A marriage should make you happy. Maybe not all day every day, but, for the most part, you should feel like you and your husband are co-captains of the same team. You’re linked in terms of your common interests and goals and, on top of all that, you love and respect each other. If you’re not feeling that way anymore and you’ve started to think about life without your husband, you may be headed towards divorce.
Divorce is a scary word and an even scarier process, mostly because it means that your life is going to change dramatically. Things that you’ve taken for granted up until this point (filing joint tax returns, sharing two incomes, and parenting while living in the same home) will have to change. You’ve probably thought of a lot of these things already, but, if you haven’t, here’s a list of 3 divorce-related financial considerations.
- Who will keep the house?
Most women want to keep the house after their divorce, mostly because they want to keep something that feels secure and stable for the sake of the children. Is this something you want to do? Is this a sound financial decision? You should be considering the mortgage payment, taxes on the property, whether there’s equity in the property (if there’s not, you may be electing to keep a major liability), and what other expenses will be associated with maintenance and upkeep (lawn care, repairs, the current condition of the house, etc). Think critically, not emotionally.
- What can you realistically afford on your own?
Your costs go beyond whatever you pay for the mortgage or rent. You should also consider utilities, your credit card bill, student loan payments, retirement account contributions, insurance, taxes, medications, attorney’s fees, school-related expenses, your children’s extracurricular activities, and more. Be realistic about what you can afford to do post-divorce.
- Do you plan to hire an attorney?
If you’re considering divorce, you’ll have to make decisions early on about how you want your divorce to be handled—maybe even before you feel like you’re really ready to make those kinds of decisions. Attorney or no attorney? In court or out of court? Part of the art of making this decision is knowing your husband and how he’ll react to the divorce. How much do you think he’ll fight you? It can save you money and help keep up your forward momentum if you have an idea about how your divorce will progress. If you’re not planning on hiring an attorney, you should have an idea about how you are going to proceed.
You should definitely be keeping these financial considerations in mind as you move forward.
If you still want more, or you’re ready to take the next step, consider attending one of our divorce seminars. We teach them on the second Saturday of each month in both Virginia Beach and Newport News, and on the third Tuesday of the month in Virginia Beach. It’s a great way to get information directly from one of our divorce attorneys—because each seminar is taught by one! You can ask your questions and get the information you need to decide what to do next.
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If you’re ready to talk to an attorney one-on-one, we can help you with that, too! To schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys, give our office a call at (757) 785-9761.