Marriage and Relationship Breakdown: Is planning possible?

25th Oct, 2012

In Australia, one in three marriages end in divorce; and one can assume that a similar level of relationship breakdown would apply equally to de factor and same sex relationships.

Whilst no one plans to breakup their relationship (especially when children are involved), it is a painful fact that it does occur; often unexpected and generally spirals into an emotional and financial nightmare.

Our first thought is often to seek the advice of a solicitor and, whilst they can (and do) have an important role to play in dealing with the Family court; your relationship with them is more often than not ad hoc.  Whereas, most people tend to have a more ongoing relationship with their Accountant/Financial Planner than they do with their solicitor.  More importantly, we often have a better understanding of your personal and financial situation.

The question can, therefore, be rightfully asked: should not the first point of professional contact be your Accountant/Financial Planner? It makes even more sense when one considers that couples need to be separated for at least 12 months (i.e. decisions don’t have to be made immediately) before a more legal remedy to the breakup is finalized by the courts,  and, we understand that the Family Court would prefer to deal with “agreed” outcomes rather than impose decisions themselves.

At The Wealth Creation Group, we have that in-house expertise to help you make sense of the financial impacts that may flow from a relationship breakdown and we can help you to work through the tough issues. Such as financial consolidation, capital gains tax implications of transferring assets, splitting superannuation, and unwinding structures to name a few. Perhaps even help lay the foundation for a financial agreement. Putting you in a much better position when you do have that conversation with your (respective) solicitor(s).

However, we recognise that, at times, our relationship may be stronger with one of the parties to the relationship breakdown. We also recongnise that most discussions will need to be conducted separately with the individual parties.  Whilst these issues may seem to create conflicts for the Group, the solutions can be simple! To either appoint another person within the practice or an external professional firm independent of our group.  These issues would of course be addressed as part of any initial discussion.

As we mentioned earlier; one does not plan to have a failed relationship!  This is true in respect to not only our personal relationship, but perhaps also the way we approach our businesses  and financial planning needs.

Too many of us take a simplistic approach to structuring our business and financial affairs.  Often the driving force is either tax minimization or asset protection.  Issues around estate planning and, yes, the potential financial impacts of a separation or breakdown are completely ignored .  It is not that these issues need be the centre of ones planning, but if we continue to ignore the reality of the statistics,  we risk creating  simple tax efficient structures that create unintended financial  and tax consequences in the event of death or relationship breakdown. This could apply equally to business relationships too. (Keep an eye out for our next follow-up article!).

We at The Wealth Creation Group believe that one of our strengths is that our accounting and financial planning arms work closely together to deliver strategic advice to our clients that take a broad and innovative approach to delivering suitable and interconnected outcomes for our clients.

As experienced professionals, it's important for us to highlight the benefits for seeking our assistance should a relationship breakdown occur in your life.  We want to encourage you to think more broadly about your financial future and develop personal, financial and taxation  strategies that  are capable of meeting many of life’s uncertainties. 

Therefore, we would encourage you to take control of your financial future and make an appointment with us to either:

  1. Review your current financial position and/or structures to ensure that they are capable of achieving their aims throughout  the life cycle.
  1. Review your current Estate Plan to ensure that if meets its aims and ensure that it covers all assets (remember super and Company/Trusts do not form part of our estate). If you do not have one then you are creating not only financial uncertainty for your and your loved ones, but you may be leaving them a situation that could prove costly to remedy and lead to family arguments and breakup.
  1. Consider us as a trusted and thoughtful professional who is here to lend support and guidance when circumstances (whether personal or business) change for the worse.

We encourage you to think more deeply about your financial situation and remind you that we are here to help make your financial future, more certain.



Opinions constitute our judgments at the time of issue and are subject to change. Neither, the Licensee or any of the National Australia group of companies, nor their employees or directors give any warranty of accuracy, nor accept any responsibility for errors or omissions in this document. Nathan Griffith, Samina Yip and Frank McCall of The Wealth Creation Group Pty Limited are Authorised Representatives ofApogee Financial Planning Limited ABN 28 056 426 932, an Australian Financial Services Licensee, Registered office at 105 –153 Miller St North Sydney NSW 2060 and a member of the National Australia group of companies. 


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The Wealth Creation Group and its Financial Advisers are Authorised Representatives of WCG Financial Solutions Limited, Australian Financial Services Licensee 481610, Registered Office at 351 Moorabool Street, Geelong VIC 3220.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this website is of a general nature and has been sourced on good faith as such it should not be construed as personal advice. Whilst the writer has adopted care, diligence and competence, the information has not been prepared taking into account any particular investment objectives, financial situation or particular needs. The Wealth Creation Group and WCG Financial Solutions Pty Limited accept no responsibility for any content contained in external links on other company websites or externally sourced information.