Many divorcing couples do not realize that maintaining two separate households after a divorce is very costly. In many instances, the same family income is now being divided to run two residences and pay the bills associated with them. In addition to this, one spouse is inevitably paying spousal and child support, straining finances even more. Thus, it is important to approach divorce proceedings with a clear head and accurate picture of one’s finances.
Developing a post divorce budget can be helpful in these situations. Pennsylvania residents should take some time to know what their monthly expenses will look like. This is an even more important step for those individuals who have never dealt with bills or managed the household budget alone because their spouse has been in charge of it so far. Figuring out what one’s immediate needs are, how much they will cost in the short-run and the long-run is beneficial and could include a new car, a new place to live, insurance and everyday items such as groceries and gas.
Many couples share debt together, and it is best to try to eliminate it before finalizing the divorce. Carrying this debt forward, when living expenses have already gone up, can wreak havoc on a person’s finances. Additionally, joint debt remains the liability of both the spouses, even after the divorce. If one ex-spouse fails to make payments, it affects the other one as well.
There are many important decisions that have to be made before, during and after a divorce has been finalized. However, taking the right steps at the onset can set couples up for less financial problems in the future and not force them to drain savings and retirement accounts. Since this can seem overwhelming for most people, it might be helpful to consult an experienced attorney for guidance.