Before you got married, you may have had a good handle on all of your finances. You knew what your car payment was, how much you paid for rent, utilities, what you spent on food and all of your other living expenses.
But after you were married, perhaps you let your family’s financials fall under your spouse’s list of responsibilities. Now that the prospect of divorce has reared its ugly head, you may be asking yourself a litany of questions relating to your own personal financial situation.
Far too many married couples come to the divorce table not having answers about their family’s finances.
While you may live happily ever after until death do you part, it’s always a good idea to know how the family’s money is being earned and spent in the event a breakup occurs.
Here is a list of things that you should remain knowledgeable about throughout your marriage:
- What does your spouse earn?
- If you have separate banking accounts (checking and savings) how much is in each of them?
- Whose names are on the accounts?
- Do you or your spouse have a retirement plan, how much are you both contributing and how much is in each?
- Are there any other investments, i.e. stocks, bonds, real estate, etc. and whose name are they in?
- Who handles these investments for you and your spouse?
- Do you and/or your spouse have life insurance, a disability policy, long-term care insurance? What happens to those policies if you divorce?
- How much is being spent monthly on your credit card(s) and are they being paid off, or is there interest being accrued? If so, how much.
- What do you spend each month on groceries, gas, utilities, etc.?
- If you have children, how much are their monthly expenses?
- How much are you paying in taxes each year?
While many spouses remain fully engaged in the family’s finances after marriage, some prefer to hand off the job because it’s either boring, too complicated or they simply had too many other things to do.
If you can’t answer the aforementioned questions, now is a good time to start getting answers to these and other questions that pertain specifically to your lifestyle. And, if you are contemplating divorce, now is also a good time to consult with a family law attorney. He or she can help you to better prepare financially today for what lies ahead.
Lori Barkus is a Florida Supreme Court Certified Circuit Civil and Family Law mediator and guardian ad litem. She handles matters relating to divorce, custody, child support, paternity, collaborative divorce, adoption, parental rights, and family law and civil mediation.
Ms. Barkus is a cum laude graduate of the University of Miami School of Law. She is admitted to practice in Florida, Georgia and the District of Columbia, as well as in the Southern and Middle Districts of Florida and the Eleventh Judicial Circuit Court of Appeals. She is also a member of Leading Women for Shared Parenting.
If you are interested in a consultation or have questions do not hesitate to contact Sustainable Family Solutions. Simply click here and send us a message and we will get right back to you.