end of a relationship is, without doubt, a difficult time, but with AV Trinity as part of your team, you will feel in control of your financial future and have access to expert advice which has clarity and direction at its heart.

It is testament to the quality of AV Trinity’s matrimonial services that many people that we have helped through this traumatic event, now value us as their trusted adviser on all financial planning matters – and for us it is a great source of pride to see how financially independent and successful many of these people have become.