& Why that is Important Prior to the Divorce Being Negotiated
Have you ever tried to pack your suitcase not knowing your destination, how long you will be gone and what the weather conditions are going to be? Difficult to say the least, to know what you need to pack and how many items you might need to take along on your trip. Going through your divorce without thinking about your future financial ‘game plan’ is exactly the suitcase scenario. Are you willing to just wing it?
What are some of the important financial items that you need to be aware of? For starters, create a list of all your current marital properties and marital debts. Next, determine which of these items you might want to take personal responsibility for post divorce. Remember, the agreement you and your spouse are negotiating has a significant financial impact on your post divorce financial success. Having peace of mind that you will be ‘financially ok’ is a reassuring feeling during these dark times of your divorce process. No one said it would be easy to put aside your emotional turmoil associated with getting divorce. Thinking about your future lifestyle and financial responsibilities once your divorce is finalized can be challenging to focus on currently. But thinking about what you want your life to look like post divorce is a critical step during your divorce process. Preparing your post divorce budget is a tool that can help you achieve this goal.
Will you need more cash and liquidity upfront to pay your monthly bills? Are your retirement and/or investment planning for your future a high priority currently? What marital assets do you want? Can you afford these assets, the debts associated with these assets and the responsibilities (repairs and maintenance) that go along with having these assets? A post divorce estimated budget projection can help you determine the following:
- Should I consider going back to school or take other educational classes to enhance my career opportunities and my earning capacity post divorce?
- Will I need financial help from my soon-to-be-ex during my career transitional adjustment period? (i.e., spousal support, alimony)
- Can I afford to keep and maintain my existing home post divorce? Or should I be considering downsizing to a smaller home or renting for a while?
- Could I qualify for a home loan post divorce as a single person with only my sole income?
- What does my future lifestyle look like? Will I be able to continue living life doing all the things I enjoy doing once I’m divorced and single?
- How will I manage paying my portion of the marital debts we have accumulated during our divorce?
- Should I buy a more reliable vehicle?
Fear not. You do not have to do this alone. A financial divorce professional can help you unravel all these mysteries and help you make sense of your financial questions. The collaborative family law divorce method has a neutral financial divorce expert as part of your ‘divorce team’. A collaborative family law financial neutral is a divorce financial specialist who is trained to impartially help both you & your spouse sift through your marital financial information. Helping each of you analyze your post divorce budget projections and asking you thought provoking critical questions to consider while you and your attorney strategize your marital estate division partition.
Preparing now for your financial future will give you a sense of security. Knowledge is a powerful ally. Knowing how your financial future will play out helps you make better choices during your divorce negotiation process. Preparing and evaluating your post divorce budget analysis gives you the knowledge necessary to have confidence in your decision making process.