Financial Guide to Divorce for Father’s
Planning for success after divorce is extremely important, especially when you’re a parent who needs to be able to financially support your children. The choices you make today may have implications for years to come. Things like child support, spousal maintenance payments, and changes to your credit and retirement accounts must be considered if you hope to gain a comprehensive understanding of how your finances could change during and after the divorce.
The financial preparations in this divorce guide for dads will allow you to enjoy time with your kids for years to come without worrying about your financial circumstances.
Financial Concerns for Divorcing Dads
Many divorcing dads are concerned about high child support and spousal maintenance payments. Child support is calculated by the court based on how much parenting time the non-custodial parent is given. There isn’t much you can do about the judge’s decision when it comes to child support, but you can rest a little easier knowing it is possible for both parents to decline a child support arrangement (or agree to a specific amount per month without a judge stepping in). It’s also possible neither parent will be forced to pay child support if you have joint 50/50 custody and similar salaries.
There’s more room for negotiation when it comes to spousal support. If there is a large discrepancy between your income and your spouse’s income, you can expect spousal maintenance (also known as alimony) to be on the table initially. If you’re the higher earner, you may be able to offer a lump sum payment or a short-term payment schedule instead of being forced to pay spousal maintenance for years to come.
Since the purpose of spousal maintenance is to help the lower earner reenter the workforce and get back on their feet financially, both parties may believe it’s more beneficial to agree to a payment schedule that expires within a year or two. However, if your spouse can prove to the court she is unable to work, be prepared to make monthly payments for the foreseeable future.
Another area of concern for many fathers going through a divorce is the distribution of assets. Any assets you acquired prior to the marriage which were unchanged during the marriage (a classic car in storage, for example) are not considered marital property. However, if you owned a home prior to the marriage and made substantial renovations during the marriage, the added value to the home will likely be considered a marital asset. Essentially, if you invested in an asset during the marriage, it may be on the table.
There isn’t much you can do to give yourself a leg up during the distribution of your assets, besides being prepared to let go of sentimentality and focus on negotiating for the assets you’ll need in order to remain financially successful. You can expect an equitable division of your assets if you’re working with an experienced New Jersey divorce lawyer for men and fathers.
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Making Wise Money Moves During your Divorce
Now that we’ve addressed a few of the most common financial concerns for dads facing divorce, let’s talk about how you can maximize your current finances for future use.
First, you should strive to pinch pennies as much as possible during the actual divorce. You can save money by choosing a knowledgeable divorce lawyer for men who won’t drag out the divorce or make costly mistakes. You’ll save money in the long run by working with the lawyers at The Micklin Law Group because we know how to quickly and favorably resolve common issues, both during negotiations and in court.
Your marital credit card debt will be divided equitably in much the same way as your assets. If you or your spouse acquired student loan debt during the marriage, that may also be divided between the two of you (depending on the situation).
Work on paying off your share of the marital debts in addition to any debt you brought into the marriage. This is another one of several important financial preparations for divorce. You’ll need good credit in the future any time you want to obtain a car loan, mortgage, or personal loan.
Financial Divorce Recovery Strategies
Even after your divorce is finalized, you can implement certain financial divorce recovery strategies to make your life easier. First, consider creating a post-divorce budget that takes into account your new single income. You may have some debt to pay off from the divorce, and a budget will help ensure you don’t accrue additional debt. Speaking of debt, if you want to pay it off quickly, we’d suggest picking up additional income somehow. A part time or seasonal job may help you get out of debt without much additional effort.
A divorced dad’s financial survival isn’t only about what happened in the past. If your financial circumstances change in the years following your divorce, you may consider requesting a modification to your spousal maintenance or child support order. This request when filed with the court is known as a post-decree motion. You will have the opportunity to illustrate your changed financial circumstances and explain why you’re requesting a modification to the support order. Most family law judges want things to remain equitable between exes and will side with your compelling evidence.
Preparing your Finances with Divorce Consulting
If you’re still concerned about making the most of financial decisions during your divorce, consider divorce consulting. During the divorce consulting process, you’ll meet with Brad Micklin to discuss how a potential divorce in your future may affect your finances. Many dads see the storm of divorce brewing long before it actually becomes official, so it doesn’t hurt to trust your intuition and consult with a divorce attorney.
If you’re interested in divorce consulting to consider the possibility of divorce, or if your spouse has already filed for divorce and you need an attorney to represent you, The Micklin Law Group is here to provide legal services tailored to your needs. To learn all about our approach to family law for men and fathers in New Jersey, visit our website or call our team at 973-562-0100 to schedule a consultation with a divorce lawyer.