When it comes to divorce, there is one word that sums it up: Double. Double rent, double utility bills, and so on ad nauseum (key word nausea).
So what can you do to realistically plan for the economic realities of divorce? Be solid going into it. The best defense is not offense. It’s knowledge.
In many relationships, one partner pays all the bills and the other is “left in the dark” about things such as:
- account numbers
- logins and passwords
- secret accounts; or
- large cash withdrawals
Tracking your expenses in divorce is just as important as getting the full financial picture — your bookkeeper, accountant and/or lawyer will be able to work with you more effectively if you have your information organized. It doesn’t even have to be sophisticated; a few columns in Excel can save dozens of billable hours.
Luckily society has come a long way since the days when divorce was a four-letter word. Mediation and collaborative divorce often offer lower price tags than traditional litigation. Another advantage to mediation and collaborative divorce is that you and your spouse can craft a unique, voluntary agreement.
Divorce is a scary process, but being broke is even scarier. The best thing you can do is contact a financial professional to help you ensure your long-term financial stability — preferably someone with experience, who understands people, and has a sense of humor.