If you ask just about anyone who has been through the divorce process, they will likely tell you that ending your marriage is not cheap. Getting divorced is very likely to put a serious financial strain on your life, and it is vital that you appropriately prepare.
It’s simple economics, really. Your expenses will increase as a result of the costs inherent in the legal dissolution process (court fees, attorney fees, professional fees for services like hiring a counselor, hiring a forensic accountant, etc), while your income is likely going to decrease if you live in a two-income household or your spouse is the main breadwinner. Ask any business owner and they will tell you that if their expenses increase and their income decreases, things are going to become very difficult.
The goal of an equitable divorce settlement is to allow you to exit your marriage on sustainable financial footing that allows you to live the quality of life you’ve come to expect during your married life. However, it is unlikely you will be able to obtain this stability until after the divorce is finalized, which can take months or longer. SOmetimes, the finances in a marriage simply don’t allow for both parties to live in the same way they were living when married since many household expenses have to be duplicated. In order to financially survive the actual divorce process, it is absolutely essential that you begin preparing yourself as soon as you know or suspect a divorce is forthcoming.
There are a great many ways you can go about achieving this preparedness, but there are three key steps you should take in particular. Please keep in mind that the follow is not intended as legal advice for your specific situation, and you should always rely on the advice of an attorney who has evaluated your unique circumstances.
Firstly, you need to save as much cash as you can. You are going to need liquid assets to afford the various costs of getting divorce and effectively representing your interests in your divorce. As soon as you know you are going to be getting a divorce, begin setting aside as much money as you can. Obviously, you cannot take joint assets or cash and set it aside for yourself, but you should absolutely begin setting aside your personal income in a bank account that is solely in your name.
If you are not employed and you have no personal streams of income, you will likely be able to get a court order for temporary support from your spouse to sustain you during your divorce, help you provide for your children, etc, but it can take months to be granted such an order so you should seek gainful employment as soon as you can.
Saving money for your divorce costs also means cutting unnecessary expenses wherever you can. You may have to change your lifestyle and make some major financial sacrifices at first, but it will be worth it in the end.
Secondly, you should begin working on your personal credit. Open new lines of credit that are solely in your name and do everything necessary to improve your individual credit score. You may need to rely on credit to bridge the financial gap between deciding to get divorced and finalizing that divorce. Oftentimes, couples only utilize joint lines of credit, so it will be necessary to begin working on your individual creditworthiness once more to help you both during your divorce and after.
Finally, you need to get organized and take stock of all of your finances. Make a list of all of your expenses, income, debts, etc. Understand how all your debts and expenses are paid, and make sure you have copies of all relevant financial documentation. All of this will be vital when it comes to pursuing any sort of temporary spousal support during your divorce and achieving an equitable divorce settlement so that you can be financially stable after your divorce.
A skilled divorce attorney such as Vanessa Vasquez de Lara can help ensure you are taking all the necessary steps to financially prepare yourself for the end of your marriage. Once you know a divorce is coming, do not waste any time. Contact the Vasquez de Lara Law Group today and let us guide you towards a powerful new beginning in your life.