Divorce is one of those steps in life that you may go through and will never stop thinking about what life will be like after the divorce.
So much time and energy go 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 be like to live as a single adult once your divorce concludes.
What are the essential steps to take 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, PLLC.
Ask yourself to consider what role you took in handling the household finances while married.
In many marriages, one spouse ends up being the financial person, and the other takes 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 financial manager for your family. Most people do not take a strong interest in their family's finances 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.
On the other hand, if you are a financially inclined person and have always been the spouse who handles the family finances, 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 to 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, 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. By taking these steps now, 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 arranged 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 ability to put all of our efforts into keeping our lives organized. Is there a middle ground that we can reach?
Absolutely, yes. You should have hard copies of all important financial documents for your family at the very least. 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 quickly provide to an attorney if you need to prepare for a divorce. Then, after your divorce, you can rely on your organization to begin transitioning 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 advising that you and your spouse should necessarily have your bank accounts during the marriage. If you both are committed to the wedding and have the same goals in mind, it is great to share a bank account for no other reason than it makes you both 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, if it becomes necessary for you to file for divorce, you should open up your 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 will 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 before 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 leftover money at the end of the month. This extra cash can be saved for retirement or applied to debts 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, PLLC
If you are considering a divorce, you also have time to think and be proactive if you have time to worry. Meeting with a licensed family law attorney with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC, is the sort of aggressive behavior that you can stand to benefit from. A free-of-charge consultation with one of our attorneys is available six days a week.
If you want to know more about what you can do, CLICK the button below to get your FREE E-book: "16 Steps to Help You Plan & Prepare for Your Texas Divorce"
If you want to know more about how to prepare, CLICK the button below to get your FREE E-book: "13 Dirty Tricks to Watch Out For in Your Texas Divorce, and How to Counter Them" Today!"
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Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC | Houston, Texas Divorce Lawyers
The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC, routinely handles matters that affect children and families. If you have questions regarding divorce, it's essential 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 the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC by calling (281) 810-9760 or submit your contact information in our online form. The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC, 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.