Are you putting off divorce because you are worried about money? If so, you are not alone. Women all across Texas struggle with this decision, especially when their spouses are the primary earners. While it is true that divorce has the potential to negatively affect finances, being as prepared as possible can protect your financial security.
For some women, part of that preparation means stepping into unfamiliar and even uncomfortable territory. This is partly because it is not uncommon for a household’s breadwinner to manage most of the money. Here are a few things to keep in mind when getting ready to file for divorce.
Take a deep dive into your finances
It is possible that you are only familiar with one side of your financial situation. Maybe you are in charge of paying the utility bills on time or budgeting out money for groceries. However, if your husband has always been the one to handle major financial issues, there may be financial situations you do not even know exist. Collecting financial documents for some of these can help reveal any that you do not know about:
- Checking and savings accounts
- Credit cards
- Retirement funds
- Investment accounts
- Tax returns
Not everything on this list might apply to you, but you should be sure to secure physical documents for what you can. On top of this, start tracking your personal and household expenses with as much detail as possible. This can take a bit of time but is worth it in the end.
Preparing gives you confidence
Uncertainty about the future is never easy. If you do finally decide that divorce is the right choice, but if you do not prepare yourself financially, then you may not have enough information to make the best decisions. Your ex could even take advantage of this to nudge you toward choices that largely benefit him.
You should also consider creating a personal emergency fund. Most financial experts encourage people to save up six months of living expenses, but this is simply not realistic for most people. Instead, create a realistic goal for yourself and begin working toward it immediately.
Your financial security is a priority
Whether you have always earned less than your husband, left work to raise your children or are actively engaged in non-work activities, you still deserve a financially secure future. Knowing that this is a possibility may even help you decide which direction you want to go with your marriage. If that path is to divorce, you now know just how important it is to prepare.
Texas family law can be quite complicated though, so you may want some help during this process. Having the right guidance can even be key to ensuring you receive enough alimony and your half of the marital assets. The latter is especially important because property like cars and houses are expensive to maintain, and you also have to pay taxes and other fees. You will probably find that working with an experienced attorney can help you reach your financial goals for after divorce.