More than 2 million people suffer from the emotional and financial difficulties related to divorce . Most women are put at a financial disadvantage, incurring a down-slide in current lifestyle; while most men could enjoy a boost in income. There are several factors primarily affecting women’s lifestyle post-divorce. Child support and alimony may not suffice to cover the costs of child care and education. Women may have already sacrificed years and opportunities to have a career for the sake of their husband’s career and children’s welfare. Having a plan is crucial to manage your budget and overcome the financial challenges that might come your way. A few of these challenges include:
- Having little to no plans at all. Before getting a divorce, look first at the big picture. Do your own research and ask for financial and legal advice. Take into consideration the right time to file for divorce. Consider the relevance and practicality of staying separated instead of plunging into a divorce for the sake of marital property and social security benefits. Divorce will have a financial effect on your current lifestyle, so anticipate and prepare for legal and court costs, new lifestyle costs, and even the services of a therapist. Before getting divorced, make sure you have the money and support to make it on your own.
- Having no documentation of ownership and being unfamiliar with assets. Document everything from tax returns, banking and credit statements and information, insurance coverage and policies, real estate deeds to almost everything that might have value. Have your separate ownership of inheritances and gifts documented. Remember that you and your spouse own all marital assets together, so even if you may not want something that your spouse does, you could use it to trade for something that you want. Take stock of sources of additional income. If you put your spouse through college, you may be entitled for some reimbursement.
- Having limited or no knowledge regarding tax consequences. You would want to get the best deal, and for that, you may consult an accountant to figure out whether your previous joint tax returns have unaccounted for income and deductions, likely omitted or overstated. File for a protection or indemnification clause, so you don’t get blindsided when the IRS audits. When you are hands on with your divorce, communication and negotiation with your spouse will be easier and compliance is more likely. You need to be actively involved every step of the way, because at the end of the day, you are the one who will live through the divorce.
- Getting mixed up with your emotions. Do not do things out of revenge. Be as impartial and fair as possible, focusing on your long-term interests. Fight and negotiate fairly for what you deserve. The goal is for you to live and survive independently after divorce.
- Not getting professional advice. For both men and women, it would be best to consult a family lawyer to assist in resolving the terms of the settlement and a forensic accountant to look for hidden assets. Talk to a therapist to help you sort out emotional issues and a financial planner to give you the best options to live independently especially after divorce.
At Flash Divorce, we have experience helping our clients overcome all types of financial challenges during the divorce process. Get started with your online divorce today. Or become a member to learning about starting your divorce.