Will I have access to money when I file for divorce?
How can I afford initial attorney’s fees for filing a divorce?
A common fear many women have when deciding whether or not to get a divorce is if they’re going to have access to money to make it happen. Unfortunately, even in this day and age, the wife might not have good visibility into the family’s finances. Another issue could be that the family checking account does not have enough funds to pay for the attorney fees. If this is the case, your last resort will have to be putting those costs on a credit card. As much as we tell clients to avoid debt at all costs, in this circumstance, it is ok if it’s your only way to get a divorce.
How will expenses be covered when I file for divorce?
In terms of regular bills getting paid for the household, it should be status quo. If you’re used to paying bills out of the family’s checking account, just keep doing that, nothing should change. If your spouse has health insurance that covers the whole family, again, nothing should change. He should continue to keep you on his medical policy through his work. Unless a court order changes something, your day-to-day life should go on as normal. However, when considering large or one-time expenses, use your best judgment. For instance, buying a new car without a real need for it is very imprudent. Or if your refrigerator dies, it’s fine to go out and buy another refrigerator. However, if you have a Kenmore, don’t buy a Wolf or a Sub-Zero, try to match like for like. Another example of a big expense would be family vacations. If your family typically goes on a spring break trip with the kids to the beach or skiing, don’t upset your family’s normal routine. Take the kids on that vacation, but remember this is not the time to go on a once-in-a-lifetime trip around the world.
Both Sides Have Equal Rights to Representation
You and your spouse have equal access to money because you have an equal right to legal representation. Try to keep emotions under control because actions taken emotionally can easily increase your attorney bill. Ultimately, don’t allow finances or access to finances keep you from filing for a divorce and keep you in a bad relationship.
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Missie Beach, CFP®, CDFA®
Senior Financial Advisor
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