I recently overheard a conversation at an uptown bar from an exasperated woman complaining to her friend about her current living situation. She said, “Five years ago, this really annoying unemployed man moved into my basement, and now he simply refuses to leave! I have asked him over and over again to vacate the premises, but he keeps telling me that he had every right to be there. Of course, I guess he does have a point, considering that we’re still married.”
This conversation got me to thinking about what couples should do when they are on the precipice of divorce. Filing to terminate a marriage is a huge step for couples even when they have been considering it for many years. Divorce is often a very complicated process, and one that requires a great deal of preparation. The dissolution of marriage, or even a legal separation, is not only a very emotional ordeal, but one that also brings up a myriad of financial concerns. So before you file for divorce from the guy living in your basement, there are several things that you should consider.
When you have concluded that your marriage is irretrievably broken and filing for the dissolution of marriage you will want to review your finances while you still have easy access to your statements, records, and files. Make copies of current statements so that you know what the values were at the time of separation. If there is a jointly held or family owned business, you will want a current business valuation done by an accounting firm.
Life is about to get more expensive, because you are reducing your income by half and doubling your expenses. Prepare for your divorce by creating a cash buffer for expenses that will include: apartment rental deposits, turning on utilities, new furniture, etc.
If your insurance is held through your spouse, you can get COBRA coverage for up to 36 months after the divorce. COBRA is expensive so plan to shop for your own coverage. You must notify your spouse’s employer within 60 days that you want COBRA. Buying medical insurance through a state insurance exchange will probably be less expensive than COBRA, but the coverage won’t be as good.
You can clip coupons to save money on groceries, but filing for divorce is not the time to try to save a buck. Getting a fair financial settlement and proper custody arrangement is worth paying an expert for help. It will save you time and money in the end. Contact one of our Colorado family law attorneys at The Harris Law Firm today by calling us at (303) 622-5502 or by filling out our online form.
These are just a few things to think about before you file for divorce. There is an extensive selection of checklists available at www.divorcesource.com/info/checklists for more ideas.
Information provided by Highwater Wealth Management is for informational purposes only. Highwater Wealth Management is a wealth manager and does not have expertise in tax regulations, attorney law, or insurance law.