Finding common ground financially when your love has grown cold

No one enters a marriage with plans to get divorced, yet many couples find themselves on this path as their relationships grow strained or insurmountable obstacles arise. During divorce proceedings, emotions often run high, and people make hasty decisions. They just want to get it ‘over and done with’.

The hidden costs of divorce

Unfortunately, the true financial toll of divorce usually only becomes evident after the dust settles. And the costs of divorce extend far beyond emotional distress! Below are some of the costs related to divorce:

– The legal fees
     – A senior family law attorney can cost between R2,000 to R3,000 per hour
     – Advocates’ fees are even higher
– The cost of changing living arrangements
– Child or spousal maintenance
– Costs related to treating the stress and anxiety caused by a divorce

Disputes over settlements can lead to expenditures in the hundreds of thousands or even millions of Rands! And when there are children involved, the entire situation becomes even more complicated. This is because custody battles, child or spousal maintenance disputes, and protection orders must be resolved before proceedings can even begin.

The desire to ‘win’ often results in both parties losing financially. And the longer the disagreements persist, the more everyone loses. The financial repercussions can be severe and long-lasting for most divorcees.

Your financial safeguard: The antenuptial contract

Securing and protecting your assets before getting married through an antenuptial contract ensures those assets are protected during and after marriage. And while an antenuptial agreement is not a guarantee against financial strain, those who have them in place at least have some cushioning against the blows of divorce proceedings.

An antenuptial contract dictates how individual and combined assets will be distributed if you were to get divorced or pass away. It also functions as an estate planning tool, recognising each spouse as a separate legal entity.

The power of divorce mediation

Disputes and emotions can drive divorce proceedings off course. Divorce mediation is a better way to navigate this challenging terrain with dignity and financial stability in mind. It also helps reduce stress and financial strain.

Divorce mediation sees both parties working together, with the help of a mediator, to reach agreements on any issues arising from the divorce. Everything from property division to child custody and support is discussed, and terms are mutually agreed upon before being presented in court. This approach leads to an uncontested divorce, finalising the process in a matter of months, with reduced costs and emotional turmoil.

Benefits of divorce mediation

  1. Cost-effectiveness: Mediation is an affordable alternative to prolonged legal battles
  2. Efficiency: The help of a mediator usually leads to disagreements being resolved quicker, which results in lower costs and fewer sessions
  3. Making informed decisions: An unbiased mediator can encourage better decision-making, not driven by emotions
  4. Reducing conflict: Mediation promotes amicable and productive dialogue with mutually beneficial settlements

Planning for a financial future post-divorce

Mediation is a lifeline when it comes to navigating the waters of divorce. While parting ways may be inevitable, it doesn’t have to mean financial ruin. Through mediation, couples can find common ground and a smoother transition to the next chapter of their lives.

And once the decision to divorce is made, financial discussions should take centre stage. It’s essential to revisit your financial strategy, including updating your will and ensuring your life insurance beneficiaries are current. Seek guidance from a qualified financial advisor and estate planner to rebuild your post-divorce life.

mCubed Group helps guide you toward a financially secure and comfortable retirement – no matter your marital status. Members, clients, and participating employers of our retirement funds enjoy access to the best investment administration and advice, excellent service, and complete transparency for the best long-term results. Our fund-appointed FAIS-accredited financial advisors also help you to enjoy a safe, financially sound, stress-free, and prosperous retirement. Contact us today and take charge of your financial future!