Many people in unhappy marriages contemplate divorce for months or years before they actually take the first step to begin the marital dissolution process. While an unhappy spouse may be thinking about the effects of a divorce on his or her life, the lives of the other spouse and children, and the costs of the divorce itself, someone contemplating divorce should also consider the financial implications of a break-up on the two new households that are created.
A recent series on the financial considerations of divorce in AOL's DailyFinance.com outlines a five-point financial checklist for those considering a marital break-up:
(1) Check credit
(2) Make a list of the household's assets and liabilities
(3) Appraise the assets to determine an accurate value
(4) Estimate the costs of two households after a divorce and
(5) Determine child care costs, if any.
You should know your credit history and that of your spouse as well as the assets and liabilities of the marital estate. But you also need to think about the increased costs of running two households as you contemplate property division, child support and the divorce settlement.
Focus on the Increased Costs of Running Two Households
According to Noah Rosenfarb, a certified divorce financial analyst, couples who can agree on the expenses of two separate households usually have a quicker and less costly divorce than those who cannot agree or refuse to cooperate with each other. Other financial experts who advise those contemplating divorce suggest that getting the house in a settlement may not be all it's cracked up to be with high mortgage payments and property taxes probably meaning reduced contributions to retirement accounts over the long-term.
If young children are involved a divorce, cooperation and flexibility with an ex-spouse are critical. The costs of obtaining additional child care, food, clothing, toys and other expenses should be a factor to consider and plan for in a divorce settlement. Custodial parents may also have greater limits placed on their careers: fewer promotions and less travel may be part and parcel of the commitment required at home to raise a small child. Primary parents should consider the effects of parenting on their career advancement and argue for a larger portion of the marital estate, if need be.
The myriad of considerations involved in divorce can be overwhelming, but you don't have to face it alone or without an experienced guide to get you through the marital dissolution process. Contact an experienced Georgia family law attorney if you are contemplating divorce.