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Financial Tips to Remember When Filing for Divorce

While many people focus on the emotional turmoil that can come with divorce, a divorce can be equally damaging to a person’s finances. In certain cases, divorce has been known to completely wipe out up to 50 percent of a person’s assets. While even the most amicable separations will ultimately result in divided assets and reduced household income, there are certain things you can do to minimize the damage and stay financially secure.

If you are approaching a divorce, consider the following financial tips:

  1. Start Saving: To say that divorce is expensive is a bit of an understatement. When considering the costs of legal fees, appraising and divvying up real estate, finding a new place to live, and pursuing therapy for you and your children to cope with the change, a person can end up spending anywhere between $20,000 to $100,000 during the course of their divorce – potentially even more if the separation becomes contested. Make sure you have money saved up to cover these costs and try to eliminate as much debt as you can before filing.
  2. Get Organized: In many cases, divorce is often a contest of “whoever has the best records wins.” Be sure to collect all of your tax returns, bank statements, credit card statements, investment accounts, retirement account statements, and information about your monthly expenses. If you see any suspicious withdrawals that your spouse may have made and any sources of income that you do not recognize, notify your attorney.
  3. Check Your Credit Report: Credit scores should be reviewed carefully during a divorce. Use this information to look for any loans or accounts you do not recognize that your spouse may have taken out. An attorney can help ensure you are not responsible for any debts your spouse incurred without your knowledge.
  4. Watch What You Post on the Internet: Any sort of electronic communication can be submitted as evidence in divorce court and affect the terms of your settlement, including text messages, social media posts, and emails. Do not post or send anything you would not want a judge to read.
  5. Do Not Be too Proud to Pay or Receive Alimony: Nobody likes the thought of having to cut a check to their ex every month after a divorce. With that being said, it is important to remember that alimony is likely to only be a temporary arrangement, and that payments are tax deductible for the paying party. Likewise, if your spouse makes more than you or if you were a stay-at-home parent during the marriage, do not be ashamed to receive your entitled alimony.
  6. Create a Budget and Stick to It: Moving forward, you will need a written budget that is based on your new income and expenses. It is important to remember that just because you will now be single does not mean that your expenses will be cut in half. In some cases, costs may actually go up after your divorce, such as insurance premiums. Be prepared to make some changes to maintain the same standard of living.
  7. Divide Things Equally: While you may still have an emotional attachment to your spouse, it is important to remember that you will not have an obligation to take care of them financially. Do not give them more than you need to or agree to a lopsided arrangement because you feel like you must. Divide your property in a way that will not leave you with regrets.
  8. Update Your Estate Plan: Once your divorce has been finalized, it is time to update your estate plan and beneficiaries. Otherwise, if you should become incapacitated or pass away, your ex may end up inheriting your assets if their name is still on the paperwork. This also includes designating a new power of attorney.

While these tips can help tremendously, by far the most effective way to protect your finances during a divorce is by working with an experienced attorney. If you are approaching a divorce or are already knee-deep in divorce proceedings, Tampa Divorce Lawyer Catherine Real can help ensure your assets are protected and provide the strong legal support you need during this time of transition.

Call (813) 867-7936 or schedule an initial consultation today to review your legal options.

  • Experienced Advocacy

    Get help from the trustworthy legal counsel from a former prosecutor and 35+ years' experience

    More About the Firm
  • Professional Reputation

    Read what real judges have to say about the work Catherine Real provides to her clients.

    Real Testimony
  • Mediation Services

    Our Florida Supreme Court Family Law Mediator offers an alternative to a contested divorce.

    Choose Mediation
  • Request Your Consultation

    Ready to discuss your case? Contact the firm today to request a meeting with Attorney Real.

    Get Started Now

Contact Us

Catherine W. Real, P.A. Catherine W. Real, P.A.
Tampa Divorce Attorney
Located at: 2110 West Platt Street,
Tampa, FL 33606
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Phone: (813) 867-7936
Local Phone: (813) 251-6705
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The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.