Resolution, with the support of the Personal Finance Society, have published a report for financial advisers that emphasises the benefits of the divorce market for those who position themselves as an expert, and highlights the need for more specialist financial advisers in this area of law.
The report estimates that the divorce market is worth around £500 million, with nearly one quarter of a million people facing divorce in the UK each year. The introduction to the report states that it "was been created by successful financial advisers already working within the divorce and separation market" and “examines the enormous opportunities available and how financial advisers can begin to explore them." While the report makes it clear that there are opportunities for financial advisers, especially those in declining sectors, it is always important to speak to a family law solicitor specialising in divorce and financial remedy case, who will be best placed to provide legal advice and identify where a financial expert is required.
The divorce and financial remedy proceedings market is still relatively untapped by financial advisers, which the report says presents a major opportunity. In addition, research conducted by Resolution has found that practitioners within the family justice profession are crying out for specialist financial advisers who can provide the advice their clients need. One family lawyer interviewed pointed out that:
“99.9% of our cases are about the financial needs of the separating couple. How much they need to buy a house, what their mortgage capacity is. It’s about what they need in terms of an income… I don’t see that there’s any case where financial input isn’t needed.”
Further, despite the emphasis on finances within divorce and separation proceedings, there are only 42 accredited financial adviser specialists in family law – that’s one adviser for every 5,000 people. Statistics show that there are 90,000 family financial orders made by courts in England and Wales each year, and they feature in three out of four divorce cases. These figures also do not take into account the 3.3 million cohabiting families in the UK – a number which has doubled over the last 2 decades. With very limited statutory protection for cohabiting couples, making sure you get the right legal and financial advice is crucial to ensure that your rights are protected and that the outcome after separation is fair.
While it is true that the majority of divorce and separation cases (where a couple has cohabited) involve a financial aspect, it is important to obtain legal advice from a family law solicitor to understand your legal position before looking for specific financial advice. Once your solicitor has gained a full understanding of the facts of your situation, they can then identify where expert legal advice is needed and where a financial specialist may be required to produce an expert’s valuation report or other advice, for example, detailed tax advice on moving assets in or out of a trust or offshore. It is important that you get the right team of experts for your individual case to make sure that there is a fair and just outcome.
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