A period of legal separation immediately precedes many Georgia divorces. Even though both partners may remain in a house together once they suspend marital relations for the purpose of getting divorced, the separation begins. During the time before the divorce is filed, you and your spouse have a short window of time to prepare for what could be a long legal battle. Finances play a large role in the average divorce and failing to execute a plan could negatively affect your success. Avoiding common separation financial blunders can help you during your divorce and for years after it is finalized.
Waiting to Withdraw Funds
Divorce is one of the most expensive legal processes in the United States. The cost of retaining an attorney and paying for living expenses during the divorce is something that many adults cannot easily afford. Working adults who have savings accounts or retirement accounts have the option of withdrawing a portion of these funds to pay for expenses. However, once it becomes clear that all assets must be divided as part of the divorce process it is not unusual for one or both parties to hesitate when the time comes to withdraw money. Unfortunately, once the divorce process has officially begun, there are restrictions put into place regarding the transfer of assets and a person may end up in serious financial trouble simply because he or she waited too long to withdraw money from certain accounts.
Failing to Plan for the Worst
Prior to separating, the average person focuses on how to manage the day-to-day living expenses for the next few months, or years, until the judge finally awards his or her settlement. Few people think about a future in which they do not receive a reasonable settlement, and that lack of planning often leads to disaster. When preparing for a divorce, it is best to plan for the worst case scenario imaginable. Plan your finances as though you will leave the marriage with little more than you had on the day you got married. Having a realistic plan for managing a bad settlement helps you avoid making reckless spending decisions under the assumption that all of the money you are using will eventually be recouped.
Forgetting to Take Inventory
No matter how difficult a marriage has become, the average spouse still trusts his or her partner even when divorce is being considered. That trust can often affect a person’s judgment and create problems in the future. Regardless of how trustworthy you feel your spouse is, always take a full inventory of everything that your spouse owns as an individual or that you hold as a couple. Once you have separated and have no access to your spouse’s financial records or business statements, it will cost you time and money to pay your attorney to obtain information that you could have gathered yourself.
Do Not Wait to Contact an Attorney
Once you believe that separation and divorce are inevitable, it is best to contact an attorney immediately. A family law attorney can answer your questions about legal separation, divorce, child custody, and maintenance payments. The attorneys at Vayman & Teitelbaum are prepared to help you by providing the legal advice you need. Contact one of our Atlanta metro area offices today to schedule a discrete consultation.