Getting It Right: Your Money and Your Divorce
March 21, 2017
BY: Amanda S. Trigg, Esq.
Everyone knows the great feeling of being right about a fact, an expectation, or the best way to accomplish a task. We learn from our achievements happily.
In divorce, just as in marriage, making smart decisions about your money requires effort and a solid knowledge base. At Lesnevich, Marzano-Lesnevich, Trigg, O’Cathain & O’Cathain, LLC, we aim to help every client make the best possible financial decisions.
Consult With The Experts
When assets are being split, and economic support is being planned, everyone has the right to full financial disclosure. Obtaining that information, however, is not always the same as understanding it or knowing how to optimize its value to you when you are thinking about alimony (and whether you want to keep the marital residence or whether you prefer to sell the real estate and split a 401(k) account).
Whether you are a financial whiz, employed in the industry, or whether you have had the luxury of never having to worry about money, everyone has the ability to confidently decide what outcome would be optimal. Sometimes, you have to honestly admit that you need expert assistance and more information about your options before you can make a decision. Getting it right requires a willingness to ask questions that will lead to the best financial outcome in your divorce.
10 Important Questions To Ask Yourself
- Why is your money currently invested the way that it is?
- On a monthly basis, what savings are you creating in retirement and non-retirement funds?
- How much equity is held in your home?
- What are you doing to preserve or improve the net value of your home?
- How are you going to pay for your children’s education and is your co-parent agreeing with you now about that?
- Is your disability insurance benefit enough to cover your typical monthly expenses?
- If you were to unexpectedly die, do you have enough life insurance to house, feed, educate and protect your children until adulthood?
- Are you and your spouse maximizing your earning potential?
- What tax advice have you gotten to help you understand your options for dividing assets, arranging alimony and child support?
- Who is giving you advice about how to adapt your retirement plans based upon the upcoming change in your asset base and income available for savings?
Give yourself one point for each question that you can answer without saying “I have no idea.”
Now grade yourself:
1-3 points – You can do better than this, but you need the right team of advisors to help you raise your score. Ask us about who might be valuable contacts for you. We can set up introductory meetings at your convenience.
4-7 points – Nice work so far. Be sure to keep asking these questions and updating your answers until you get the deal done. Consult with new advisors to up your score as soon as possible and include your divorce lawyer in discussions so that you have a cohesive plan.
8-10 points – Your financial savvy will help you during the economic transition of a divorce. Now is a good time to follow up with your advisors and to update your personal financial knowledge. Use that solid knowledge base to work with us to envision outcomes that might make you feel secure.
Divorce creates new financial challenges. The right lawyer works with a team of financial advisors to prove that if you are only expecting the worst possible outcome, you might be completely (and happily) wrong. Instead, you might find that when you have the right information, you make great decisions for your financial future.