We often discuss the emotional fallout of divorce, but ending a marriage also takes a financial toll on those involved. Prior to divorce, you may have paid for counseling or therapy sessions, and you might have separated and lived in (and paid for) two separate homes. During the divorce, there are legal expenses to consider and your childcare costs can increase for parents who have to spend more time at work or with their attorney resolving various legal issues.
Of course it can be a great relief when a divorce is finalized and you can finally start moving forward again, emotionally and financially. However, before you get too far ahead of yourself, you need to be aware that there are some lingering financial issues to consider even after you have your divorce settlement.
For instance, as discussed in more detail in this article on divorce and credit, your credit could still be affected by your ex. If he or she stops making credit card payments on a joint credit account, the lender could come after you and hold you financially responsible. If you put more on your own credit card than usual during a divorce, you could find it much more difficult to keep up with payments, which can have costly consequences.
Your financial future may also depend on the sale of a high-value asset, such as your home. If you decided to keep the house, you can find it a challenge to cover mortgage payments alone. If you decided to sell the house, your financial future can be greatly affected if the house stays on the market for a long time or ultimately sells for less than you expected.
Further, living expenses can be higher than you expect. Everything from household maintenance to child care to basic living essentials costs money, and instead of two people being responsible for these things, post-divorce expenses are left in the hands of one person.
While you may not be able to avoid these expenses, you can anticipate them and take them into account when you are drawing up your divorce agreement. With the help of your attorney, you can work to make sure issues related to alimony, child support and property division are all addressed and reflect the financial environment to which you must adjust.