Part 1 Finances
For many people the thought of "planning" for a
divorce is offensive. However, when you remember that your financial future and
your children's future are at stake, it makes excellent sense to make
a plan before you file for divorce. The following tips will help you begin
to financially plan for your new life.
Budget: Take the time to put together your budget. Use the
financial affidavit attached in the forms section of the website.
Divide the income and liabilities in 1/2 and see what it will take to run two households.
Make financial adjustments before you file for divorce.
- Significant liabilities: You may need to consult with a bankruptcy attorney.
Many times, debt can be discharged or modified leaving more money available
- Start your own bank account: Begin to separate bills with your spouse.
Any additional monies left after necessary bills are paid can be put into
your own "savings" account.
- If your expenses exceed your income, look to see what discretionary items
can be temporarily suspended until your finances become stable again.
- If your home has equity, consider sharing the expenses for the home with
your spouse and selling when the real estate market gets better. You can
rent the home to help with costs or one of you can live in the home.
- If you owe more on your home than it is currently worth, you can consider
a short sale, bankruptcy or an agreement with your spouse where you keep
the home until the real estate market changes.
If you meet certain requirements under Florida law, you may be required
to pay or entitled to be paid
alimony. Consult with your attorney to factor this issue into your budget. Reaching
an agreement with your spouse on this issue saves considerable monies
in attorney fees and costs
If there are children of the marriage, you may be required to pay or entitled
child support from your spouse. Consult with your attorney to factor this issue into
- Try to talk to your spouse. Go through your budget together. Try to put
together your own plan on how to divide assets and liabilities. This should
be done after you meet with your divorce lawyer and understand your legal
rights and obligations.
- Change your lifestyle temporarily. After you go through your budget be
realistic about where and how you plan to live. It takes time to financially
recover from your divorce. Make budget changes in your lifestyle that
you can reintroduce after your finance become more stable.
- Plan for your attorney fees. Many lawyers take credit cards. Many lawyers
will let you pay a certain amount monthly for your fees. Ask your family
for help. If you need to get out of a bad marriage quickly, many times
parents and siblings can help. You may also consider taking a loan against
your 401k or other retirement accounts.
Remember, the emotional strain of a divorce sometimes makes it difficult
to think clearly. Making a workable financial plan is your first step
towards alleviating your fears about the future.
Contact a Galveston County Divorce Attorney if you have any questions.