Your Separation and Divorce Team: Money Coaches

Could a money coach help you during divorce?

The following is a guest post from Janet Gray, a money coach in Ottawa.  In this post, Janet provides information about how she and other money coaches can help people during a separation and/or divorce.

Why a Money Coach?

After a separation, there will be significant changes to your financial situation.  Regardless of your income level and your family size, you will at a minimum need to figure out how to support two families in two houses, instead of one family in one house.  Additional complications can include one spouse being the primary income earner, or one spouse being the "CFO" for the family and the other spouse needing to learn about income, expenses and budgeting.

What is a Money Coach?

It really is as simple as it looks: They are someone who coaches you about your money, who is an financial expert and is also understanding of your money situation.  It is re-assuring and confidence building to know that your short–term money needs are met, and that you can plan for your longer-term goals.  

What will a Money Coach help me with?

If you are going through a separation/divorce, a money coach can help you with many things, including the following:

1.      The first thing to look at is your immediate needs.  

How much do you need to cover monthly expenses?  Do you have enough in the bank to cover the next few months of expenses? Any other pressing financial issues?  Avoid making big money decisions too soon after your divorce - this will all take time. Be patient.

2.      Ask for the support of friends, family and other professionals – don’t try to go it alone!

A few professionals you may want to make appointments with are a Counsellor/Life Coach, Money Coach/Financial Planner or Investment Advisor, Insurance Agent, Lawyer, and Mortgage Broker.

3.      Gather information such as your monthly cash flow, income and expenses.

You should be able to answer two questions: What do you own? What do you owe?

Gather your banking information, investment statements, mortgage, loan and credit card statements, tax returns, corporate documents.  Consider non-financial documents as well; gather your will, powers of attorney and health care directives, safety deposit box information, insurance policies, and the names of your beneficiaries for your various investments and insurance policies.

4.      Take Action.  

Following your separation, consider the following financial steps:

  • Set up your own chequing account.
  • Change PIN # and passwords on your accounts.
  • Set up an emergency fund – consider a high interest savings account.
  • Remove your name from joint credit or set up two signature requirements.
  • Set up credit in your own name.
  • Learn your credit score.
  • Change beneficiaries of your insurance, pensions and RSP/RIF.
  • Revise existing life insurance, medical and dental coverage if necessary.
  • Update your Will and Powers of Attorney
  • Look into whether you qualify for any new tax credits
  • If applicable, apply for CPP Pension split.
  • When you are ready to look longer term, review and update your retirement plan.

5.      Keep going. It does get easier and as you learn more, you want to learn more. Just keep going- you will get there.

A Money Coach offers objective advice and support, simple money management system and positive goal focus. We work together in the short term and the long term.  It’s up to you and what your situation requires.  You will become more confident and knowledgeable about your money and finances - and that’s a good thing!

Meet Janet Gray

Janet is a money coach in Ottawa, Ontario.  She is a Certified Financial Planner who works with professionals and business owners to design practical and achievable money management systems.  She is also a member of Money Coaches Canada, a provider of fee-for-service, advice-only financial planning and money coaching. Money Coaches Canada members guide clients to achieve a level of financial contentment they never thought possible – helping them reduce debt, improve cash flow, save, invest and plan for both short and long term goals. Want to know more? Learn about Janet on her sitefollow her on Twitter or like her on Facebook.

Want to learn more about who might be on your divorce team? Check out our guest posts from a mortgage broker, a life coach, and a career coach.