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Can I Afford to Get Divorced?

Posted on April 1st, 2022

At the Harris Family Law Group, our skilled divorce attorneys in Los Angeles understand that one of our clients’ most common concerns, when they are ending their marriages, is what will their financial futures look like.

It is a fair and honest question everyone must ask themselves to ensure they are examining each important part of not only their marriage dissolution, but their life after divorce.

Our Los Angeles County family law attorneys help California residents understand each aspect of their divorce, including the issues that will affect their children, their finances, and their emotional well-being.

If you are wondering if you can afford to get divorced, here are a few things you should consider.

Outline Your Current Marital Finances

Whether one or both spouses work full time, both parties’ finances will be impacted by the divorce.

To help ensure life after your divorce is secure and stable, it is important to understand the details of household finances, assets, and debts before you start the proceedings.

Outline the complete net worth of both spouses, including all your individual and combined incomes and expenses.

This will render a valuable snapshot of the money coming in, the money going out, and what type of adjustments must be made after the divorce.

It is important to be as accurate as possible as this information lays the foundation for discussions regarding property distribution, alimony, and child support.

Review Your New Budget

Just as it is important to understand your existing financial standing, you must also know what your financial future will look like.

That means outlining your upcoming expenses once you are responsible for paying them on your own.

If you are going to keep the family home, outline how much it costs to run the house, so you know if you can afford it. That includes the mortgage, utilities, maintenance, and property taxes.

If you are going to move, calculate the expenses associated with your new apartment, condominium, or house the same way.

Once you have a snapshot of your home’s expenses, add all other financial obligations to the list.

That may include:

  • Debts you are responsible for after the divorce, including student loans or credit cards
  • Vehicle payments
  • Groceries
  • Cellphone
  • Health, Life, Car, and Home/Renter’s Insurances

One way to ensure you are accounting for each expense is to thoroughly review your bank and credit card statements for one-time charges and recurring monthly expenses, so you can plan accordingly.

Be Prepared to Separate Your Finances

During the divorce proceedings, you will have a good look at the accounts you and your soon-to-be-ex-spouse share. That could include bank accounts, credit cards, and other financial holdings that will need to be divided.

Before the divorce is final, open the same types of accounts under your name. Be sure not to remove any funds from the existing accounts, so you are not violating the conditions of the divorce.

But do be prepared by having the accounts opened and ready.

If you share credit card accounts, plan to change that. You do not need to keep track of separate expenses — or monitor what each other is buying — after your divorce.

Get your own credit card(s) and transfer the balance you are responsible for after the divorce, so you are starting anew with your own account(s).

Cut All Unnecessary Spending

It is going to take a couple of months to understand what your complete life looks like after a divorce. That includes your finances.

Until you have a clear look at your income, expenses, and disposable finances, hold off on making any unnecessary or major purchases until you are sure of your financial position.

Consult With a Financial Advisor

If you are unsure how the divorce will impact both your short- and long-term financial position, meet with an experienced financial advisor. They can help you develop retirement accounts, take proactive protective measures, and ensure your financial plans are devised with your best interest in mind.

Contact Our Experienced Divorce Attorneys in Los Angles, California Today

Having the complete financial information available before your divorce helps facilitate a productive discussion about your future. We can help you get started by scheduling a free consultation today by calling (310) 745-8644.

At the Harris Family Group, our Los Angles divorce attorneys collaborate with clients using flat fees, instead of billable hours, which allows you to plan your expenditures upfront, so you can have confidence in your financial future.