The Financial Ties That Bind You: Choosing a Live-in Divorce Due to a Lack of Means Can Give You Time to Prepare Your Short-Term and Long-Term Finances
Divorce itself is costly, so it is not at all unusual for people going through a divorce to want to find ways to save money. Without a doubt, keeping up one household will cost far less than moving into two separate homes, and so couples often decide to live together in the same home while they wait for the terms of their divorce to be settled.
If you and your husband are one of those couples, you are likely already aware of the heavy economic reality of your circumstances. Your divorce will redefine your financial future in both the immediate short term and for the long term. While you remain in the same home together, this is the time to sort your finances and prepare for life after divorce.
Immediate Financial Matters
Whether you decide to remain in the same house together for a set amount of time or one of you moves out right away, here’s a list of some financial matters that likely need your immediate attention:
- Monthly mortgage or rental payments
- Utilities: water and sewer, refuse services, electricity, etc.
- Phone lines: land or cellular phones and their billing costs
- Car payments or rental, gasoline, auto insurance, and maintenance costs
- Any other transportation costs
- Household supplies, maintenance, and repair costs
- Household groceries
- Health insurance premiums
- Life insurance premiums
- Maintaining debt payments and managing credit access and spending
- Managing your accounts for checking, money market funds, and saving
- Individual spending money for personal use
And if you have children together, any costs associated to caring for your children are certainly immediate:
- School costs and any tutoring expenses
- Extracurricular activities for school, and those separate from school
- Child care arrangements
- Any special health or medical needs
Financial Matters for Your Future
The division of your debts and assets may be a difficult process. Even couples with limited means will have to consider taxes, retirement plans, insurance, and other long-term financial obligations. The following list is a simplified version of the issues you may need to attend to in your divorce settlement:
- Stocks, funds, bonds and other investments
- Real estate: the family home and any other investment property
- Any recreational assets, such as a boat
- Any valuable jewelry
- Business assets and debts
- Unpaid college debts
- Remaining loans and other debts, including credit cards or a second mortgage
- Social Security benefits
- Beneficiaries of insurance policies
- Tax planning for the future (single persons tend to have greater per-person income tax liability than married couples)
Use This Time Wisely to Prepare
Dealing with financial matters may feel overwhelming. However, choosing to live together during your divorce can help you pool your resources in more than one way, as you both manage the transition towards your post-divorce lives. For instance, if you have children, living together may make it easier for you to work together to redefine your parental roles and begin putting those new roles into practice before you divide into two different homes. Also, each spouse may be more cooperative with the assurance that no one is going to have to move out right away. And a cooperative divorce will save you money as well.
But Beware: Do Not Let Your Live-in Divorce Arrangement Drag Things Out
If you do not work aggressively to define the short-term and long-term financial details of your divorce, you and your husband may share an address far longer than planned. Delaying your divorce prevents your ability to move on. If you have children, dragging things out could be confusing and painful for everyone.
We can help you work through your division of financial responsibilities and all other aspects of your divorce. And with a live-in divorce, we can also help you stay on task. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with one of our San Francisco attorneys about your live-in divorce situation.
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