Going through a divorce is difficult emotionally, can be physically exhausting and may even leave you with financial difficulties if you’re not careful. In fact, it is extremely important to focus on your current standard of living and the standard of living you want in the future as you work through your separation agreement and divorce settlement.
If you are too generous when you leave your marriage, then you could be left with less financial support than you deserve. If you seek too much, then your spouse may refuse to negotiate and drag out your divorce, which could end up costing you thousands.
How will your divorce impact your standard of living?
That depends on your current standard of living and other factors such as:
- The portion of assets you are able to retain
- Whether or not you will receive spousal support
- Whether you will have to pay spousal support or not
- Tax obligations
- Child support
…and many others. For most people, the reality is that divorcing means that both parties will have less money. For example, two people working and brining home $60,000 a year may be living a lifestyle of a couple with $120,000, but that lifestyle isn’t sustainable on just a single $60,000 income.
In another situation, a couple who brings in $500,000 in income and who has regular income from varied sources may not see much of a change in their standard of living, especially if they were living well below their means.
What can you do to minimize the impact of your divorce on your standard of living?
The first thing to do is to put together a budget. You should know how much money you need to live comfortably. Then, subtract your current earnings from that budget to see your remainder. Some people will find that they can sustain their lifestyles on their single income. Others will find that they want to fight for spousal support or seek a larger share of assets to help them cope with the financial change.
Every case is different, so if you are concerned, it’s a good idea to talk with an attorney about your options.