Posts Tagged ‘finances and divorce’

How Do I Get A Divorce If I Cannot Afford One?

Monday, August 6th, 2018

There are many common reasons why one of the spouses in a marriage cannot afford a divorce. By “afford a divorce”, I am speaking primarily about being able to afford to retain legal counsel. The reasons for this can vary, from the fact that their spouse is the one that controls the finances, or perhaps they kept their finances separate, and one of the spouses is not in a place financially to hire a lawyer. In any event, there are other ways for someone to get a divorce attorney besides the traditional route of just hiring and paying one.

If your spouse controls both of your finances, you can approach this several ways. One way is to try and see if you can find an attorney that will provide a free consultation, so that at least you are taking one step in the right direction. Some may even be willing to take your case on, and work out a plan on how they will get compensated at a later time. In addition, the court may grant your request for your monied spouse to pay your legal fees.

Another option is an uncontested divorce, which is simple and quick because it does not involve a long, drawn out divorce process. There is one other option, although it is highly unadvised, which is to represent yourself in the divorce, meaning you will be your own attorney. But in the case of not being able to afford most attorney fees, see if you can obtain pro bono, or legal representation without charge.

How Can I Protect Myself If My Spouse Takes Out A Loan In The Divorce?

Monday, August 6th, 2018

Many people who are preparing for divorce get anxious when they begin to think about incurred debt, both their spouses and their own, and if they will be responsible for paying this debt off once they are separated from their spouse. When it comes to debt incurred during marriage, the truth is that it all depends on a few things, mainly who’s name is the debt in, what your state’s laws are, and what kind of debt it is (credit card debt, mortgage, auto, etc).

If your name is on a loan, either as a borrower or a co-signer, you will be held completely responsible for the paying back of this debt. The lender of the initial loan does not care about the circumstances of the borrower – their main priority is to receive money to the fulfillment of the debt (they may not ever even become aware that you got divorced!). The longer this goes unpaid, the more your credit score will suffer, and when you are just getting out of a marriage, and your finances are still a bit in a state of flux, the last thing you want is a mounting debt and a suffering credit score – especially as you look for a new home. So merely by being a co-signer, even if the “debt” is not explicitly on you, the loan and payment of it are applicable to you. A good option here is to try to get your name off the loan, either by refinancing or, if possible, having your name removed entirely. But if that doesn’t work, it is best to have it paid off, and deal with being repaid later, when your credit score isn’t taking a major hit.

In the state of New York, a “common law” state, spouses are only responsible for debts explicitly in their name, which allows one to be very mindful and careful when deciding on entering into a joint account with their spouse. Moreover, a prenuptial agreement can outline something similar, in that it can explicitly detail how finances, and debts, are to be divvied up in the case of a divorce.

5 Simple Ways To Organize Your Finances Before Divorce

Wednesday, November 4th, 2015

Many individuals who are going through a divorce go through a variety of emotional and financial dilemmas. Thankfully, they can all lessen the effects of the monetary issues by being proactive in organizing their finances. When two spouses decide that they want to separate, each should retain a divorce attorney. Some lawyers don’t bill for the first consultation, which then allows clients to begin the difficult divorce procedure without the stress of having to instantly pay a hefty sum for legal advice. Some divorce attorneys bill hourly, meanwhile others may charge just a flat fee.

Clients can do their part ahead of time by gathering the necessary financial documents on their own time, rather than leaving it to their attorney, otherwise known as discovery work. In addition, people can save a lot on legal fees if they have all their documents ahead of time. However, the research and preparation can be difficult if the client does not know what documents they need, as well as where to find them.

Here are five simple ways to organize your finances before you start your divorce process.

  1. Create a new budget: With your regular income undergoing a dramatic change, you should go over your finances and be certain that you can manage your monthly and yearly finances. Also, it is now going to be important that you identify what your new parameters are in terms of spending, and it becomes vital that you have emergency funds stored for a rainy day. Costs for lawyers and other miscellaneous expenses can stack up in a hurry as well. And finally, don’t forget about any savings you have for retirement in whatever financial plans you draft.
  2. Close any joint accounts you have with your soon to be ex-spouse: Now that the relationship is over, you should make sure any shared accounts, credit cards, and overall any bank accounts are not only closed, but also paid off, or at the very least put under one of the spouses names. A helpful tool is to use your credit score, which many websites offer to obtain for free, to ensure you didn’t miss any accounts. This is important because sometimes a former spouse will take advantage of this, and make payments knowing it will negatively effect your credit score. Cover all your bases.
  3. Open new accounts under your name: Now that you have taken care of any joint accounts you may have previously had, you should create a credit account and open bank accounts that are all your own. It is also wise to NOT use the same bank where your joint accounts had been in.
  4. Calculate your net worth, complete a “Net Worth Statement”: Write down all the personal property and funds that you and your former partner accumulated during the marriage. Make an approximation of what it is worth. If you currently own a home, contact a real-estate agent so they can give you an idea of its current value on the market. As you are doing all this, it can alleviate some of the stress that you face during a divorce if you jot down some of the property that you feel you truly need to have. However, you cannot expect to get everything you once owned, so choose wisely.
  5. Make sure you have insurance: Now that you and your spouse are no longer going to be together, you need to make sure you are covered by multiple aspects of insurance. It is imperative that you and your children have enough of all types of insurance to be protected and taken care of. Your ex-spouse may not be so inclined to help you with this, so you must take it upon yourself to make sure you are covered.