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How To Prepare Financially For A Divorce

Definitely, your financial life can change after a divorce ... especially after an unplanned one

There seems to be no turning back: your marriage is over and the end of your relationship, which was once wonderful, is painful and will leave some visible marks. The divorce is inevitable and the overall process will be too hard for you. It is time to prepare for the worst and sort out your finances in order to mitigate any collateral damage.

We offer you some tips to prepare you financially for a divorce and ensure your survival without permanent monetary injury.

Get a lawyer

It may cost you some money in the form of commission, but hire a lawyer as soon as possible if you want to prepare financially for a divorce. Surely, you want some assistance to begin the correspondence with your future ex-wife, some help to put things in writing.

For example, when it comes to the common credit card or the mortgage-backed revolving credit, the responsibilities of these credit lines are 50/50 while you are married and both names are on the bill. The creditor does not care if your ex spends $ 5000 out with their friends in spite of your wishes or to make you angry. You are responsible for 50% of the money spent.

However, if you have a documented and certified communication from your lawyer to your ex-wife, the judge may rule in your favor in a tedious procedure. It cannot get you out of the clutches of creditors, but it will at least prevent you from getting hurt financially. In short, your attorney can advise you about the whole situation and that's something worth a lot.

Upgrade financially

You may hate talking to your wife about anything and even more about a sensitive topic such as finance, but you should now be aware of all the details of the financial situation you live more than ever. You need to understand all your outstanding debts, not only these the two of you have in common, but also those contracted individually. With the assistance of your attorney, seek to carry out a full disclosure of all financial records and of all of your accounts.

You must understand the complete picture regarding your credit cards, the mortgage-backed revolving credit, including other topics such as taxes, student loans, business debts, etc., in order to avoid any unexpected surprises. And to do that, you should be prepared to fully disclose your financial situation.

Get your own accounts

Once the divorce is inevitable, you should begin to establish your own accounts in your own name to prepare financially.

This includes checkbooks, credit cards, savings, retirement and even car insurance. You should also begin to direct all your deposits and paychecks into this account. Any account in both names will be divided into equal halves and you might not feel very glad about the fact that your partner uses your money to pay their credit cards and counseling expenses.

Put the mortgage or the rent payments in order

If you have bought a house together or if you are mentioned in the contract of lease of you current home, you need to take this matter very seriously at the time of preparing your divorce financially, since the creditors expect to be paid, no matter what your personal situation is. And maybe you want to move as soon as you realize that the relationship is over, but doing so could undermine your rights on the home and, once again, you will remain responsible for 50% of the mortgage payments.

In some cases, spouses may agree on who gets the house and what everyone should do. However, it often happens that the judge orders the sale of the house to make the property division process simple and clear. Sure, you will not want to present the worst-case scenario in which your partner is living in your old house and you are responsible for paying the bills.

If you're the main breadwinner, you should continue making mortgage payments and ask your attorney to keep track of them. Undoubtedly, it will be very important for your new single life that no late payments or foreclosure appear on your credit score. The divorce proceedings can take several months and if you are 100% responsible for paying the mortgage during this period, you can make the legal agreement reflect your contributions in this regard.

Change your will

If you have a will, you should discuss about it immediately and adjust it according to the legal agreement when it comes to financially preparing for the divorce. It may not happen in years, but imagine how you roll over in your grave if all your estate ends up with your partner in their thirties.

Consequently, your attorney should consider questions such as “Who is the executor of your estate?” or, if you have children, “How are the children treated in your current marriage with respect to the children of your first marriage, stepchildren or your future marriage?”. We often hear horror stories about children from a first marriage who are left with nothing when the second woman takes control and passes the property to her own children.

Divorce is best when there is a clear break from a legal perspective. In this regard, in order to prepare financially for a divorce, you need to review the process of making your will, however insignificant it may be, as it will help you avoid the nasty surprises that may appear years later.

Maintenance of the children

If you have children, your financial support is a big issue when it comes to financially preparing for divorce. The rules of the financial support of the children vary depending on the state or province, so there are no formal rules. Anyway, it often happens that the state expects parents to reach an agreement suitable for the children and not as harmful when it comes to the payer’s lifestyle.

This may not happen in all cases, but the state will always try to put the children first.

In this sense, the state publishes guidelines based on the joint income of the parents and the number of children, so it is very possible that you can make an estimate with regard to what you will be spending on the maintenance of the little ones when you're preparing your divorce.

If you do not get the custody of the kids, you must accept the fact that you have to pay some form of alimony.

How much you pay depends on you and your wife and your financial situation. If you and your wife fail to agree, then you'll be at the mercy of the court decision, which will reach a decision according to the information submitted by the attorneys.

In a stormy relationship, divorce may appear as the fastest and easiest answer to personal liberation and an opportunity to start over. It may well be that, but if you cannot get a clear idea of the financial picture and if you cannot agree, you could quickly find yourself in a world of economic problems (lasting for months or even years).

With regard to financial planning and divorce, keep your composure, keep records and remember that considering professional help is the most appropriate thing you can do. A final agreement will save you and your wife from a good deal of financial and emotional pain and it will be infinitely easier for you to rebuild your lives and engage with other people.

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◦  Different Types of Divorce
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◦  Divorces and Separations
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