It's no secret that divorce can be expensive. In most circumstances, you'll want to hire the services of a divorce attorney, and you can expect that you'll likely have to share some of your assets with your soon-to-be-former spouse. If there are children involved, things can become even more complicated due to child support payments. If you want to get through your divorce with your financial future intact, keep these things in mind.
1. Every Dollar You Spend Fighting Your Spouse Is a Dollar You Can't Give to Your Kids
Divorces is painful, and it can be easy to want to lash out and try and hurt the person you are divorcing. But keep in mind that the longer you struggle in court or at the bargaining table, the higher the legal and other fees are going to go. In other words, time is often money during divorce proceedings. If you can learn to swallow your pride and make a compromise or two, you'll be able to get out of court faster and you can leave your children's college fund intact.
2. It's Vital to Make a Post-Divorce Budget
While most people break down the financials of what they expect the divorce to cost, one other thing you don't want to forget is that your expenses following the divorce could be very different from what you are used to. For example, if you now have joint custody of your kids, you might need to spend some money on toys and other things for your new home or apartment so that your kids can visit you in the same comfort they are used to. If you are paying alimony for the long term, you'll need to work this into your budget, as well.
3. It Isn't Wise to Trust Your Impulses When It Comes to Money for the First Few Months
Divorce is an emotional time, and you may be tempted to make the pain go away by treating yourself to something nice. But in general, it's a good idea to stick with the status quo for the first few months after a divorce. Don't go and buy that $50,000 car your spouse never wanted you to have. Don't freak out and change jobs or move far away. Give yourself time to adjust to your new normal so you can see things clearly when it is time to make a major financial decision.
Divorces can be expensive, but they don't have to be unmanageable. Come up with a realistic budget for the divorce and for your life afterwards. Be willing to swallow your pride and compromise with your ex so that you don't end up with significant legal or other fees by dragging things out in court. Find a divorce attorney with a lot of experience helping clients through times like these; he or she will have some additional tips that can help. Check it out online, as well.