If your marriage is struggling, you may believe you need to tough it out until your children leave home. There could be many advantages to this. Children can be susceptible to a lot of stress when their parents split up, and your divorce could affect their education. Remaining married may work out cheaper than maintaining two separate households. Staying together would also save those knowing looks from other parents at your child’s hockey matches.
However, a recent report showed that waiting until you are over 50 to divorce can be hard to recover from financially. If you do it earlier, you have a chance to rebuild your finances in time for your retirement.
There is no perfect time to divorce. You need to weigh up many factors. These are some of the financial aspects to consider when you’re a parent approaching this crossroads:
- What financial ties do you have to your spouse? When you end your marriage, you probably do not want to stay tied together by joint debt. Consider whether you should sell the family home to free yourselves from the joint mortgage. If you have other obligations, it may be best to put them in individual names. Closing mutual bank accounts and credit cards may also be wise.
- How much will you need to live post-divorce? It is unlikely you will be able to maintain the same standard of life once your marriage ends. At least not at first. Reducing your costs can help. Look at what you spend your money on, and calculate your essential outgoings. It is surprising how expenses, like a cup of coffee on the way to work soon add up.
- How much income can you generate after divorce? Not everyone can score a high paying job or start a thriving business. Look at the skills and experience you have and calculate your realistic earning potential. You may need to claim some form of support from your spouse if they have better financial prospects.
- How can you best support your children’s needs? As parents, you naturally want your children to thrive. Figuring out a good parenting plan and custody schedule will be important.
Negotiating the financial aspects of divorce can be challenging. An attorney who has been in the same situation as you can help you make the correct decisions and stand up for your financial needs.