A common concern for divorcing or separating spouses is whether they will be able to afford the legal process and consequences of divorce.
Lack of money is commonly one of the biggest stressors that a married couple has to deal with. This doesn't become any less of an issue when it comes to a divorce. If you are struggling to stay afloat in your current arrangement, the thought of paying for a divorce can be a daunting one. Two homes are more expensive than one. This is one area where it is particularly important to be realistic about your prospects. You don't want to undertake something that doesn't look feasible from the get-go.
Seek Counsel and Be Honest
When you get a divorce, your living expenses will inevitably increase, but your income often will not. This means supporting two households instead of one with the same budget. While this is a scary prospect, many couples, with the help of their attorneys, devise plans to make it work successfully.
It is especially important to be honest and candid with your attorney about any concerns or hesitations you have surrounding the financial aspects of your divorce. Provide them with your financial records, tax returns, paystubs, and be honest about any debt that you and your partner may have hanging over your head as well as your interest rates and credit scores. Your attorney can help you review your current situation and make suggestions about the best way to proceed, as well as bring in additional help in the form of a financial consultant to assistant you in making your divorce a financial reality.
Know Your Options:
When contemplating the feasibility of a divorce, you're going to need devise a financial plan in order to make it happen. Your finances may be tight, but they boil down to a simple reality: there's money coming in and there's money going out. If you aren't able to increase the amount of money coming in, you're going to need to take a look at your spending and see what can be eliminated.
Liquidating assets is always a possibility in order to free up some cash flow and finance your divorce. You might want to consider taking a look at selling items such as your house, boats, vehicles, etc. Your debt is another thing that should be examined throughout this process. If you have credit card debt that you don't think you can pay off, you may be able to work with a financial specialist in order to set up a partial payment plan with your credit card company. Another option is to borrow from your retirement funds, an option that is sometimes allowed. These funds typically have to be paid back in five years and are better left untouched, but they may allow you to afford a divorce.
Family can be another option in these situations. Sometimes a family member or loved one will assist you in paying off high interest loans at a reasonable rate of return for themselves. For example, they may loan you a lump sum to pay off a credit card that's charging you 25% interest for a 7% interest rate from them. These types of arrangements can be a huge help to you while still giving them a return on their investment.
Speak with an Attorney and Find What's Right for You:
Our attorneys regularly speak on family law and parenting plan matters. Elise has extensive experience in high-conflict parenting disputes. If you have any questions about Washington state divorce law, mediation or child custody, please contact us at [email protected] or 206-926-9848.