Tips to working on Financial Issues in Divorce

Tips for financial issues in divorce can help in every divorce.  Each one has some financial considerations to it – agreed divorces and those fought out in litigation.   And, each one has questions and answers that are specific to that couple alone.  But, there are some general principles that are helpful in any divorce to get you where you need to be to make good decisions.

These three tips are the best place to start on your financial areas in your case to help you and your attorney make good decisions in your divorce.

  1. Educate yourself.  If you and your spouse are getting along well, you have a pretty good idea of your division of assets and liabilities, great.  If you and your spouse aren’t getting along well the same advice works for you.  You need to educate yourself about your financial accounts.  A few of the types of accounts that you should educate yourself about are: utilities, checking and savings accounts, retirement accounts, investment accounts, 529 accounts for your children, 401k accounts from employment (both past and current).  Make sure that the account balances, values, transaction information that you have are current.  Get online or speak with the account representatives yourself to confirm that the information you have is current.  If you haven’t gotten access to the accounts yourself, and it is a joint account, do it.  If you aren’t on an account, ask for the most current statement.  Do some research to see if that financial institution issues statements monthly, quarterly or annually.  The old saying that ‘the first price you pay is the least’ applies here.  Know what you are agreeing to on the front end.  You’ll save yourself time, and money, if you do the work and don’t have to have your attorney do the work to get the information from the other side later or find out later that the information you had was old and have to start negotiations over.
  2. Find a financial professional and get their advice.  In my office, we don’t give ANY tax advice or financial advice.  Your lawyer should tell you how your decisions will affect you in your divorce and what will be done in the divorce to make those decisions work, but not the affects in your financial world.  You need someone to advise you about all of those things including any past tax issues, future tax consequences, considerations for your financial future that can be affected positively and negatively.
  3. Use all this information to work out your budget.  It is a good idea to put pen to paper – or cursor to screen – to look at what is coming in and going out on a monthly basis now.  As you move through the negotiation process, do it again to know if the numbers work out as you plan for your future and include your housing cost, child care costs, child support and other expenses. You also need to look at these items to know what goals to set  in your divorce.  Do you really want the house?  If so, can you afford the payment, upkeep and utilities?  If not, what next?

Resources for you: One online resource has a website and an app.  And, this article has a list of great personal finance apps.  Find something that works for you and get started.  The educated decision is your best decision.

These issues are important in your case.  Call to talk with one of the lawyers at O’Connell Law Firm today: 940-497-5454. Tweet this.

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