If you are getting divorced, it is important that you have someone who can provide insight into the financial consequences of ending a marriage. For instance, this person may be able to help you create a new budget that takes into account alimony or child support payments. As Texas is a community property state, you may need to figure out how to pay off your portion of any debts accrued during your marriage.
Gather information about household finances
The first step in planning for life after divorce is to understand what your financial situation is right now. Ideally, your financial adviser will help you gather bank statements, credit card statements and other relevant financial documents. The information gleaned from these documents may help to determine how much a home is worth or how much you owe to a creditor. These facts can be helpful when it comes time to negotiate the final divorce settlement.
Stay focused on your long-term needs
A divorce can be an emotional event, and people don’t always make the best decisions when they are in such a state. Therefore, it is important that you listen to your financial adviser’s advice about which assets you should pursue and which to leave alone. For example, you may want to keep the family home because it is where your children grew up. However, it may be in your best interest to sell the home and invest the money in an index fund that could appreciate in value over the next several years.
Don’t forget about your children
It is critical that both parents take steps to ensure that their children are taken care of after a marriage ends. Ideally, noncustodial parents will make support payments on time and otherwise take an active role in their children’s lives.
While a divorce can be a difficult process to go through, an attorney may be able to help you prepare financially to live on your own. Your attorney may be able to negotiate a settlement that maximizes the property that you receive.