The more you fight during Divorce the richer the Divorce Attorneys become. It’s a fact.
But smart people do make it through divorce and save the kid’s college fund at the same time. I have seen it, sometimes it is a miracle considering the passion and anger, but it can be done.
January is a popular month to divorce considering holidays are over, and a fresh start desired. But it can be costly.
Here are some ideas, 8 of them in fact, courtesy of an article written by New York Divorce Attorney James J. Sexton:
- Write down your goals.
Having concrete goals helps you keep your s*** together. (From the article)
Visualize your future. Where are your going to live? What job will you have? What day to day life is workable for the kids? What is the timing of the transition to these goals that makes financial sense?
Find the answer to the three big questions — what you need, what you want and what you’re entitled to.
- Familiarize yourself with the family finances.
Make sure and know every single account and asset you own together and separately. Don’t forget debts. This will help you and your attorney not only get a picture of the situation, but protect those hard earned assets. You will likely need them!
- Review everything your spouse reports.
We want to believe the person we married and lived our lives with will be accurate and forthcoming. But see through that and verify it. Mistake or deliberate, make sure!
- Close joint accounts.
Make sure your soon to be ex-spouse knows what you are doing. And get agreements to do it in writing.
Also, make sure you are doing it in line with court orders. In Texas, the court may not allow it depending on where you are in the process.
- Figure out how much money you need.
Prepare a realistic budget. ASAP.
- Record all your expenses.
Collect all the records you have from the past year or two, and then keep a record of everything you spend from now until the divorce is finalized.
- Go to the lawyer for legal advice–not personal advice.
This is a brutally emotional period, make sure you keep roles straight. Your attorney is there to advise and protect you in the law, and not your emotional crutch.
- Don’t want to pay spousal support? Help your spouse get a job!
Doing crazy stuff like hurting your spouse’s chances to get employment is well . . . crazy.
Play nice, be helpful, be supportive, and for gosh sakes help them get employed. It’s best for everyone — especially if there are kids involved.
As you read Mr. Sexton’s article, be very careful and realize it is based on the laws of New York. Texas is different in many ways. Get legal counsel in the state in which you will file.
You will find most attorneys like me do actually appreciate the less drama filled cases. While it is seemingly diabolical that the more a client fights the more revenue for the attorney, it is a lot more enjoyable life for me as attorney to have a lot of simple drama free cases than one knock down drag out.
Don’t get me wrong, if there is a fight, bring it!
As always, feel free to comment, send me a private note. Keep it nice though.
Call us if you need us! We are here to help with your legal needs!
By Jac Schuster, a Family Law attorney, Estate Planning and Probate attorney in McKinney, Texas.