In case the emotional impact of divorce wasn’t enough, divorcing couples also need to worry about a massive hit to their financial well-being. In fact, it’s a fear of financial instability that keeps some people married far longer than they should be. If you’re getting ready to go through this major life change, you can prepare with these tips.
You don’t have to go through divorce alone, and in fact, you shouldn’t. We’re here to help. Schedule a consultation with Coumanis & York now by calling us at 251-990-3083.
Take an Active Role
First, consider taking an active role in the divorce if you have not done so thus far. Sometimes, the spouse who does not want the divorce waits to start planning, hoping that the other party will change their mind and come back. However, during this time, the other spouse is hiring an attorney and getting their financial affairs in order. If divorce is inevitable, don’t wait for it to happen to you. Be an active participant so you can advocate for yourself.
Assess Your Assets Early
The division of assets and debts is a big part of any divorce, and it’s crucial to have a clear understanding of what you have and how much it’s worth. Try to gather ownership papers for large assets and document everything you have for your attorney.
Your attorney can help you decide whether or not some assets need to be professionally valuated prior to negotiations. The more information you have on your assets and debts, the easier it will be for you to predict your financial situation once the divorce is final.
Limit Your Spending
Retail therapy, while often effective, is not good when done to the extreme during a divorce. Even if you anticipate being in a solid financial position after you divorce, you truly won’t know until the final divorce settlement is done. This is not the time to buy a new car, invest in a vacation home, or go all out on luxury clothing and handbags. If there’s something you want, put it on a list and wait until the divorce is finalized. At that time, if your finances are stable enough, you can treat yourself for getting through one of the biggest challenges in your life.
Gather Financial Documentation
You need to know whose names are on which accounts, who has legal ownership of different assets, and whether assets are joint or marital. The more documentation you can provide to your attorney, the better off you will be.
Be Realistic About Your Budget
Instead of planning for the best-case scenario where you get everything you want in a divorce, listen to your attorney about actual potential outcomes. You don’t want to be planning for a champagne lifestyle, only to find out later that you’re on a beer budget. This is another reason it’s important to put off major purchases. Getting stuck with a massive car payment every month and then finding out you aren’t entitled to alimony can be a huge financial blow.
Take Advice from Licensed Professionals
When people find out you’re getting divorced, you’ll get well-meaning advice from all sides. Everyone has a story from their own divorce, their best friend’s divorce, or their cousin’s sibling’s hairdresser’s split. Some of the advice they give may be less than trustworthy.
No, you can’t wipe out the savings and checking accounts just because your name is on them too. That will look terrible once you get in front of a judge. No, you can’t sell your ex-partner’s belongings to pay for your attorney and hurt them at the same time. When you need legal advice, only talk to your family law attorney. When you need financial advice, talk to a licensed financial planner. Your future depends on it.
Turn to Coumanis & York for Help with Your Divorce Case
With careful planning and thoughtfulness, you can prepare financially for the next stage of your life. We can help you navigate this change with as much grace and peace as possible. Get started now by setting up a consultation. Either give us a call at 251-990-3083 or contact us , and we’ll sit down and talk about what you hope to get out of your divorce.