Divorce is one of those steps in life that you may go through and will never stop to think about what life is actually going to be like after the divorce.
So much time and energy goes into getting through the divorce itself and negotiating on the “terms” of your divorce that you may find it hard to catch your breath and consider what it will actually be like to live as a single adult once your divorce concludes.
What are the important steps to take in order to prepare for your post-divorce life and how can you balance taking care of those issues with ensuring your divorce is done correctly? We will go that information in today’s blog post from the Law Office of Bryan Fagan.
Ask yourself to consider what role you took in handling the household finances while you were married
In many marriages, one spouse ends up being the financial person and the other ends up taking a less than active role in handling the money coming into and going out of the family.
That’s not to say that there is anything wrong with you if you were not the most diligent of financial managers for your family. Most people do not take a strong interest in the finances of their family other than making sure the bills are paid and there is enough money left over to pay bills, feed the kids and maybe go on the occasional trip or vacation.
If, on the other hand, you are a financially inclined person and have always been the spouse who handles the family finances then you will be in an advantageous position when it comes time to prepare for your divorce.
You already understand what it takes from a financial perspective run a household and are probably pretty adept at managing money and keeping yourself in a position where your financial discipline is high.
That sort of financial discipline and knowledge will come in handy if you are faced with an unexpected divorce. While there will be many issues swirling around your head- custody issues with the kids, the emotional components to divorce and the turning over of your entire world, just to name a few- it is likely that handling money on a personal level will not be a significant stressor for you.
Being financially independent can mean less stress and more peace of mind during a divorce
There is a fine line between being a committed spouse and leaving yourself vulnerable financially in the event of a divorce. Being able to act if you need to, without the financial assistance of your spouse, can come in handy.
Let’s go into some steps you can take in your life to set yourself up for financial security during your marriage. It’s by taking these steps now that you can prevent issues for yourself down the road.
Keep your finances organized even when that is not easy
Nobody has enough time to be as organized as they would like. I’m sure you’re no different. If we all had an unlimited amount of time to file our lives away we would never lose anything and we would always be able to locate every bank statement, tax form and mortgage document relevant to our lives.
Fortunately, most of us have lives that involve other people and events that preclude our being able to put all of our efforts into keeping our lives organized. Is there a middle ground that we can reach for?
Absolutely, yes. At the very least you should have hard copies available of all important financial documents for your family. Bank account information, safety deposit box locations, insurance policies including beneficiaries for each as well as investment statements.
These are the sort of information that you will need to be able to quickly provide to an attorney if you do need to prepare for a divorce. Then, after your divorce, you can rely on your organization to begin to transition your accounts, and your life in general, into that of a single rather than married person.
Transition yourself into single person bank accounts
I am not giving advice that during marriage you and your spouse should necessarily have your own bank accounts. If you both are committed to the marriage and have the same goals in mind it is great to share a bank account for no other reason than it makes you both be accountable to one another. If you do something significant with the funds in that account your spouse will know about it and vice versa.
However, in the event that it becomes necessary for you to file for divorce you should open up your own bank account that your spouse has no access to. You can keep your paychecks there and have some seed money for after the divorce as well. This isn’t being overly deceitful or spiteful of your spouse- it’s protecting yourself in the present and future from a financial perspective.
Budget and save
These two concepts go hand in hand as far as I’m concerned. If you have never lived on a budget a divorce is a great time to start. For one, your income is going to change after the divorce as you transition from most likely a dual income to a sole-income family. Planning the path of each dollar you earn prior to the start of a month can be empowering to the extent that you control where the money is going.
As you begin to plan for every dollar’s purpose, you will likely find that there is leftover money at the end of the month. This extra cash can be saved for retirement or applied to debts that you have incurred throughout your life and divorce. This sort of financial planning is not possible unless you budget well and know where your money is going before it gets there.
Questions about planning for a divorce? Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan
If you are considering a divorce, if you have time to worry then you also have time to think and be proactive. Meeting with a licensed family lawattorney with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan is the sort of proactive behavior that you can stand to benefit from. A free of charge consultation with one of our attorneys is available six days a week.
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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 Divorce Lawyers right away to protect your rights.
Our divorce lawyers in Houston 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, Houston, 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.