Filing for divorce is no joke. Applying documents to the court without thinking in advance is irresponsible. Your spontaneous decision can bring consequences, that could have been prevented. And financial issues are commonplace for many separated couples. As long as the partners live together, they share all their income and possessions but separation is not only an emotional but also a financial burden. There is no longer a person to lean on, you have to manage all your financial mishaps on your own. But there are some steps to undertake to make your process of adjustment to new independent life less stressful. It is almost like preparing for long-term travel.
Do You Have a Regular Income?
If not give yourself a frank answer to the following questions:
- What stage of life are you at?
- Are you desperate enough to start all over again, continue or start an education if you feel a scarcity of skills and knowledge?
- Maybe you have some special resources?
- Or you have a lucrative business running?
Besides, you have to make sure that you are on good terms with your future ex-husband. No one knows: it is possible that shortly after the official breakup you will urgently need money. That is why it is crucial to be affable to your spouse and not provoke any murderous conflicts. Do you have enough separate money and property, in order to maintain your previous lifestyle? If not, are you ready to sacrifice something in the desire to be liberated from your miserable marriage? How much of your common assets and debts will you get as a result of dividing marital property?
Analyze your current situation – do you have your house fully furnished? Do you have a roof over your head at all? Be absolutely certain that your income can cover your retirement plans. Normally, after the division of marital assets, funds of the joint retirement account are distributed by the two parts equally. But that is just a theory. In practice, for instance, you can get a house and your husband your retirement account funds and a car. When separating marital possessions justice but not equality is the top priority.
Your Child: How Your Responsibilities Are Divided?
The thing is that in most cases – five out of six – children live with their mother after the divorce. It isn’t worth mentioning that a single mother will be better off financially if she already has a decent income and her husband can be relied on to make full child-support payments regularly. That ideal model is not a frequent occurrence and, consequently, many women are left on the crossroads of life, trying to make two ends meet. Therefore, they have to apply for public welfare programs.
So think about whether you have all the things needed to provide your children and yourself. How long will it take you to get them? Have you already created a college fund? Invest in it regularly and try to ensure your husband to pay it separately from child support.
What if you are a man? There is a prevailing stereotype in society that men have the time of their lives after divorce. Myth. Making child-support payments comes on top of expenses for the apartment, which is exasperating. It’s worth adding that filling an online divorce form brings less hassle. There is no need to search like crazy through the Internet to find the best online divorce service to complete those divorce forms. Just ask for divorce help online.
Make Sure That You Pay off All Your Debts
The first step is to identify your debts. Order your credit report so that you have a clear picture of what you, personally or jointly with your spouse, owe to the creditor. At this point, it is imperative to direct all forces on paying off the debts. This is the cleanest method. What is more, is it rational to enter your new life with old unpaid bills? If you don’t manage to accomplish getting rid of old ‘tails’ then when dividing assets, you will be awarded more assets, but also more debt.
Consider paying off the debts together. It may leave you tied to your ex-spouse and make you liable for the debt as well. Thus, it makes you both more vulnerable. Beware of your spouse filing for bankruptcy. Correspondingly, the obligation for the debt will be shifted to you.
Is It the Most Appropriate Time to Get Divorced?
Maybe, you should consider a legal separation instead. It is a financially beneficial step. It is a contractual agreement that allows you to live separately while still remaining a married couple. If you are tormented by your financial state or have doubts about whether you will extricate yourself after the split up, then this is the way to go. What financial benefits does it pull over?
- Tax benefits. If you pay spousal support, that payment can be claimed as a deduction at tax time.
- Preservation of marital benefits. For instance, paying taxes as you are still married, not separately.
- A clear image of who pays and for what. Who lives in the house, who pays the mortgage, lawn care and maintenance – all of that is cited in the legal separation agreement.
- Separate bank accounts. A legal separation agreement will outline who of the spouses will have access to their joint account as well as conditions of acquiring separate accounts if necessary.
- You won’t be responsible for your spouse’s debt. However, if you live a marital property state, you are not provided by this protection.
There are a few financial questions to ask yourself before the divorce. It sounds like a trifle and you might hope to solve all your problems on the road to the new life. But it is less stressful to correct some issues earlier.