Money is still considered one of the top stressors for Americans. While it’s a wonderful thing to be living in a land of opportunity and potential, there are some downsides to a lifestyle driven by finances. Families often face the burden of deciding where to live, how to live, and where their money priorities are. This can play a huge factor in the state of a relationship. Since you cannot avoid talking about money during a divorce, you must be ready.
It’s no secret that finances can have a huge impact on the potential of divorce—and once involved in the dissolution, it can continue to play a negative central role. If money is something that added to the stresses of the marriage, chances are talking about money during divorce isn’t going to be any easier. However, for the best outcome for all, having an open, honest, and in-depth talk about money during divorce is essential.
Collaborative divorce and money
The goal of a collaborative divorce is to reduce the time, expense, and emotional distress of divorce. In this process, the parties can rely on their team of professionals to help them to talk calmly and resolve issues without being adversarial and without going to court. It makes sense to have difficult conversations in a non-confrontational setting, and with the collaborative process, this is possible.
Money during divorce is a highly emotional topic. However, each party can take steps to minimize reactions and feelings. Several tips can help you come prepared and focused, and hopefully more willing to discuss finances in a way everyone feels heard. It can lead to solutions that work for both parties as well as any children or dependents involved.
Tips for talking about money during divorce
It’s easy to slip into a defensive or blaming mindset when it comes to money. One party may have stayed home and raised the kids while the other took on the role of financial supporter, or both parties may have brought considerable assets and continuously contributed to household finances. No matter what the situation, it’s beneficial to look at the time you were married as a partnership. Each person contributed, even if it was from a time perspective rather than a money perspective. Here are some ways to approach the topic of money from that mentality:
Write a letter
Each party can open the conversation about money during divorce by writing their interpretation on how money and financial decisions were handled during the marriage.
This can include everything from bank accounts and bill paying to retirement, investments, and money spent on the children. It creates a starting point and addresses each person’s money mindset. It can open the door to questions that will help lead to a resolution.
Look at the information presented in the letters. Are there things that you agree or disagree on? Have your collaborative professional help form questions that are functional.
If you have kids, one excellent question is, “what do we want their future to look like? Their standard of living?” Also, consider how you make decisions and handle money during the marriage. In some ways, you want to approach the topic of money as you would in a marriage. This can be accomplished by creating a budget for each party moving forward and looking at how to make it work. This should still include roles. For example, if one party will still remain the primary caregiver/custodian, their ability to work is affected, and this should be taken into consideration.
The best outcome will depend on your ability and willingness to listen and work together.
Work with professionals
Throughout discussions, remember that collaborative divorce will more likely gain each party the outcome they desire. Talking about money isn’t easy, but it’s a crucial part of any type of divorce. Contact Best Legal Choices and we can help you to talk about money during your divorce.