Divorce: A Major Financial Matter

Posted on: 11 July 2022

Divorce is one of those life changes that involve both emotional and more practical matters. Unfortunately, it's possible to get too occupied with the financial aspects of things and not pay enough attention to practical issues like finances. To help you stay on track and get your finances in order before it's too late, read more below.

Support Issues

Two types of support are possible with divorce. The parent making the most income will likely be ordered to pay child support to any minor children of the marriage. The amount is based on the median income of the state and the income of both parents. The obligation can be altered, but it's not easy. Be sure you get full financial disclosure from your spouse prior to the child support order to ensure your child is paid what is fair.

Spousal support is available for those who show a need. The providing party, however, must be able to afford to pay the ordered support. In most cases, spousal support is provided to older parties, those afflicted by illnesses, and those unable to work to support themselves. Rehabilitative support may be appropriate for spouses that need additional education or job training and expires upon a milestone. If you need spousal support, speak to your divorce lawyer about it right away.

Marital Debts and Property

Marital debt and property depend on the state of residence. Almost all states use equitable distribution, but a few use community property guidelines. No matter how your state views divorce debt and property, don't take things for granted. This issue is largely a question of what falls into the marital bucket. As far as both debt and assets are concerned, only things attained during the marriage count. Everything else is separate from property and debt.

To help you get a handle on this issue, make a list of everything you own and owe and let your divorce lawyer sort out what is and what is not marital in nature. Decide what marital property you wish to have, and consider how your debt will be split up. In most cases, 50/50 splits are common with community property states, while equitable distribution states divide things according to the overall marital settlement agreement in an effort to be fair.

Speak to a lawyer about the above issues and demand that your spouse produce complete financial disclosures. If you suspect that your spouse is withholding information about assets, consider hiring a special type of accountant that can uncover everything. You must have accurate information so that the above issues will be fair and accurate. Speak to a divorce lawyer or family lawyer to find out more.