Duncan Carmichael-Jack, Partner at Vestra Wealth LLP, explains the role of a wealth management firm in the divorce process
I’ve been working with people going through divorce for over fifteen years and have gained a wealth of experience and understanding about the common concerns, misconceptions and fears that the process throws up. I work with clients’ existing Financial Advisers, or with our internal Wealth Planners, to help clients both within and outside of the court process, understand the financial aspects of their current and potential future situations. We then work with the client to help ensure that the financial result of their divorce works for them in the best way it can, for as long as it needs to.
If you’re thinking of divorcing, it’s sensible to involve a Financial Adviser and/or a wealth management firm as early on in the process as you can. One of the first things that your Solicitor (collaborative or otherwise) or mediator will ask you to do is to gather some details of your current financial situation and to think about your financial requirements for the future. These are the fundamental building blocks of the discussions leading to eventual settlement, and in my experience, many people simply don’t know where to start. A Wealth Manager can work with you to put these details together without stress and confusion, and supply information which will assist you in thinking about the longer-term view as well as your immediate requirements.
The other main area in which Wealth Managers can make a difference to people going through divorce is once the settlement has been finalised. Here the job is to ensure that the money continues to work hard and also that there is an accepted framework for spending to ensure that it lasts as long as it needs to. A Wealth Manager will structure your portfolio according to your objectives and keep you up-to-date with current asset values, forecasts and proposals.
Fundamentally, the relationship between client and Wealth Manager has to be one of trust, which is why it’s important to choose someone with integrity and experience. Trust is, of course, also a huge part of the collaborative law process: trust between lawyer and client, trust between the lawyers and trust between the clients. I particularly enjoy collaborative working as I am able to work with both sides together to ensure that the client’s financial decisions, as part of a fair asset and income division on divorce, will work in practice to achieve their goals.