Are you considering getting divorced? Divorce can change your life in dramatic and unexpected ways. Before you file divorce paperwork, it can be helpful to plan ahead for the new challenges that single life can bring. Living expenses when you are single can be higher than living expenses when you are in a relationship. Caring for children alone can bring new challenges, and divorce can throw a wrench into your retirement plans. Then, there are the actual costs of divorce itself—filing for divorce, paying for a divorce attorney, and the expenses of child support and alimony must all be taken into account. Here are some things you might want to consider if you are planning to file for divorce.
- Think About Finances As a Single Person. Single living is more expensive than living as a couple, even if you plan to scale down, live smaller, and cut costs. You alone will be responsible for the rent, for the cost of electricity, for the phone (goodbye family plan, unless you’ll be paying for the children’s plan), and for insurance on your own. Sometimes we underestimate the fact that having a partner can help us tackle some of the unexpected expenses that life can throw our way. Food can also be more expensive, because families can often save when they buy in bulk. If you are thinking about getting divorced, consider researching the cost of apartments in your area (or where you plan to live). Consider the average cost of groceries and other expenses. This can help you plan ahead. Filing single for your taxes rather than filing jointly can also result in raised taxes. The cost of insurance may also increase if you are going it alone. Little things, like the unexpected costs of no longer carpooling everywhere can add up.
- Think About Divorce Expenses. You may also need to take into account the actual cost of your divorce. Filing for divorce costs money, as do legal fees. But there are other costs as well. Will you be expected to pay alimony or spousal support? Will you need to pay child support? These are all expenses that should be considered. The Aikin Family Law Group are divorce lawyers in Orlando, Florida who can review your case and help you estimate your legal fees. Talk to us today to learn more.
- Think About Child Care Costs. Will you be seeking sole custody of your children? Even if you will share parenting time with your children, two parents raising children apart may occasionally need to think about childcare, daycare, babysitters, or nannies, especially if you each will be single parents supporting your own households. Do some research into the cost of child care in your area. This should be factored into your post-divorce expenses.
- Retirement Plans. If you are dividing a retirement account, or if you need to sell your home when you are getting divorced, this can change your retirement plan. You may want to sit down with a financial planner to discuss how divorce might impact your retirement plan. When dividing retirement accounts, it is also important to do this properly, because there can be tax implications for withdrawing money from certain retirement accounts. If you are getting divorced, you may need to work for more years before you can retire. Or, you may need to speak to your financial advisor to put another plan in place. The time to think about this is now, before you file for divorce.
- Consider Your Credit. Do you have credit cards in your own name? Have you established a credit history in your own name? If you haven’t, now might be the time to start. Living single life without a line of credit can be hard. If you share debts with your partner, you’ll also need to consider how these debts will be divided during your divorce. By and large the biggest expense will likely be your home. Will you sell? Will one person keep the house? This must be considered.
These are just some of the things you might need to consider as you plan for divorce. While you might immediately want to think about how much your divorce might cost in legal fees, filing fees, alimony, and child support, these expenses are just the beginning. Other costs, include the added expenses of single life. The Aikin Family Law Group is a divorce law firm in Orlando, Florida that can assist you with asking some of these tough questions as you plan for divorce. Before you file, it can be helpful to have a plan in place. The Aikin Family Law Group may be able to help you with that plan. Reach out to our attorneys today. USAttorneys.com can also connect you with one of our lawyers.