Divorce can change your financial situation in a big way. However, you don't have to sit back and accept those changes. If you know what you are facing, there is much you can do to alleviate the stress on your finances. Begin with the below tips.
Decide to have an amicable divorce
When couples disagree on major aspects of the divorce, the tab starts building. Every time you don't agree on something, you can add a cost. That might be for legal fees, court costs, a child custody evaluator, hearings, and more.
Understand the legal fees
Great divorce lawyers are worth every penny. Ask the lawyer to provide you with regular updates on the charges so there are no surprises at the end when the bill is due. Some lawyers charge by the case and some charge by the hour. The less complex your divorce, the less your legal fees.
Use a mediator to resolve issues
As mentioned above, litigating divorce disagreements is expensive. Even though mediation has a cost, it's not as much as court and legal costs and it is also a lot less stressful. You can tackle several issues with your mediator and move on to the final decree quicker.
Help your lawyer with the case
No, you don't need to do your lawyer's job for them, but you can help by providing the needed information. Your lawyer needs to gather financial information so that decisions can be made about child support, marital property, marital debts, and more. Full financial disclosure means you must provide this information and so must your spouse. Some lawyers advise their clients to gather information before the divorce issue becomes known. Once you file for divorce, your access to some retirement, business, and other financial data could become limited. Gather statements, tax returns, deeds, titles, and more before losing access to them.
Understand the scope of your divorce settlement
You might never consider what is meant by marital property and debt until you divorce. Not everything you and your spouse own (or owe) is marital. If you had it when you married, chances are it's not marital. Anything acquired after the date of the marriage, whether it's a bank account or an auto loan, may be marital. Also not counted as marital are gifts, gambling winnings, and inheritances. Get a better idea of what is at stake by making a list of your assets and debts for your lawyer. Mark each as either marital or single.
Keeping yourself financially aware during your divorce is vital. Ignoring things can only lead to regrets and ill feelings. Speak to a family law attorney to find out more.