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Should divorcing couples share a financial advisor?

The expense of divorce combined with the obligation to split your assets and debts can have dire financial consequences for your household. Some couples decide to work together to reduce how much divorce costs their family.

Negotiating in mediation to set your own divorce terms, for example, could allow you to file for uncontested divorce which is faster and therefore usually cheaper. However, minimizing costs is only one aspect of financially protecting yourself during a divorce.

You need to make smart decisions about the resources that you retain after property division as well. If you have substantial or complex assets, you may need professional help. Working with a financial advisor can help you make the best decision possible for your circumstances. Should you and your spouse consider sharing a financial advisor during your divorce?

The benefits of sharing an advisor

If you work jointly with the same financial advisor, you can share the costs of planning for your financial future which can save money compared with both of you hiring your own financial professional. In fact, you might even be able to work with the same advisor who helped you plan for retirement during your marriage.

This could be beneficial because they already have an understanding of your household’s assets and your personal wishes. Sharing a financial advisor can also mean quick and relatively painless execution of necessary transfers and transactions between spouses facilitated by a professional with access to everyone’s information.

The drawbacks of sharing a financial advisor

If you decide to partner with a financial advisor that you have worked with throughout your marriage, there are some downsides to that decision. For example, it is likely that your financial advisor has a personal preference for one spouse over the other.

This might mean that they have a bias that affects what they recommend and the actions that they take on your behalf. They could make inaccurate assumptions or even fail to uphold the fiduciary duty they have to both spouses. The potential for a serious conflict of interests also arises.

Additionally, if everything goes through one adviser, it might be easier for your ex to trick the adviser into performing transactions they should not, possibly leaving your assets more vulnerable than they would be if you use your own financial advisor.

Your family circumstances and assets will absolutely influence whether or not sharing a financial advisor is a good idea. Discussing your situation with your family law attorney can help you make an informed decision.