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Assessing post-divorce budget important early in divorce

Earlier this month we discussed that assessing one’s assets and debts is a good thing to do when considering filing for divorce. The idea can be important in preparing for negotiating issues surrounding property division. It is also important for Missouri residents (or people from anywhere for that matter who may follow our blog) to understand that budget concerns should be looked at when preparing for divorce.

When a marriage breaks down, it can be a very emotional time for the parties involved. But, a person may see changes in finances both during and after the divorce, and gaining a clear understanding about finances (in assessing assets and debts) can be important in setting a budget and making adjustments that may be necessary throughout and after the legal process is complete.

Issues such as spousal support (commonly referred to as alimony) may come up when one spouse makes significantly less than the other (or has no income at all). Courts may have broad discretion in determining spousal support issues. But, it is important to take into account what options may be available to gain a clear picture about what may be the most beneficial road to follow into the future.

Missouri law does not really have a one-size-fits-all form of spousal support. Payments may be ordered on a limited-term basis, providing a kind of bridge after the marriage is dissolved until the recipient of the support is expected to become independently responsible for his or her own financial security.

There may be situations where the family court will order support in what is known as an open-ended fashion—the support would continue on an open –ended basis unless the former spouse receiving the payments should remarry.

But, the idea of financial security also encompasses the concept of the individual’s needs. Spending habits may change significantly after a divorce, as one household budget essentially becomes two. A person may desire to change paths somewhat through new educational opportunities after a divorce to be able to pursue new options.

An assessment of assets may be an important step, but assessing the budget into the future as a single person can be beneficial even before opening negotiations or proceedings in family court.

Source: Fox Business, “How to Financially Readjust for Post-Divorce Life," Andrea Murad, Aug. 2, 2013

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