A divorce doesn’t have to wreck your life or your finances if you go into it prepared and focused on the outcome you want to achieve. No doubt one of those outcomes is to keep a lid on the cost of your divorce as much as possible.
Like any legal proceeding, divorce takes planning. While it may be hard emotionally to delay a divorce action, it may actually provide you with the necessary time you need to fully prepare yourself and your family for divorce, both financially and emotionally.
Here are some tips for divorce planning:
Get your financial paperwork in order. Organize bills, bank statements, mortgage statements, investment portfolios, IRAs and other financial documents to get a true picture of your financial condition.
Budget for your divorce. Determine what you are currently spending and break it out into “essentials” and “nonessentials”. Then cut that in half to see what you are likely to need for living expenses once you are no longer married. You will then be able to see how much you need to save or make plans for increasing income or decreasing spending.
Reduce your debt. By reducing your credit card debt now, you’ll be in a better financial position once your divorce is final.
Save. Financial experts are currently recommending at least a nine-month “cushion” of savings to see you through any emergencies or reversals like job loss, etc.
Consider mediation. Mediation allows you to resolve your case outside a courtroom and gives you better control over the final outcome. Engaging in mediation will allow you and your spouse to hash things out with the help of a neutral third party — the mediator — in a private setting. Both of you can still have your own attorney to help you during the negotiation process and to review the final agreement prior to the court signing off on it.
Going through a divorce is one of the most traumatic events in anyone’s life, but foresight and planning can ease the pain — and expense — for all involved.
It is important that you do not wait too long to retain an attorney when you are facing a family law issue. Delays can cost you valuable legal rights, and you want to make sure that you have the advice and support you need to make the best decisions for you and your family long after the divorce settlement is reached. Contact us today for your free consultation.