After a Divorce: A Matter of Trust

by: Smith and Howard Wealth Management

Margaret came to Smith + Howard Wealth Management shortly after a divorce. 

Throughout their long marriage, her then-husband had controlled their finances, so once divorced, Margaret was uncertain and anxious about managing her new financial situation. She wanted to make sure that she managed her relatively modest settlement wisely, but knew very little about the ins and outs of financial planning and investments. To add to the already-difficult situation, she had four children who each brought emotional and financial demands to the situation. 

Like many newly divorced people, Margaret was reticent about trusting others to give her sound advice – especially on financial matters. At the same time, she recognized that she needed to act quickly. While our work with Margaret involved education on investments, financial planning, estate and retirement planning, it also extended to providing a certain level of emotional support. 

Margaret experienced anxiety about the lack of income, the limited time period in which she would receive alimony, and her ability to meet the emotional and financial needs of her children all with a relatively small settlement in relation to her ex-husband’s net worth. She had to change her lifestyle, which required working with us on a financial plan that identified a sustainable level of withdrawals from her portfolio. 

We also coordinated with her estate attorney when drafting trust documents so that we could educate her on the purpose of the trusts and the most appropriate assets with which to fund the trusts. 

Being able to trust us on both a financial and emotional level brought Margaret peace of mind and a growing sense of confidence that, although things are difficult now, she is on the right track for a brighter future.