Divorce when economic times are tough

The number one cause of divorces in the United States has to do with money problems and arguments/disagreements about money. If you and your spouse are not on the same page about money it could spell doom for your marriage. The reason being is two fold.

For starters, the fact that you are not on the same page with your spouse when it comes to money can show cracks in your ability to communicate and coordinate together on overall issues, not specifically money issues. The odds are good that if you and your spouse can and do communicate about money that you will also communicate about your children and the other pertinent subjects in your marriage. In this way, “money talk” is a canary in the coal mine for your marriage as a whole.

The other reason why you and your spouse not being on the same page when it comes to money can be an ominous sign for your marriage is the pure mathematics of what you are fighting about. If money is a weekly or even daily concern for your family that means the fundamental areas of life- food, shelter, clothing, your children’s education- are not being taken care of to the fullest of your ability.

If you cannot discuss money when the economy is doing well (like right now) can you imagine having to do so when times are not quite as upbeat economically?

How to handle a divorce when money is a concern for your family

As I stated at the outset of this blog post, stress and anxiety surrounding money is the number cause of people filing for divorce in the United States. I think it is safe to say that married people are willing to withstand a lot (for the most part) before making the emotionally and financially taxing decision to go through with a divorce.

My tried and true line with clients is that when a marriage’s liabilities begin to outweigh its benefits, then it is time to consider divorce. I will say though, that most of the clients that I work with have withstood quite a bit in terms of martial problems. Very few people move forward with divorce at the drop of a hat (or because one spouse doesn’t like how the other chews their dinner).

If it is money that is the root cause of your martial problems then it may be a significant change in income that may actually propel you or your spouse to consider a divorce. The loss of a job or a decrease in salary may exacerbate a problem that was already in existence. It is important then to think and formulate a plan prior to doing anything like filing for divorce.

An honest assessment of your current financial state is necessary

First off, you need to evaluate where you are in terms of your finances. What is your home worth? Have you been investing towards your retirement? Can you name all the credit cards you own and how much debt is associated with each card?

What you can take away from this analysis is what your options are during and after the divorce is finalized. Are you going to be able to move out of the home and find another place to live with what you have in savings? Or are you in a more unstable position where moving in temporarily with your parents or another family member is more likely?

These are the sort of questions you will need to ask yourself before jumping into a divorce. A problem solving session with your attorney would be advisable in this regard.

What sort of equity is available in your home?

If your home were to be sold or one spouse bought out of the home would you and your spouse have equity or would you be “upside down” on the mortgage? By upside down I mean that you owe more on your mortgage than your home could garner on the open market.

Supposing that it is possible for there to be equity in the home I would next consider whose names appear on the mortgage. If both you and your spouse’s names are on the mortgage the loan would need to be refinanced so that whoever moves out of the house will not have any future liability for paying the mortgage.

Of course, the other important consideration is whether or not you or your spouse would be approved for a refinance especially during rough economic times.

What has happened with your investments in an economic downturn?

Unfortunately, it’s not just your income or your savings accounts that can take hits during tough economic times. Your investments will also most likely see their value decrease. The type of investments you and your spouse have will affect how settlement negotiations proceed. Those sources of retirement that are not as dependent upon the stock market’s fluctuations, like a pension, should prove to be more stable during bad economic times.

A consideration to make is if your investments are in a 401(k), IRA or mutual fund the value of your retirement account may have decreased substantially. While it is likely that the stock market will correct and your retirement accounts will increase in value in the coming years, you could be looking at pushing back your anticipated date of retirement.

The Law Office of Bryan Fagan: Advocates for clients in good times and bad

It doesn’t matter if you and your family find yourselves in the best of times, or the worst, it is essential to have an attorney who is willing and able to defend and advocate for your interests should a divorce arise. The attorneys with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan work for our clients across southeast Texas and take the responsibility seriously to represent them whether in court or in negotiations. If you are interested in learning more about our firm and the services we provide please do not hesitate to contact our office today. A free of charge consultation is only a phone call away.

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Other Articles you may be interested in:

  1. How to achieve a successful divorce from a financial perspective, Part Three
  2. How to achieve a successful divorce from a financial perspective, Part Two
  3. How to achieve a successful divorce from a financial perspective
  4. How a mortgage is handled in a Texas Divorce
  5. Should I Hide Money from my Spouse to Get Ready for my Texas Divorce?
  6. Why is Separate Property Important and How to Keep it Separate in a Texas Divorce?
  7. What Wikipedia Can’t Tell you About Texas Divorce and Marital Property Division
  8. Texas Divorce Property Division Enforcement
  9. Separate Property in a Texas Divorce?
  10. Does it Matter Whose Name is on Title or Deed of Property in a Divorce in Texas?
  11. Is Social Security Considered Separate Property in a Texas Divorce
  12. Business Owners and Business Assets in a Texas Divorce
  13. What to do when your divorce decree does not include a marital asset?

Law Office of Bryan Fagan | Houston, Texas Divorce Lawyers

The Law Office of Bryan Fagan routinely handles matters that affect children and families. If you have questions regarding Divorce, it's important to speak with one of our Houston, TX Child Divorce Lawyers right away to protect your rights.

Our Divorce lawyers in Spring TX are skilled at listening to your goals during this trying process and developing a strategy to meet those goals. Contact Law Office of Bryan Fagan by calling (281) 810-9760 or submit your contact information in our online form. The Law Office of Bryan Fagan handles Divorce cases in Houston, Texas, Cypress, Klein, Humble, Kingwood, Tomball, The Woodlands, the FM 1960 area, or surrounding areas, including Harris County, Montgomery County, Liberty County, Chambers County, Galveston County, Brazoria County, Fort Bend County and Waller County.

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