Budgeting for Your Divorce (and Beyond)

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Divorce is a major life event. That isn’t hyperbole, either; this event will change your life as dramatically as a death in your immediate family, the birth of a child, or a wedding. Divorce affects much more than just your emotions, though; your finances will also be deeply impacted. Many spouses cite potential financial problems as the reason they are hesitant to file for divorce, but you’ll be prepared for anything with the guidelines we provide below. 

  1. Start saving today. Spouses who are divorcing often try to handle the divorce process themselves or hire the lowest price attorney. You might be able to realize short-term savings this way, but there’s a popular (and true) saying: A cheap attorney might be the most expensive mistake you ever make. 

In other words, you need a caring and experienced attorney (like you can find at Easterling Law) who can effectively represent you and your needs during the divorce process. One thing you can do today to help accomplish this is by cutting back on expenses wherever possible.

  1. Begin tracking your expenses. To receive a fair and equitable portion of your marital property, an appropriate amount of alimony, post separation support, and enough child support, you need to know exactly how much money is coming in and going out of your coffers. The most effective way to keep track of everything is to make a detailed spreadsheet that lists income and expenses. 

Additionally, we strongly recommend classifying expenses as essential and non-essential.  You need to know the exact amount of income you and your kids need to survive post-divorce.

  1. Gather important financial information. Your attorney will be able to advise you on the specific documents you need in order to go through with divorce. Some of these forms include:
  • State and federal income tax returns for the past three years (at least)
  • Checking and savings account statements
  • Recent pay stubs (and documentation of other income)
  • Retirement account statements [including your 401(k)]
  • Titles and deeds of large assets

If your spouse has one or more of the above documents and refuses to share the information with you, no need to panic—a quality family law attorney will be available to procure the information in discovery (one phase of a contested divorce). 

  1. Create your own checking account. If you and your spouse have a joint banking account (and nothing else), you should discreetly create an individual account for yourself. Additionally, start a line of credit so you can cultivate a reputable credit score in your own name. 

Conclusion

No matter what your financial situation looks like, you will be able to make it work. Through smart and precise planning (and plenty of help from a knowledgeable family law attorney), you will get through your divorce with minimal stress. Easterling Law would love to be part of it. Call our office today at 980-272-1365 to discuss your options with our legal team.