Note that answers given in this section
cannot take the place of a lawyer. For legal advice about your specific
situation, you must consult a qualified lawyer. See our disclaimer.
want a divorce, but I don't think I can afford it.
What do I do?"
An Article written for Divorce
Magazine by Nancy Liebman.
In order to determine if you can afford a divorce and what is the
most effective way to structure a settlement, you first need to
understand your total financial picture. Then you can look at the
goals for your life after divorce and make informed decisions.
Step one is to assemble the information necessary for a financial
inventory. This inventory will reflect family assets, liabilities,
monthly income, and expenses. For the Asset/Liability portion, you
will need to have the latest statements from your checking, savings,
brokerage, insurance, and retirement accounts. You also need to
know the approximate gross value of your home, the mortgage due,
the down payment originally paid, and the total dollar amount of
any repairs and improvements made. Your liabilities include your
mortgage, credit-card debt, school and car loans, etc. Lastly, provide
copies of your tax returns for the last three years.
To analyze your monthly expenses, go through your checks and credit-card
statements for the last calendar year. Then make adjustments for
any changes you're aware of for the future. There's computer software
available that makes it easier to change and update information.
Now we have the information necessary to look at various scenarios
and determine what you can afford to do -- and not to do. We'll
look at anticipated future growth of assets, retirement plans, and
sale of your home, and evaluate outcomes based on tax liability
as well a meeting income objectives.
Remember, it is a financial planner's objective to help you successfully
navigate the financial maze of divorce and to help you construct
financial strategies that will best secure your future.
© 2011 Liebman Associates, Inc.
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Financial Planning offered through Liebman Associates, Inc.
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