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Considering the financial impact of a divorce

Divorce has become an accepted norm within our culture as about half of all marriages will end in this manner. Many people think primarily of the emotional toll associated with a divorce. However, a divorce will absolutely impact a splitting couple financially as well. Many newly single individuals will want to live the same lifestyle they had when they were married, but as one woman from Houston that divorced said, "We both were making money. We both were working full time." In the event of a divorce, a significant amount of resources will not be available to an individual any longer.

While Texas is a community property state -- which means that anything earned during the course of the marriage could be considered as marital property and subject to division -- and divorcing spouses can be awarded alimony and child support, there will still be a financial hit.

There are a few very important things to consider in a divorce regarding the financial impact. First of all, while this seems obvious, emotional spending needs to be curbed. Often, an individual will struggle with several feelings in the wake of a divorce. In some instances, individuals may think that a new car or a new outfit will be just the ticket to feeling better. Not only is this not the best way to deal with an individual's emotions, but an individual needs to be mindful of the fact that they may no longer be in position to be making these types of purchases when there is only one source of income.

Further, it is important to have an accurate picture of what a couple's finances look like prior to divorcing, because once an individual has left a house it could be difficult to access bank accounts. Finally, in the event of a divorce, it is important for individuals to remove their names from any joint credit cards. While a divorce will take some emotional and financial adjusting, individuals should take solace in the fact that they are making a decision toward a brighter and happier future.

Source: KTRK-TV, "Minimize financial fallout from divorce," Gina Gaston, Oct. 18, 2012

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