A divorce can create havoc both emotionally and financially. One household is split, and the income that once supported that one home now has to support two. Add to that attorney’s fees, divided assets, credit issues, and other financial road bumps… Parties may have to get creative about allocating income and budgeting. Below are suggestions to help ease the financial transition. Be sure to discuss these suggestions with an experienced family law lawyer before trying any of them. (These can also work generally for anyone looking to trim their budget.)
- Garage sale. Consider selling furnishings and personal items of value.
- Sell larger assets. Selling luxury items, real estate, or vehicles can not only bring you cash but can also eliminate financing or lease payments.
- Reduce spending. Groceries, eating out, entertainment, and personal grooming (think: nail salon, massages at the spa) may be the easiest things to cut back on. You may have to make some serious sacrifices and get lean for a while.
- Ask if you can work extra hours at your job, or find a second job part-time. If you have kids, chances are you will be splitting time with your soon to be ex, so that may be an opportunity for extra work. And if you find it hard to juggle the extra work and kids, remember, it’s temporary. Worried about the extra income being calculated into child support? Talk to an experienced family law attorney. But odds are that you will earn more than what the extra support comes out to be.
- Credit cards. Normally, you should be careful about taking on extra debt. But during a divorce, credit cards may be the only option. You can pay your divorce lawyer fees, medical expenses, and most household expenses. It can also be a good way to consolidate all your bills so that they are automatically paid with the card, and all you have to do is send one monthly payment to pay off the card.
- Transfer balances. And speaking of credit cards…consider transferring your card balances to a lower interest bearing card. Or talk to your current credit card company to see what they can do to lower rates and minimum payments or waive fees for a while. Note: you may need to transfer balances anyway depending on how joint credit cards will be split in the divorce.
- Got loans? Ask the creditor if you can defer or forebear loan payments. Some creditors will allow you to defer them if you are in school, disabled, or unemployed.
- Get a room…mate. Finding someone to live with you while contributing financially to the household can be a big relief. Just beware that your soon to be ex may not like a stranger or a paramour around the kids.
These can be good ways to dramatically improve your finances. But you should ALWAYS consult with an experienced divorce lawyer who can advise you about the consequences of each action and whether or not you can even do these things during your divorce.
Alexandra Geczi is an experienced divorce and family law attorney in the Dallas and Fort Worth area. Her practice is dedicated exclusively to family law, with a focus in Dallas county (Dallas, Richardson, North Dallas, Addison), Collin county (Plano, McKinney, Allen, Frisco, Murphy), Denton county (Little Elm, Trophy Club, Flower Mound), Tarrant county (Southlake, Westlake, Bedford, Grapevine), Rockwall county, and other surrounding North Texas counties.
Learn more about Alexandra Geczi PLLC | Family Law at www.FamilyLawDFW.com.