From a financial standpoint, getting a divorce means that all your combined assets and collective income will be divided and your living expenses will increase since you will be supporting two households instead of one. This may leave you wondering if it’s possible to get through a divorce without going broke.
While a divorce will cost you something, it doesn’t have to cost you everything if you follow these tips:
Be prepared. Prior to meeting with your attorney, prepare all the financial information he or she will need to pursue your case, including a list of your assets, debts, and ongoing financial obligations. You will probably need to provide your attorney with copies of your tax records (past three years), bank statements, investment records, mortgage loan information, vehicle titles, and retirement account documents. Call your attorney’s office for a list of the specific documents they need and ask if there are any forms you can complete prior to your meeting.
Be reasonable. The better you can work with your spouse to reach an equitable settlement, the less costly your divorce will be. If you and your spouse can agree to get along during the divorce, then mediation may be a less expensive option for you. You will still be able to receive counsel from your attorney during the mediation process, so you won’t be going it alone.
And while we always encourage open communication between attorney and client, please realize that calling your lawyer every day to complain about something your spouse did or did not do can get expensive — probably more expensive than a therapist and definitely more expensive than a friend!
Be open to change. Divorce changes lives, and the sooner you can reconcile yourself to these changes, the better it will be for your emotional and financial health. While you may have an emotional attachment to your home, it may be better for you financially to sell and split the proceeds. Be careful about your investment accounts too — if they are to be split, it is better to sign over ownership of a portion of the portfolio than to cash out, as you will incur taxes and fees.
We know that family law issues are often difficult, life-changing events. We also know how much it helps to have knowledgeable legal advocates on your side to help you obtain the best possible outcome. Contact us today for your free consultation.