So, you have decided to call it quits with your marriage, but you are worried about the financial fallout. You have a right to be concerned - alimony, child support, court costs - it can all add up to a large sum at the end of the day. You have to decide whether you want to fight for certain pieces of property, tally up the expenses of your divorce, find a new living situation, and adjust to a new way of life, all in a relatively short period of time. Make the most of your experience by seeking the help of a qualified financial and legal team that can help you protect your assets.
You may be surprised to learn that there are some tools and methods to help you determine the right amount of financial support after your divorce. Ultimately, alimony and other payments must be approved by the courts, but you can save a lot of time and headaches by crunching spousal maintenance numbers early in the process. Experts say that you should calculate your "lifetime resources" - the present and future value of your labor, Social Security, other income, and your net worth - and compare that with taxes, childcare costs, and other non-negotiable expenses. The amount that is left over would be considered your "spendable resources."
In order to reach a fair alimony deal, you would compare your numbers to those of your spouse, making sure that the standard of living for both parties is essentially equitable. Spend some time evaluating your true costs and expenditures, and make sure that the courts are working for your benefit and that of your ex-spouse. It is your job to advocate for your own financial health - but a qualified team of attorneys can also be a good resource. Work together with your team to make sure you do not break the bank after your breakup.
Source: Forbes, "How To Keep A Divorce From Wrecking Your Finances," Laurence Kotlikoff, May 31, 2017