Financially Preparing for Divorce

November 7, 2014

Divorce Columbus Ohio

It is important to be financially prepared for divorce.  Many times spouses are emotionally distraught and haven’t had the time to evaluate how this divorce will affect their financial situation, present and future.  Rather than compete to spend all the money in your joint account before your soon-to-be ex-spouse does, it is important to understand how to properly prepare for divorce and to put yourself in a position to have a stable financial future. 

From budgeting to gathering the list of assets, an attorney is instrumental in this process.  Finding the right Columbus, Ohio family law attorney will help you prepare for the financial repercussions of divorce.  Those seeking a divorce must review their finances so they are aware of their financial needs after a divorce.  Chief among these financial matters include: the division of assets, the division of tax responsibilities, and care and support for any children of the marriage. 

Division of Assets

When sitting down with your spouse to discuss the division of assets, it is important that you have a clear accounting of the joint holdings.  As such, you should be sure to include every asset owned by you as a couple.  Before sitting down with  your attorney, you should gather all your tax documentation, information on joint accounts, and any insurance documents showing your spouse as a beneficiary.  You should also review any type of retirement benefits that may come due to your spouse, as you may have a financial interest to the retirement benefits.  To have a healthy financial future, it is important to start with a strong foundation.  Working closely with a Columbus, Ohio family law attorney will allow you to get a clear picture of your financial future. 

Spouses tend to forget about budgeting during negotiations.  It is important to set a post-divorce budget so you don’t revert to past spending habits.  Review your current budget and be sure to share it with your attorney.  Those seeking a divorce will benefit from working with an attorney to help set a new budget and manage newly divided assets.  It is just as important to prepare financially as it is to prepare mentally for divorce.

Tax Responsibilities

Additionally, how will you manage your taxes differently after divorce?  If you have grown accustomed to filing jointly, you must remember to file as a single-income household.  Do you plan to retain any stock or bonds from a joint account?  Did you sell any assets in preparation for the divorce for which you must pay tax at the end of the year?  Will you keep the marital home after the divorce?  Are you aware of the tax implications of remaining in the home compared to selling the property and purchasing a smaller residence?  A Columbus, Ohio family lawyer will help to answer all these questions and more. 

Couples with children must decide which parent will claim the child as a dependent.  Many forget when seeking a divorce that each child may only be claimed once as a dependent.  This has caused quite a bit of trouble for newly-divorced spouses, and creates an additional strain on the proceedings.  It is important for planning purposes to address this point during negotiations for divorce settlements.  Hiring a family lawyer in Columbus, Ohio will help guide you through your divorce proceedings with an eye toward your financial future.  Work with a firm where Children Matter Most, and where the attorneys will focus on the needs of your family. 

Care and Support of the Children

Lastly, couples with children must decide how to address custody of the child. When you address custody, you also must examine the amount that it will cost to raise the child as a single parent.  Rather than assume a 50/50 split is a fair split for your divorce settlement, you should evaluate your costs and the expense that you would incur as the sole guardian.  Are you sending your children to private schools?  Who will pay towards tuition for a private education or athletic activities?  Many of these questions are not addressed until the time for negotiations has passed.  Speak with a family law attorney to help you prepare for your family’s financial future.   To best prepare for your meeting with the attorney, gather information on the costs associated with raising your children.  Do you have a monthly clothing budget, or a meal budget?  Gathering this data to share with your attorney can only help strengthen your case for substantial child and spousal support. 

What happens when your children grow up and apply for college?  Which parent would bear that responsibility, or is that burden to fall to the children?  These are all questions that should be asked during negotiations, but are often overlooked.  Divorce is difficult, but proper financial planning can help to prepare your family for a safe and secure future.   It is important to speak with lawyers who focus on family law and divorce law so they may help you address these concerns before it’s too late. 

 The above points serve as a guide for how to prepare financially when seeking a divorce.  Only after careful review of all financial factors surrounding your specific situation will an attorney be able to provide the correct guidance.  The attorneys at Edward F. Whipps & Associates have the experience and close relationships with financial experts as well as the knowledge of how to properly research financial holdings of those seeking a divorce.  This information allows them to help clients make the best financial decisions available, and prepare for their financial future.  To schedule a confidential consultation with Edward F. Whipps & Associates, contact us toll free at (877)367-6544.

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