Just as planning for an upcoming wedding and marriage is a multi-step process, so, too, is planning for a divorce. Divorce brings with the inevitable financial and emotional ramifications, but you can minimize divorce-related complications and make an already stressful experience easier on everyone simply by getting your affairs in order prior to filing. Regardless of whether your impending divorce is relatively amicable or wrought with controversy, taking time to think and plan for it is sure to make the upcoming months much easier to handle.
If you are hoping to stay in your marital home following your split, you will need to do some number-crunching to see if doing so is truly a viable option. Not only can staying in the marital home prove emotionally tough on you and any children you may have, it can also be financially taxing. Homes can be expensive to maintain, and it is not always possible to do so on one income. Even if you are going to receive alimony, you will want to consider whether you would still be able to make payments if your ex-spouse died, became unemployed or was otherwise incapacitated and unable to continue to make alimony payments.
Compile a list of your expenses
If you plan to seek alimony or child support, you need to come prepared to show how much money you expect to need and demonstrate exactly how it would be allocated. Consider basic living expenses, such as food, clothing and shelter. You will also want to consider expenditures such as college funds for the kids; tuition for private school; money to go toward music, art or athletic lessons; and so on. You also do not want to put too much stock in alimony or child support, because odds are, your ex-partner and his or her legal team are going to try and make those monthly payments as low as they possibly can.
Plan ahead for your own schooling or career
Even if you did not put your own education or career on hold for the benefit of your married family, many people decide that the period following divorce is prime time for some self-improvement and reinvention. Your future is more than likely looking a lot different that you probably intended when you said “I do,” but that does not have to mean the end. Embracing the opportunity to concentrate on your own interests and future goals is great for the family in the long-term financial sense, but it can also help distract you from the divorce itself and keep you motivated and even excited about your own future.
Divorce is never easy, but you can streamline the process by getting your ducks in a row from the outset. For more on what to do ahead of your divorce, consider getting in touch with a lawyer.