Let’s face it; the financial part of a divorce causes so much anxiety that people are often afraid to leave a bad marriage for fear of the financial insecurity that will result.
First and foremost, both spouses are looking for financial security post-divorce—yet, usually it feels like only one spouse will have a path to financial security while the other will be left starting over from scratch. It is rare for couples to come to divorce with a common vision for their financial futures. People have very strongly-held beliefs and values around finances, and if divorcing, have usually fought about money in their marriage.
But divorce doesn’t have to be a zero-sum winner-take-all endgame that leaves one spouse feeling taken advantage of. The goal is to get the financial outcome that sets both spouses up for the best financial future as possible. You need a strategy to secure your financial future.
And divorce doesn’t have to be endless fighting over money that gets you nowhere. Just because you and your spouse don’t agree about finances doesn’t mean that your divorce will end the same as every argument you have ever had with your spouse over money. With an experienced divorce attorney by your side, the financial negotiations can be handled in a way that benefit you.
Financial Infidelity Is a Real Issue
The first step in working through the financial divorce is understanding the status of the family’s financial affairs. In some marriages, both spouses are fully aware of all the family finances, in some marriages each spouse handles their own income and debt separately and is only fully aware of that spouse’s finances, and in some marriages only one spouse is fully aware of the family finances and the other spouse is fully dependent on the other for information about their finances.
Even those that think there is full disclosure in their marriage are often surprised when the divorce process uncovers unknown spending, unknown debts and liabilities, and unknown accounts and assets. The National Endowment for Financial Education has estimated that around 40% or more of married people have hidden financial information—including bills, cash, investments, gambling debts, or purchases—from their spouse.
You want to make sure you are working with a divorce law firm who will diligently gather and review all the financial information to fully identify and comprehend the financial affairs of both spouses and who will help you handle whatever that investigation uncovers, whether you are the spouse who has to disclose or the spouse who has to absorb the new information.
When One Person Doesn’t Approve of Another’s Spending Habits
Just because you disagree about spending habits during marriage, doesn’t mean you can’t reach a financial settlement in divorce. Experienced divorce lawyers know how to find a financial resolution that allows both parties to move forward as individuals who are free to make their own spending and saving decisions post-divorce.
The divorce process suspends frivolous spending and increase in debt and requires spouses to agree before making any purchases or incurring any debt other than for regular living expenses while the divorce is pending. This preserves the marital estate by putting a hold on spending.
The divorce process also has statutory guidelines for child support and spousal maintenance based on the paying spouse’s income and not on the receiving spouse’s expenses, so we can figure out support without having to agree on budgets.
Talk to a Divorce Lawyer Today
Do you have questions about money and the divorce process? Finances are important, and you deserve your fair share. If you have questions about how assets and debts will be distributed, the experienced family attorneys at Lazar Law can help. Let our lawyers guide you toward the best path for your future. Call 512-477-1600 today.