People going through their first divorce are primarily concerned with the outcome of the divorce proceedings. They worry about whether they will get a favorable child support or spousal support ruling without thinking much about how these payments will be made.
The approach makes sense. Without having been through the process before – especially the complicated aftermath of a divorce – it is unlikely that you will know how complicated and important these technicalities can be to your future. But make no mistake: Knowing how to handle routine payments for your divorce obligations is a critical piece to a divorce.
Protecting Your Financial Future
A recent Forbes article discussed some ways for divorcing people to protect themselves financially during after a divorce. One of the recommendations was to learn how to handle routine transactions.
This is an important point. As most people don’t consider this, and there are numerous complications in this regard, it is important to discuss.
The Minutiae of Making Payments
One of the primary issues is knowing where to send checks. Should they be sent right to your ex-spouse or to an agency of some kind? Will there be any reminders sent for these payments? These and other questions commonly arise for people after their divorces are finalized.
Although these seem like minor details, they are extremely important. Failure to make timely and accurate payments could lead to:
- Credit score problems: Failure to make divorce-related payments has the same impact as not paying your mortgage or car payment, etc. This will hurt your credit score.
- Legal action: A divorced spouse’s attorney can take legal action against you for not paying your spousal support or child support payments. A lien on your home, property seizures and wages garnishments (among others) are all possible if you don’t pay.
- Reputation: When people find out you have been missing your payments – especially child support payments – most won’t bother to ask whether or not it was an honest mistake.
One of the most important things you can do to protect your future – both financially and personally – is to make sure you are on top of these divorce-related payment obligations. Make sure you work with an experienced lawyer who can help you understand the processes involved and help you stay on top of the payments.