The decision to divorce is often an emotional one. People can tolerate all kinds of frustration and misconduct, but then they eventually reach a breaking point. Unfortunately, that means that people may behave irrationally as they seek to move on and could put themselves at a disadvantage by acting too quickly in response to their emotional experiences.
Divorce may be a deeply personal matter, but it is also a legal process that will have long-term financial implications for those affected by it. Those who plan carefully can reduce the financial consequences of a divorce filing and set themselves up for a more stable future. The four tips below are all useful for someone hoping to minimize the financial consequence of a California divorce.
Gather records ahead of time
The more that people have to share through the formal discovery process with their spouse, the longer it will take to settle the divorce and the more it will likely cost to do so. People will also be more vulnerable to misconduct, like fraudulent misrepresentation of the marital estate, if they don’t have accurate financial records and understanding of the assets that comprise their marital estate.
Plan to cover divorce expenses
Family circumstances have a major impact on the overall cost of a California divorce. It will cost an average of $17,500 for couples without children to divorce in California. Those with children can expect those costs to increase to $26,300 or even more. People need to budget for those expenses and have a plan to cover the costs of their divorce by saving money for those costs.
Focus on the future, not short-term victories
Those negotiating divorce matters with a spouse can become so hung up on winning individual arguments that they perseverate over assets with minimal financial and emotional value. Those who think about their long-term goals will have an easier time setting realistic priorities in their divorce and therefore on employing a strategy that can improve their long-term stability instead of leaving them at the mercy of their likely tumultuous emotions during the divorce process.
Think about debts carefully
Having a spouse take responsibility for shared marital debts in the divorce can free up more of someone’s future income for rebuilding, but it also leaves them at the mercy of their spouse’s compliance. Shared credit card debts and other financial obligations can have a significant impact on someone’s future budget and credit score.
Those who take the time to plan financially before a divorce may feel better about their circumstances at the end of the process. Addressing financial needs and setting reasonable goals can go a long way toward helping someone build a better future after their divorce.