Don't Let Divorce Devastate You Financially

Adding up the costs of divorce, you cannot help but realize that the greatest share of that cost is what happens to the family structure. Divorce can also bring financial changes to both spouses that inevitably will trickle down to affect the children. Keeping in mind that advance knowledge can help you be better prepared for these changes, read below for an overview of the main categories that most all divorcing couples will need to deal with sooner or later.

Spousal Support

If you need financial support after a divorce, speak to your divorce attorney as soon as possible. Spousal support can be ordered as early as your separation. The amount depends on your income prior to the divorce, your age, your education level, the age of your children, and more. Often, spousal support is based on a temporary need to gain employment skills with the goal of becoming more financially independent. Keep in mind that spousal support must be reported as income on your tax returns.

Child Support

The parent who has physical custody of the child is entitled to child support for a minor-aged child. The amount ordered is based on the median income of the state, the income of both parents, the needs of the child, and more. Child support does not have to be reported as income for the receiving parent. Strict state and federal laws govern punishment for those who fail to meet the child support obligation.

Marital Assets

Assets in the marriage income everything the couples owns together. Gifts, inheritances, and property owned prior to the marriage are excluded from the marital property list. In the few community property states, marital assets are divided right down the middle – 50/50. In the other equitable distribution states, the assets are divided based on other factors. Those factors vary by state, the age of the marriage and of the parties, and other financial considerations.

Marital Debts

Debts are treated similarly to assets based on either community property or equitable distribution. Debts are split 50/50 between the couple in community property states. In equitable distribution states, the law dictates that the person who incurred the debt should be responsible for paying it after the divorce. Joint debts may be divided 50/50 unless one party can show that the other should pay more. It should be mentioned that if you live in an equitable distribution state, both the assets and the debts should be decided outside of court. You and your spouse should work out a plan that is fair, and as long as you both agree, the judge will approve it.

Don't get so caught up in the emotional aspects of a divorce that you fail to consider how your decisions about financial matters will continue to affect you long after the divorce is final. Speak to your family law attorney to learn more about dealing with the financial issues of divorce.