How to Plan Financially For Your Divorce

Separating from a partner involves more than just paperwork: it involves financial planning, as well. This article shows readers how they can prepare for the monetary impact the divorce may have on their life.

Divorce is rarely a straightforward and simple process. For most couples, emotions run high when the decision to terminate a marriage occurs. Whether a couple has been together for a few months or several decades, divorce can be a difficult decision that takes time to process. In addition to dealing with the logistics of separating the couples' lifestyles, such as moving to new homes or making child custody arrangements, divorcing partners also need to consider the financial impact that the separation will have on their lifestyle. Not only can divorce impact an adult's personal savings and financial situation, but the separation can impact any children involved, as well. Here's what couples need to know.

First off, it's important to consider what assets are involved in the estate when a divorce is about to take place. While most couples understand that they may need to sell their home or additional properties in order to properly divide their belongings, many couples forget to include other important financial assets, such as retirement accounts or investments. These may all be considered to be marital assets and may affect the way the divorce proceeds.

Additionally, couples may be required to share debt. Regardless of which partner made charges on a credit card, for example, if it is a joint account, the debt may need to be split between the parties. This can cause stress and anxiety for some couples, especially if there is a large amount of debt. While financial transparency is especially important during a separation, many partners are not able to communicate freely or effectively and the amount of debt involved in a divorce may come as a surprise.

Couples who are planning to separate need to understand that not only will there be attorney and courtroom fees, but that they may be required to pay child support or alimony payments. Even if a couple shares custody of a child, one party may be required to pay support. This is because the primary goal during a divorce is for the child's lifestyle to remain the same. Although this cannot be guaranteed and some changes are inevitable, the court will do its best to make sure the child does not suffer because of the separation. If one parent makes significantly less than the other, the higher-earning parent may need to pay child support so the child's lifestyle can continue.

If you're thinking about filing for divorce, make sure you meet with an attorney as soon as possible to discuss your financial situation. Keep in mind that the right attorney can be an incredible asset. Not only will your legal adviser be able to help you decide which paperwork to file and how, but they will also help you decide how you should prepare when it comes to handling finances during and after your divorce.