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Budgeting after divorce: What to consider

When you decide to get a divorce, you know that you're going to have to make some financial changes. Even if your finances stay the same, the amount of bills you'll have to cover on your own may change.

The way you divide your assets also has an impact on how much you can afford and how well you can support yourself. Here are several things to consider, so you can start to budget for life after your divorce.

1. Alimony

One of the first things to consider is if you'll have to pay alimony. If so, you may actually see a dip in your income that you have to accommodate. On the other hand, if you receive alimony, you may have more money to work with than you initially expected.

2. Child support

Another thing to consider is child support. If you will take over primary custody of your child, child support may help you care for your child by giving you extra funds for food, clothing or rent. Child support is used for many things that are in support of your child, not just for your child's specific needs. Child support payments typically continue until your child is at least 18.

3. Living arrangements

Next, think about your living arrangements. If you currently live in your marital home, will you continue to do so? If you do, can you afford the mortgage on your own along with the taxes and other upkeep it requires? If not, you may want to work out a smaller budget for a rental property or in order to purchase a less expensive home in the future. Knowing how much you need gives you a better idea about whether keeping the marital home is a good idea.

4. Job changes

Finally, think about your job. Depending on your circumstances, you may have to work less or more than you do now. It's a good idea to think about how that could impact your income and budget overall. A good rule is to plan for the worst-case scenario. For instance, if your lowest monthly income is $2,500 and the highest is $5,000, try to live within your means on a $2,500 budget.

These are just a few things to consider when you're going through a divorce. Knowing your budget helps you understand what you need to negotiate for and how your property division decisions could impact your future.

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