Written by Mary Ann Hess

What happens to your standard of living during divorce?

An often overlooked aspect of divorce is its effect on your standard of living. If either party chooses a resistant or combative path, it can add to legal fees, emotional stress, and more. The financial portion of a divorce has the potential to be incredibly complex, and it is essential that you can financially survive after your divorce. Being aware of your standard of living during divorce is important while you figure out how to divide everything into two households.

What Does Moderation Mean?

Common things to avoid include any big purchase. What is a big purchase? Things like a new home, car, vacation, or anything that is outside your typical budget.  There will also be a “preliminary injunction” in effect in a filed divorce case that will likely impact your spending. Some people react to the stress of divorce by going on a spending spree. No matter what the motivation (i.e., to feel better, to spend your own hard-earned money, or something else), this is the time to hold back on spending. Your standard of living during a divorce can decline if you spend too much money.  It can also create feelings of resentment and drag out proceedings.

The key to avoiding big spending is moderation until you know how you will divide your assets and finances and maintain your budget. In a collaborative divorce, you will have greater opportunity to keep money available to your kids by negotiating expenses. People often report having more money available when they go through collaborative divorce. You both must be transparent about the finances. Both parties also have to be willing to communicate.

What Can Happen to Your Standard of Living During Divorce Without Moderation?

Without moderation, your standard of living during a divorce can be impacted negatively. Many financial factors come into consideration, which is why communication becomes so important. Financially, your standard of living is affected by not having two incomes to work with. Insurance, bills, and living conditions may change. While married, you shared one home and expenses—during separation and divorce, there are often double the households and expenses.

How you interact with your spouse during a divorce also has an impact. Contested divorces or refusal to cooperate can drag out the proceedings and cost large amounts of money. At the end of a contested divorce, it’s not unusual for attorneys to benefit the most. The best way to avoid taking a large hit to your standard of living during divorce is to practice moderation and cooperation.

Negotiating About Money Can Save You Money

Many feelings go along with divorce. Accusations, blame, anger, and depression, among many others, can make it more of a challenge to negotiate. Both parties have their justifications and feel a need to be heard.

While it’s tempting to focus on those feelings, it can be more important to find a way to negotiate, especially about finances. But it is very difficult to negotiate without support and legal advice. With the right legal advice and financial and emotional support, you can swiftly and save money in the long run. If you have children, it’s also in their best interest to settle amicably. Saving money on the divorce is a good way to safeguard your standard of living, limiting the impact on your finances.

Negotiating means full disclosure—or giving all your financial information willingly. It means talking about assets, debt, and income. An effective plan can go a long way in preserving the standard of living you’re used to and minimizing the impact on everyone involved. Though legal rules require full disclosure, collaborative divorce is the only process where the lawyers must withdraw representation if full disclosure is not made.

A collaborative divorce can have a significant financial benefit to both parties. The more lawyers and time involved, the higher the costs, which is why collaborative divorce is the more cost-effective route. During the process, curb your spending as well. When both parties work together as best they can and hold off on large purchases, the better the outcome tends to be financially, and the better the standard of living during the divorce as well.

Best Legal Choices in Arizona

If you or your spouse are considering divorce and are concerned about the financial impact to your standard of living, talk to one of the professionals at BestLegalChoices.com. We’re here to answer your questions and help you prepare for this new chapter in your life.

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