Practically everyone thinks that 50 percent of marriages in the United States end up in divorce, and while that may be somewhat true, it is not entirely accurate. Still, divorce is definitely NOT an uncommon thing, and not only in the United States. In other countries where divorce – or some form of it – is legal, more couples are facing the sad reality that is divorce.
If you are still not 100 percent sure about getting a divorce, there is absolutely no reason to rush it! There might be other options, and you might actually be worse off if you go down that road. So here are some financially helpful things that you really need to ponder on if you’re thinking about getting a divorce.
- Be informed. Consult the pros. Let’s get this out of the way – at the end of the day, the decision to get a divorce will be affected by so many factors that finances may not matter anymore. Whatever the reason may be, however, being informed and having professionals guide you is the best route to take. Don’t just take on any lawyer, but make sure that the firm/lawyer is specialised in family and/or divorce law. In the Milwaukee area, Campo Blumenfeld LLP Attorneys at Law is a prime choice.
- Create a balance sheet of your current finances as a couple. Whether you’ve been living as husband and wife for a year or for a decade, you will have to face the fact that a divorce will affect your income. Before you can look at the financial future, though, assess your current finances. More than your joint income, pay particular attention to all your liabilities and assets as a married couple. Then, label each liability and asset according to whether it is joint or individual. Once you’re done with this, you can easily assess if you’re going to come out of a divorce financially okay.
- Peruse your joint IRS tax returns. Preferrably, take a look at the last 3-4 years. This will give you a better idea about your finances, as well as things such as pension/retirement accounts.
- Create your future budget. Pretend you’re actually divorced and living on your own (or perhaps with the kids). List down all your potential income and expenses, and create a budget out of this information. This will help you see into the future and perhaps help you decide if you can hack it yourself financially.
Whether you decide to get a divorce or not, at the very least, you have a better grasp of the state of finances, right?