How to begin rebuilding your finances post divorce

You may feel that divorce has left you no longer able to follow the life that you had planned. You will often hear people say, “they took me for everything I had”. It may feel like that when you perhaps think you can no longer retire when you wanted to, or live in the home that you wanted. Whilst that may be the case, there can be benefits to starting again on your own. You can now design your new chapter for you; your hopes, dreams and aspirations may now be different, as you no longer need to consider a partner in your plans.

The starting point for rebuilding your finances is to fully understand where you are now, where you want to get to and the life you want to live. It is difficult to ask yourself the big questions about what you want and why. Many of our clients find these conversations draw out ideas they didn’t even realise they had!

Once we have clarity on what you would like your future life and lifestyle to look like, we can start to create a picture for you, to help you to understand the options open to you and choose those you prefer at this stage (life throws all sorts of curved balls at us so your plan will definitely change over the years. This clarity will help you to understand whether you have any shortfalls and how these can be addressed. We help our clients to gain this understanding and plan the necessary steps forward.

You then need to stick to a spending plan. This is not the same as budgeting, which implies belt tightening, frugality and little enjoyment. A spending plan should include “fun money”. It will show you how much needs to be spent on essential outgoings, such as your mortgage if you have one, utilities, food, insurance, children’s needs, school fees if they are at private school, etc. Then you will need to work out how much of the remainder you need to contribute to savings for short term needs such as holidays or house maintenance, investments and pensions. The rest is your fun money.

Excess income over the requirement for the essentials and fun money spending plan needs to work hard for you, which is likely to include investing and using tax efficient allowances. A financial planner can help you to work out your spending plan and then plan for the funds you need to make your best life happen, making the most of your allowances and recommending suitable investments.

The work financial planners do can be broken down into three parts:

  • Gathering information about you and creating an agreed plan from a range of scenarios
  • Implementing the plan to make your money work hard for you
  • Reviewing the plan at least annually to update for changes and ensure you’re still on track, keeping you accountable for your spending plan.

Many financial planners charge for each section separately. Some clients feel that they will only need the first part, but it is unusual for anyone who has been through the first stage not to continue to work with us on an ongoing basis.

If you have been through a divorce and would like to plan for your next chapter to rebuild your wealth and live your best life, please get in touch at


Tamsin is a Chartered Financial Planner with over 20 years experience. She works with couples and individuals who are at the end of a relationship and want agree how to divide their assets FAIRLY without a fight.

You can contact Tamsin at or arrange a free initial meeting using this booking link. She is also part of the team running Facebook group Separation, Divorce and Dissolution UK

Tamsin Caine MSc., FPFS
Chartered Financial Planner
Smart Divorce Ltd

P.S. I am the co-author of “My Divorce Handbook – It’s What You Do Next That Counts”, written by divorce specialists and lawyers writing about their area of expertise to help walk you through the divorce process. You can buy it by scanning the QR code…

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