Divorce tends to do serious financial damage to both spouses, especially if they are both working. The truth is, it can be difficult to manage your finances after a divorce. You will have to learn to live on less and plan for a single income future. Working with your Greenville, SC divorce attorney, you can anticipate life after divorce and begin making smart choices.
If divorce is definitely on the horizon, begin adjusting your finances now – and long before the divorce is finalized. Of course, be sure to follow all court orders concerning marital assets, property, spousal, and child support, etc. Your Greenville, SC attorney can advise on any restrictions to which you may be subject. Keeping those limitations in mind, here are some tips for managing your post-divorce finances.
Begin working on a budget. A budget is simply the process of planning what happens to your money each month. If you didn’t live on a budget during your marriage, you will need one now. Child and spousal support obligations, attorney’s fees, and a whole new set of expenses will compel this adjustment. Work on your budget with an eye towards paying down any debt, including debt assigned to you through equitable distribution.
Start planning for retirement now. Budgeting is just one part of preparing for your financial future. The point of a budget, however, is to meet your monthly obligations such as bills and debt payments. But long term, you will not have the other spouse’s income and will need to begin planning for retirement now. You may acquire an interest in your spouse’s retirement accounts through the divorce. Ask your Greenville, SC attorney about the effects of divorce on retirement.
Close joint accounts. Any accounts you have with your spouse, including checking and debt accounts, need to be addressed. Your divorce decree, and possibly other court orders, may limit what you can do with these. Follow any instructions concerning joint accounts, and work on divorcing yourself financially from your spouse. Let your Greenville, SC divorce attorney help you with this critical step.
Review your tax situation. Without your spouse’s income going forward, your tax situation will change. If nothing else, your filing status will no longer be joint and you will almost surely change tax brackets. Your spouse may own a business which allows for tax deductions. If he or she takes the business with the divorce, that impacts what goes into your return. Your Greenville, SC divorce attorney can direct you to an accountant, CPA, or other tax expert who can assist.
Build an emergency savings fund. It is hard to anticipate what may happen after a divorce. One thing you know for sure is you won’t have your spouse’s income to rely on. An emergency savings account is there to help with something sudden, like an expensive car repair or job loss. Don’t wait to start on this.
Change beneficiaries. Any accounts with beneficiaries must be changed if your spouse is so designated. This is usually a simple process, but one that many spouses overlook. Make sure you follow any applicable requirements provided in your divorce decree.
Consider hiring a financial advisor. An experienced and reputable financial advisor can discuss other steps you may need to take. Consider hiring one, especially if you have children or unusual and complex assets.
Work With a Divorce Attorney for Help Managing Your Finances After a Divorce
Every individual’s finances are different, and so is everyone’s divorce. But we all need to anticipate our financial futures when major life changes happen. Greenville Family Law can help. We provide guidance on the rules that will affect your property, assets, debts, and more. And we can point you to the experts who can provide more detailed guidance for your specific needs. Don’t leave your post-divorce finances to chance. Reach out to us today to schedule your consultation.