Divorce Tips For Achieving The Best Financial Outcome
To achieve the best possible financial outcome, it helps to have a clear head and realistic expectations.
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1.- Don’t Let Emotions Dictate Your Decisions
“Emotional Intelligence is a social skill that can help you become more aware and tactful in understanding and handling your own emotions as well as the emotions of others. Benefits of emotional intelligence include, but are not limited to, improvements in coping, well-being, relationship satisfaction, and resilience,” says Shainna Ali Ph.D., LMHC for Psychology Today.
Emotions are temporary and should not be the driving force behind long-term decisions, such as alimony. Finding ways to manage your emotions in a healthy way will help you approach situations in a calm and rational manner.
2.- Children Are The First Consideration
“Child support is designed to support a child’s overall well-being. In Alabama, both parents are required to contribute to the support of their children. When families are in emotional turmoil, support is also an issue that most parents have trouble coming to an agreement on their own,” according to Charlotte Christian of The Charlotte Christian Law.
If there are children involved, their well-being should be the top priority for both parties. You may not agree on the specifics of how child support should be handled, which a family law attorney can help you with, but you should be able to put your interests aside for the sake of ensuring safety and stability for your children.
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3.- Take Your Advice From The Professionals
“It’s important to only take legal and financial advice from a lawyer and a trusted financial professional. They will be able to objectively help you through your particular situation with the most effective and beneficial advice and strategies,” according to a USA Today article with divorce tips for maintaining financial sanity.
You may have friends, family, or coworkers who have been through a divorce and want to chime in with what they think you should do, but every divorce is different and complex in its own way. Limit unsolicited “divorce tips” from others to recommendations for good attorneys and financial advisors who can help you navigate your particular situation.
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4.- Have A Clear Understanding Of Finances And Gather Documentation
“When contemplating divorce, most people put themselves under undue stress worrying about their financial well-being. Much of that stress is due to the fear of the unknown. So what do you do about it? Before, during, or after a divorce, it is important to keep yourself in reality as to your financial situation. Doing so will give you a sense of control over your life, which will reduce your stress level. Your financial situation can be broken into four different categories: assets, liabilities, income, and expenses,” according to the Institute for Divorce Financial Analysts.
The IDFA offers a checklist for organizing financial documents. According to the checklist, commonly requested documents by lawyers include:
- Financial statements for both parties (if available);
- At least three years of income tax returns for both parties (if possible);
- Details regarding investments;
- Employee benefit/retirement information;
- Information regarding your mortgage(s);
- Most recent paystubs for both parties (if possible);
- List of assets;
- List of debts;
- Marital property inventory and/or receipts;
- Non-marital property inventory and/or receipts;
- Household inventory
- Household bills and/or receipts;
- Bank account statements (joint and separate);
- Credit card statements (joint and separate);
- Child or spousal support (paid or received);
- Insurance information; and
- Any other documents that would have a bearing on your financial situation.
Whether you typically handle the finances in your marriage or not, you will need to have an accurate understanding and documentation of your financial situation.
5.- Think Long Term
“As you choose the next steps in your financial future, know that it’s not uncommon for those emerging from divorce to trim back their lifestyle – at least temporarily. But it’s often wise to accept a few limitations today to ensure you’ll have the resources to rebuild the life you envision for yourself in the years to come,” according to an article by Experian.
In the midst of a divorce, the whole family will experience change as a “new normal” emerges. Change can often be stressful, but don’t allow that stress to cause you to accept a less-than-favorable settlement just to end things faster. Take time to think through and consider the long-term impact of each decision.
6.- If You Live In North Alabama, Contact Charlotte Christian Law Today!
Charlotte Christian Law wants to help you navigate the complex issues you are facing in your divorce. Knowledgeable and compassionate, Charlotte Christian and her team can help secure the best financial outcome for your future.