One of the many benefits of having a mediated divorce rather than a litigated one is that it’s less costly. However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t expenses. Even though you’ll likely split the mediation fee with your spouse, you may need or want to consult with financial, legal and other professionals as you negotiate your agreements.
As you’re considering divorce or preparing for the process to get underway, it’s wise to get into saving mode. You’ll be living as a single person, or maybe a single parent, soon –- if you’re not already. That means you won’t be splitting the cost of housing, utilities, food and myriad other expenses with your spouse.
Make sure you have access to money
It’s not just a matter of having enough money. It’s making sure that you can access it. If you and your spouse can agree on mediation, they’re probably not likely to withdraw all the money from your joint checking account or max out the credit cards.
Nonetheless, the sooner you can start separating your finances, the more prepared you’ll be to start building your new life. If you don’t already have a bank account and credit card in your own name, now’s the time to get them.
Create a new budget
This is where working with a financial advisor or even a certified divorce financial analyst (CDFA) from the beginning can help you. If you weren’t the one in the marriage to manage the family finances, determining how much you will need to live on each month can be particularly challenging.
A financial professional can also help you determine the advisability of seeking specific assets over others as you and your spouse divide property. Your financial pro can also assist you in getting the documents you’ll need as you work through your financial agreements with your spouse. In addition to a CDFA, you can also consult with your own attorney throughout the mediation process.
The more confident you feel about your ability to manage your finances as you begin mediation, the more likely you’ll be to stand up for what you need and deserve.