It’s one of the reasons you need an expert on your side. A divorce attorney is going to bring knowledge about how the courts in your location work and know all the laws that govern divorce. It is important the lawyer knows all the ins and outs of your state since laws differ from state to state. Auntie Maude may believe you can take your spouse to the proverbial cleaners because he or she cheated. It may not be a factor at all. You need to know what you might face so you can discuss your position thoroughly with your lawyer and work towards a viable settlement. Here are 5 unfortunate financial situations that can happen because of a divorce.
1. You could have to Divide your Business. This can be true even if your spouse didn’t play a role in building that business. Even if you owned the business before you were married, your business may be in jeopardy in you didn’t make a prenuptial agreement. If you own a business, talk to your attorney about difference strategies. You may still be able to create a prenup although that is less likely to work. You may be able to bring a monthly payment plan to the settlement table. It’s an issue you want to discuss and know the best way to handle.
2. Financial Concerns don’t usually End with the Divorce. You’re going to have to adjust. What used to be shared – isn’t. If you had a spouse you didn’t trust financially, your first reaction might be you are better off, but be prepared. Divorce is almost always costly. Unexpected expenses – a doctor’s bill or a broken appliance – are going to happen. As you meet with your divorce attorney, be sure to discuss your future finances so the lawyer can help get a fair and equitable settlement for you.
3. What about your Credit Score? In today’s world where many women work, both the wife and the husband may have their own credit score. Protect yours. During the divorce, don’t let joint account bills – think utilities or credit card payments – go unpaid or, even, be paid late. They could create a black mark on your credit. If you don’t have credit, start building your own credit as soon as possible. Again, discuss your situation with your attorney.
4. Do you own Real Estate? You probably jointly own your home. Or, it could have been your home before you were married. In general, you keep the property you owned before the divorce. However, it may not be safe if you’ve paid expenses from or received profit in a joint account. Talk to your attorney about the possibility of arranging mediation before the divorce or, if things are tense, tell your attorney that you need him to carry the ball.
5. Don’t Dig a Hole. Hopefully, you and your soon-to-be-ex are going to work together to reach an equitable settlement. That takes give and take – and taking care of yourself. Running up a credit card because you’re mad can backfire. Forgetting to make the mortgage payment because you’re upset is a definite problem. Living beyond your future means can hurt, too. If you’re going to have to cut back after the divorce, start cutting back and making a new budget now. Don’t do anything that will make it harder for yourself in the future.
When you start thinking about divorce, start thinking about meeting with a divorce attorney. Most will give you a free get-acquainted visit. Find an attorney who is experienced. Ask about the different divorces and situations he’s worked with in the past. Then, be honest. If your attorney really understands your finances and financial position, he can give you the help you need to have the best possible foundation for the future.