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Lakeville Family Law Blog

How to properly prepare your finances for divorce

Regardless of your reason for divorce, it's imperative to turn your immediate attention to your finances. Neglecting to do so early on in the process can result in additional challenges in the future.

Here are five of the most important things you can do:

  • Gather all financial records: Not only are these necessary for the divorce process itself, but they will also help you better understand your financial situation. Financial records commonly include paystubs, tax statements, retirement account statements and bank account statements.
  • Make a list of assets and debts: A property division checklist will help you separate individual and marital property. Just the same, a list of your debts will provide a clear idea of what you may have to take on as part of your divorce settlement.
  • Open your own accounts: Gone are the days of using joint accounts. It's time to open your own, as this gives you full control over your finances. For example, open your own checking account, savings account and credit card.
  • Review your expenses: Knowing your current expenses will allow you to adjust them accordingly for future financial stability. Since your household income is likely to change, it's critical to know exactly what you can afford each month.
  • Get professional help: There are many types of professionals who can assist you when preparing your finances for divorce. In addition to a family law attorney, consult with a financial planner and your tax professional. There's a good chance you're overlooking something of importance, but these professionals can provide all the guidance you need.

A big age difference could lead to a late-in-life divorce

You didn't meet your spouse until much later on in life. Perhaps you were in your late 30s, and you'd focused on your business for most of your life. Your spouse, when you started dating, was just in their early 20s. They were going to college nearby, and the two of you had no idea how big the age difference was when you first met.

You didn't find out until your third date. By that time, it was so clear that you had hit it off that you decided it must not be a big deal. You kept dating and eventually got married. You never really thought twice about it. You felt and acted young for your age, and your spouse seemed mature for theirs, so it worked perfectly and you clicked.

Working night shifts can end your marriage

When you were single, you liked working night shifts. They even felt a bit exciting at first. They paid pretty well. It took some adjusting to get used to the schedule, but you enjoyed having some free time during the day, when everyone else was at work in Lakeville.

After you got married, though, you found it harder to balance your schedule. Your spouse did not work night shifts, even though you did. Could this pose a problem?

4 things to consider if you are thinking about a gray divorce

Since 1990, gray divorce has been on the rise. Couples who got married in their twenties, had children and raised a family suddenly find themselves wondering why they are still together after the kids have left the nest. In many cases, the love felt in those early years has faded away.

Some couples realize that the only thing they had in common was the kids. However, the idea of divorcing after the age of 50 can be terrifying for a lot of people. But, like with most life changes, a little bit of planning and preparation can go a long way to help you get ready for your new life.

Why isn't your relationship fulfilling?

Your relationship should be fine, you keep telling yourself. You and your spouse both make plenty of money. Neither one of you has been unfaithful to the relationship. You haven't gone through any big changes like job loss, weight gain or sickness and disease. You have a nice house in a nice neighborhood and you drive a recent-model luxury car.

In short, you feel like the very picture of the American Dream. You have what all of your friends wish they had. And yet you're still considering ending it and getting a divorce.

After divorce, turn your attention to co-parenting

As your marriage comes to an end, you have no choice but to turn your attention to the future. For people with children, a focus on co-parenting is an absolute must. Even if you're not getting along with your ex-spouse, you should work together to provide your children with stability moving forward.

Co-parenting is easier said than done, as you and your ex may not have the same idea on how to raise your children. Here are five things you can do to get on the same page, while minimizing the risk of a serious argument:

  • Take everyone's feelings into consideration: Your children come first, but don't overlook how your ex is feeling during this time. When you put yourself in their shoes, you won't make decisions that harm them.
  • Pick your battles very carefully: There will be times when you have no choice but to push back on your ex, even if you know it will cause an argument. While it's okay to do so every now and again, pick your battles carefully. If every disagreement turns into a major fight, you'll find it difficult to establish any type of co-parenting routine.
  • Find a way to communicate effectively: Some divorced couples are okay with the idea of communicating in person and over the phone. Others don't like this approach, so they rely on email and text messages. As long as you find something that works for the both of you, communication shouldn't be an issue.
  • Don't get in the way: When your children are with your ex, do your best to stay out of the picture. Don't show up early to pick up your children. Don't send one text message after the next. Instead, respect their time together.
  • Avoid discussing your personal life: Now that your marriage is in the past, you don't have to share details of your personal life with your ex. Even if they ask, you can simply say "I'd rather keep that part of my life to myself."

Should you put off divorce until the children head to college?

You know that you want to end your marriage. You've known it for years. Things have fallen apart. You and your spouse barely speak and you usually fight when you do communicate. Your spouse subjects you to constant emotional abuse. You can't remember the last time you felt happy.

Here's the problem: You have two children who are still in high school. You feel like you should wait until they go to college to file for divorce. Is that wise?

Help your children learn to cope with major life changes

Your children have to go through a lot of changes. Not only do they deal with this at school and with their friends, but they also have a huge one to go through if you and their other parent divorce. This is a trying time for children, but they are usually adaptable enough to thrive despite the major adjustments they need to make.

As a parent, you might want to keep your children protected. While this is understandable, the time around your divorce is one during which you should work with your children to give them the skills and tools they need to cope with major life changes.

How do you know when it's time to file for divorce?

Knowing when it's time to divorce is never easy. Even in cases when the decision should be clear-cut and obvious -- like in situations of substance abuse, domestic violence or infidelity -- spouses may deliberate for years before they finally pull the trigger on their divorces.

In order to help you navigate your decision-making process, we've included four important questions that every spouse should ask before deciding whether the time is right to file.

Who's going to win my child custody dispute?

It's frightening to think about going a night without your children at home with you, but if you're in throes of a contentious child custody dispute, that's a reality you may need to face. Depending on how your child custody case ends, you may be lucky to receive full physical custody -- meaning your children live with you full-time -- or you might become the non-custodial parent who only has visitation rights.

It's difficult to predict exactly how a court will decide a child custody disagreement, but the following information may give you a clue as to what your end-results could be.

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  • 10 Best 2017 Attorney | Client Satisfaction - American Institute of Family Law Attorney(TM)
  • Top 10 Family Law Attorney | Attorney and Practice Magazines
  • Expertise - Best Child Support Lawyers in Minneapolis
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Dwire Law Offices, P.A.
20686 Holyoke Avenue
P.O. Box 427
Lakeville, MN 55044

Toll Free: 866-442-9693
Phone: 952-232-0179
Fax: 952-469-4940
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