As part of your divorce planning, it can be helpful to sit down with your financial advisor to work through a list of questions such as this one. Knowing the answers to these questions will help insure that your marital agreement will be to your satisfaction. It will also help to alleviate your fears about how you will provide for yourself and your children after the divorce.
1. How much will I need to live on in my future circumstances?
2. What will be my sources of income (salary, alimony, maintenance, child support, Social Security benefits, retirement funds, income from business/investment portfolio)?
3. Should I keep the house or sell it?
4. What type of support is best for my situation (child support, alimony, maintenance, unallocated maintenance)?
5. How many years will the support continue?
6. What are the tax consequences of the support?
7. Is it permanent maintenance?
8. What is my retirement strategy?
9. What is the best way to divide our assets to provide liquidity for future security?
10. Have I accounted for inflation and tax consequences?
11. Have I been married enough years (10+) to take advantage of my spouse’s social security benefits? Are his likely to be higher than mine?
12. Will my health insurance benefits continue after the divorce? What options do I have?
13. Who will pay for our children’s college education? Who will pay for our children’s weddings and other milestone events?
14. What’s involved in a transfer of property?
15. How can I be sure my spouse will abide by the divorce agreement? What recourse do I have if he doesn’t?
This is the beginning of a new life of financial independence for you. No divorce situation is perfect, but some are undoubtedly better than others. Take the time you need to evaluate all the details of your situation and do the best you can for yourself during the divorce process. Gather information and advice from your support team, embrace your newly acquired knowledge, and adopt an attitude of empowerment. You can do this!