Getting Help With Your Divorce

3 Questions You Should Ask To Determine If You Are Financially Able To Divorce

Many couples struggle in their marriages and wonder if divorce is right for them. In many cases the couple wants to divorce, but cannot because it is too expensive. They might have financial concerns that prevent them from divorcing. It is true that divorce is expensive, and you should ask yourself if you are financially able to divorce. Here are some questions you should be asking to determine if you are ready to divorce.

1. Do You Have Money Set Aside For Your Living Expenses?

One of the first things you need to take care of is your living expenses. In many cases couples only have joint banking accounts. This means that all of your money may be wrapped up with your spouse's, and you may not have the means that you need to get an apartment, pay for groceries, and take care of other bills. Ideally, you should have enough time before the divorce to set aside money in a personal banking account in your name only so that you can take care of yourself.

If the situation is that you need to get away for your safety, you might have to consider staying with family or friends. But know that it will be hard to ask for financial help the entire time during the divorce, which can be long. That is why having some savings in your name will be important.

2. Do You Have A Lot Of Joint Debt?

Another important question to consider is your debts. When you divorce, your debts will have to be divided just like the rest of your estate. In fact, even though you divorce, the creditor may still hold both of you accountable for the loan, as if you were married. This means that your spouse could hurt your credit and your financial history, which is why it is best to pay off all joint debts before you divorce. Downsizing, selling things, and avoiding new purchases may be the way to do this.

3. Can You Pay Lawyer Fees?

You will often have to pay a lawyer in order to even start the divorce process. An attorney will usually ask for a retainer upfront, and then you will have to continue to pay them for all the work until the divorce is final. It could be expensive, so you and your spouse better plan ahead for all the lawyer fees.

For more advice on how to financially prepare for a divorce, contact a family law attorney like Margit M. Hicks, PA Attorney at Law.