When in the midst of a divorce, it is common to neglect the financial aspects that you will encounter after your divorce is finalized. However, failure to account for the financial changes can result in significant hardship. Therefore, it is important to discuss, in depth, with your attorney steps you may need to take in order to financially prepare for your new single lifestyle and the new architecture of your financial status.
The overall goal to prepare for your new financial status is to determine a proper income and expenditure analysis and properly allocate for your necessities versus your desires. First, you must determine the assets and liabilities that you have been given responsibility for. During the divorce process you will engage in an equitable distribution procedure where all marital assets and liabilities are divided between you and your spouse. All credit card debts, outstanding loans, mortgages, and any other debts will be divided and each spouse will be designated with an amount of each debt to be paid or be given sole responsibility for the entire debt. These classifications can become a significant expense as many of these debts cannot be paid in one transaction and these debts may have previously been paid out of your joint marital funds. Further, during the pendency of the divorce these debts may have inadvertently been left unpaid due to confusion or neglect which could negatively affect your credit score. Therefore, it is imperative to keep an accurate accounting of these debts, and calculate the monthly payments necessary for each and determine the expense these debts will have on your monthly expenditures.
Second, you will need to determine the assets awarded to you, including your monthly income separate from your spouse. Although in many marriages, there is a comingling of incomes it is important to determine what your income will be separate from your spouse. This may include income from a job, child support payments or alimony. When you determine what your income is versus the necessary expenditures you will then be able to determine a budget for your financial future.
Finally, you will classify your expenditures between necessities and desires. For instance, health insurance, transportation costs, housing payments, and groceries will always be considered necessary expenditures in your budget that must be accounted for. While season theme park passes, high end clothing, or lavish vacations may be classified as desires. When you classify each expenditure, it allows you to set a realistic budget surrounding your needs and provides you with a guideline to live within your new financial means, which may look significantly different from your married status. This budget can allow you to set goals for your financial future and encourage independence that may have been lost within your marriage. Further, this budget provides you with a safe and solid foundation for moving forward in your life.
Failure to acknowledge your financial status and the effects a divorce will have on it can result in significant obstacles and is a common pitfall among divorcees. Therefore, ensure you are properly educated and informed as to your expenses, income, necessities, and that all are addressed in your divorce decree to provide you with a financially stable future. Your attorney will assist you in developing a plan that will determine your financial needs and discuss with you the legal avenues of protection available moving forward with the final details of your divorce.
Speaking to an attorney at our Pensacola office is free of charge, and we accept calls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Contact us at (800) 822-5170 or complete an online contact form to get in touch with a member of our team today.