One of the most difficult parts of negotiating a divorce is determining how much money or assets each person deserves to walk away with. When working with your attorney to decide what type of settlement is fair, it is important that you create a realistic budget for your post-divorce life. Asking for too little money because you are eager to finalize a divorce or because you believe that you will be able to succeed without your spouse can lead to many long-term problems. Keeping the following things in mind will increase your chances of walking away from your divorce with enough property and funds to establish your post-divorce life.
Expect Housing Expenses to Change
It is unlikely that your housing situation will stay exactly the same after your divorce is finalized. Finding a home that is cheaper is often necessary since the average person cannot afford to pay the mortgage they once shared by him or herself. Determine how much money you actually need to pay your rent or a mortgage and make sure that your settlement is in line with your actual needs. Include things such as moving expenses in your plan so that you are prepared to deal with a move should one become unavoidable. Accepting less money because you are being optimistic or hoping to appease your spouse so that the divorce can be finalized may lead to serious long-term problems.
Update Retirement Goals
Retirement funds are not safe from asset division during a divorce, meaning you could find yourself giving your spouse half of your retirement savings. As the age of adults going through divorce increases, losing part of a retirement account has become a major concern among divorcees. It is possible to replace these funds through increased contributions, but higher contributions reduce the amount of income you have available for daily living expenses. Calculate how much additional money you will need to contribute to increase your retirement savings and create a budget that makes allowances for this loss of available income.
Prepare for Child Related Expenses
A couple who has minor children needs to expect custody arrangements to affect their future budget. The noncustodial parent needs to ready themselves for the possibility of paying child support while the custodial parent must prepare for handling many child related expenses alone. Even if child support is awarded, expenses associated with child care, extracurricular activities such as sports, clothing, etc. often exceed the amount awarded. Also, it is possible that the noncustodial parent will fall behind in support payments, creating an increased financial burden for the custodial parent.
Seek Legal Advice
A qualified family law attorney is often your most valuable resource during divorce settlement negotiations. An attorney who is aware of current laws and who has helped numerous clients create a post-divorce plan is able to give you advice regarding creating settlement requests that will help protect your financial future. The attorneys at Vayman & Teitelbaum are prepared to provide you with realistic legal advice that gives you an accurate overview of what to expect in your post-divorce life. Contact us today at 678-736-7700 to schedule an initial consultation at one of our four Atlanta metro area locations.