by Kristen Hilty
You “held it together for the family” through the holidays and the holiday bills are staring at you. Now it’s February and you find yourself in the greeting card aisle thinking…Not ONE of these is appropriate. They just don’t make a Valentine’s Day card that says, “Are we really still doing this?”. Sadly, this is the time when some couples have exhausted ways to save their marriage. This “love” holiday coupled with that greeting card aisle can be the final straw that leads you to the decision to call it quits. If this describes you, it’s time to start taking control of your financial future.
Eliminate the Fear and Uncertainty of the Finances
Will I Be OK? Can I keep the house, or do we need to sell it? How will we get the kids through college? Do I need to go back to the workforce? Will I need to pay (or receive) alimony? How the heck is the same money that supported ONE household going to support TWO?
I can promise that you and your spouse will BOTH be engulfed with all the emotions that come along with divorce, so making sound financial decisions will become incredibly hard. An attorney or mediator can’t provide you with the analysis needed to get you to the INFORMED financial decisions you’ll need to make. All of the questions I mentioned will require a mix of short and long-term planning that a CDFA® will do. Don’t go through the process without a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst® (CDFA®) to get you the answers to all of those questions.
So If Valentine’s Day is the Final Straw…
Here are 3 Steps to Get You Started
- Review Your Assets: Whether you normally take care of the finances or not, start to gather important documentation like tax returns, bank statements, investment account statements including 401(k) accounts. Basically, any statement from any financial institution.
- Review your Debt/Liabilities: Get exact about credit card debt, mortgages, car payments, etc.
- Know your Budget: Part of the process will be determining future budgets for both spouses. Sadly, most couples don’t really have a clear picture of their CURRENT budget. Not just utilities and grocery kind of stuff…Don’t forget your children’s activities. Neither of you want your kid to have to quit their all-star baseball team…summer camps cost money…so don’t forget about these things.
Don’t let gathering these things become overwhelming, because it won’t be your job to analyze it and come up with a plan. That’s our job! Divorce is beyond difficult…The financial aspect doesn’t have to be. Call us at Better Divorce Solutions LLC.