In a Divorce, Equitable Doesn’t Always Mean Equal

Beth McRae Mayfield

October 15, 2019

What can you do to prepare for the divorce process?

No one goes into marriage thinking about splitting. Yet, statistics repeatedly show that roughly half of marriages end in divorce. For many divorcing couples, the signs of financial inequity present themselves well in advance of the divorce proceedings. Still, it’s natural to overlook them, especially when you’re not searching for trouble.

Few divorce cases result in an even 50/50 split of assets. The division of assets can be a long and complicated process, and oftentimes, one party receives a much more attractive settlement than the other. Though the courts may recognize the settlement as equitable, in most cases, equitable does not mean equal.

Fortunately, smart planning can help divorcing couples navigate these issues, allowing both parties to start their new, independent lives with confidence. In fact, there are steps anyone can take before, during, and after a divorce to help ensure a better outcome. For starters, taking inventory of your joint and individual assets, as well as important financial documents, makes it more difficult for one party to hide assets or information in a divorce. In other words, it’s essential to have a clear understanding of your financial situation to ensure you’re treated fairly when assets are divided.

Divorce is complex and can be emotionally and financially draining for all involved. To learn more about how to prepare for the possibility of divorce, read our recent article the Fall issue of The Advisor, “To Undo ‘I do’, or listen to the podcast below.


Beth Mayfield is a senior wealth strategist for CIBC Private Wealth Management in Atlanta, with more than 20 years of industry experience. In this role, she works closely with clients and their advisors to develop and implement charitable, estate and wealth transfer planning as part of CIBC Private Wealth Management’s integrated wealth management process.