14 May 2024

A National Debt Advisors spokesperson is available to expand on the below talking points

Submitted by: MyPressportal Team
  1. How many children were impacted by divorces in the reported period?
  2. Why is financial planning within marriage important?
  3. What proportion of divorces reported by Stats SA were from first marriages?
  4. What are some key steps to building financial independence within marriage?

Statistics Show Surge In Divorces with Children: The Importance of Financial Preparedness

Latest statistics from Statistics SA reveal a 10.9% surge in divorces last year, with 55.3% of cases involving minor children. Sebastien Alexanderson, Head of National Debt Advisors stresses the importance of building financial independence within marriage and offers practical tips.

14 May 2024: According to the latest Statistics SA report, there was a 10.9% increase in divorces, with 55.3% of these cases involving minor children, impacting approximately 18,850 children in the last year. This highlights the significant impact of divorce on families, particularly on women and children, emphasizing the importance of financial planning.

This is according to Sebastien Alexanderson, Head of National Debt Advisors, who said planning for your financial security within a marriage should be as natural as planning for retirement or securing life insurance. "With 42% of divorces occurring within the first nine years of marriage, it's critical to have a plan."

He said understanding your marriage contract is a crucial first step in securing financial independence. The Stats SA reports also revealed that the majority of divorces (87% of men and 88% of women) were from first marriages highlighting the importance of comprehending marriage contracts, which determine how assets and debts are divided, and can significantly impact both parties' financial futures, said Alexanderson.

Building financial independence within marriage involves maintaining personal bank accounts, establishing credit in your name, and ensuring assets like vehicles are registered to you personally, he said. "This isn't just about preparing for divorce—it's about having financial freedom and security during marriage," said Alexanderson.

He emphasised that active involvement in household financial decisions is also crucial for partners who may not be the primary breadwinner to guard against economic vulnerability in the event of divorce.

“Financial planning becomes even more complex for stay-at-home partners, who may lack independent income, and strategic financial planning with a spouse at this point is critical,” said Alexanderson.

Alexanderson offered the following tips for financial empowerment in marriage:

  1. Review Your Marriage Contract Thoroughly: Understand the terms of your marriage contract (community of property, with or without accrual) as it impacts your financial rights in divorce.
  2. Establish and Maintain Separate Finances: Maintain personal financial accounts and build an independent credit history to ensure financial autonomy.
  3. Engage in Regular Financial Discussions: Regularly discuss finances with your spouse for transparency and joint decision-making.
  4. Plan Financially for All Scenarios: Plan for financial independence, especially for stay-at-home parents, through personal savings or investments in your name.

"Financial empowerment in marriage is about more than just managing finances—it's about laying a strong foundation of stability and independence that provides peace of mind and confidence in any circumstance. It's about fostering a sense of security and autonomy within the partnership, ensuring a solid footing for both individuals, regardless of what the future may hold," said Alexanderson.