Divorce is a time of chaos and upheaval. For most people, divorce is a watershed moment, where everything can be measured as what comes “before” and what comes “after.” Divorce is obviously an emotionally difficult time, but it is also financially stressful. During marriage, most people use the financial resources and income of both spouses to help take care of rent, groceries, school bills, cell phone bills, and discretionary spending. After a divorce, each spouse must try to make ends meet on one income alone. There are some ways you can help ease the process of disentangling your finances from your spouse’s during a divorce.
First, make a list of the recurring monthly bills that you and your spouse pay. These bills include expenses such as cell phones, vehicles, and your mortgage, just to name a few. Some of these may be easy to temporarily separate, such as if the two of you have separate cell phone plans or separate credit cards. Similarly, if one of you is staying in the house while the other moves out, it may make the most sense for the person remaining to pay that bill. In other words, do your best to come to an agreement on how to separate the regular bills.
Second, collect any documents that show how much you may owe on loans, credit cards, or other large debts. It is not necessary that you decide exactly who has to pay which debt at this moment. It is more important that you start to understand the full financial picture of your marriage and your divorce. If there are debts that were incurred before the marriage, make sure you provide that information to your attorney. An essential part of disentangling your finances is determining which debts are separate debts and which are subject to division.
Third, if you and your spouse are unable to come to an amicable arrangement about who pays for which bills during the divorce, asking the court for a temporary hearing may be a good way to extricate yourself financially from your relationship. During a temporary hearing, the judge can make an order stating which party is responsible for which bills leading up to the final divorce hearing.
We have extensive experience helping our clients with divorce and financial issues. Call us today at (320) 299-4249 and let us help you.