One of the most common criticisms of the divorce process is that it is unnecessarily expensive. It is true that divorce proceedings do require a significant financial investment (as nearly all legal matters do) but it is not a foregone conclusion that they have to “break the bank,” so to speak.
You and your spouse have more control over how much your divorce will cost than you may realize. This sentiment was echoed in a recent Wall Street Journal article that solicited divorce-related financial advice from six financial experts. We have distilled their tips into three money-saving concepts to consider during divorce: choosing assets carefully, avoiding unnecessary delays and keeping your emotions from sabotaging your finances during divorce.
Choosing assets carefully:
Even if the combined value of joint marital assets is split evenly between you and your spouse, one of you may have gotten the better deal. For instance, you may really want to keep the marital residence as part of your settlement. Perhaps the children live with you a majority of the time and and don’t want to uproot them. Or maybe you just really like the house.
However, what you need to remember is that keeping the house often comes with significant financial costs including property taxes, repair and maintenance, mortgage payments and other expenses. Before taking the house, you should confer with your attorney and estimate the short-term and long-term costs and whether you can afford them on a single income.
In a future post, we will continue our discussion and talk about two other money-saving strategies that can help you keep your divorce costs reasonable.
Source: The Wall Street Journal, “The Biggest Financial Mistakes Divorcing Couples Make,” April 24, 2014