Family Law Blog

3 Financial Tips to Follow Before You Finalize Your Divorce

Friday, May 04, 2018

A divorce can suddenly flip your entire world upside down. You could go from having a dual income or relying on another person for support to having to fend for yourself with no assistance. Divorce can be an emotional time, but it's important that you take steps while you can to give yourself a leg up on the rest of your life. Here are some financial tips you should follow ahead of finalizing your divorce.

Get a Separate Bank Account

Many couples have their finances intertwined in a way that can make starting over after a divorce difficult. If you have always shared a bank account with your spouse, you need to open your own account. That's the easy part, the hard part may be getting your fair share of the money out of the shared account. This is where having a lawyer on your side can come in handy. He or she can make your case to the court as to how much of the total shared assets you should receive. Even if you don't think you're going to get that much, you still need to set up your own bank account and start putting money away as soon as possible.

Create a Budget

If you have always let the other person in your relationship handle your finances, the time to step up and be more responsible is right now. Figure out about how much money you expect to have after the divorce, including any support payments. Your lawyer can help give you an estimate of what might be possible, but always plan for the worst case scenario. Keep in mind that you may have expenses besides just your rent or car payment like utilities and an entertainment fund. These extraneous expenses that may have previously been covered by your spouse will now be yours to handle, so budget conservatively to plan for all contingencies.

Talk to Your Kids and Set Expectations

Divorce can be especially difficult on children. Even more so if their lifestyle is going to drastically change. It's possible that neither parent will be able to afford the same standard of living they had when they were a dual income family. Talk with your kids about the divorce. Be upbeat, but set expectations that money might be a little tight for a while. Don't let your emotions get the best of you here. Spoiling your kids with toys is not going to win them over in the long run. Be prudent about your financial decisions so that your family is secure.

Divorce can leave both spouses in a financial bind when some or all of the support they had counted on goes away. Be ready for the day the divorce is finalized by setting up an independent bank account, making a budget and talking to your kids about what you can and can't afford post-divorce. For more best practices, contact a local attorney today.