What scares people most about divorce? Their money.
Finances rank as a leading cause of divorce. Finances also rank as the leading fear in divorce.
Inability to talk about money. Differing attitudes toward money. The power of money in a relationship. When couples can’t discuss these, their relationship suffers. And, often crumbles.
Ironically, divorcing couples must engage in the very discussions that overwhelmed their marriage. They must:
- agree on how to use assets to create two viable households.
- resolve outstanding debts.
- create monthly budgets to establish foundations for maintenance or child support.
If you are considering divorce but cringe at the thought of working through the money–consider the following.
The fear is normal
Americans generally don’t talk about money, not even with their spouse. So, concrete discussions about financial decisions scare many.
Money is powerful.
Money is private.
Money is confusing.
Most people don’t even know where to begin.
Still worse, a rising number of Americans have monthly bills automatically deducted from accounts or paid by credit card. Translation: they have no idea how much they spend or on what.
Facing these unknowns creates confusion and fear.
Mediation offers you the opportunity to identify your money patterns and spending priorities. More, mediators listen to your fears and help you understand your options.
This deepening understanding builds a foundation that moves you forward. Many feel they are the only people who struggle with money issues. The complexity and the fear are normal. Mediation will help you get beyond paralyzed to purposeful.
Budgets create clarity
Nothing clarifies the financial picture like a black and white set of numbers. Spending patterns emerge. Priorities become clear. Opportunities to make intentional decisions open.
As couples consider how to support two households, meet children’s needs, and divide assets, hard numbers have a way of clearly defining viable options and necessary choices.
If needed, the mediator can guide you as you prepare a budget. This budget helps you understand your present reality. Many believe they will just split everything 50/50. That this defines “fair.”
Often 50/50 isn’t fair and doesn’t work. The budget helps you see all your options and choose those that work best for your future.
You should seek expert help
Many cringe at the cost of hiring mediators, attorneys, or financial planners for their divorce. Yet, the cost of going it alone runs much higher.
Property decisions, once filed with the court, cannot be altered (unless both parties agree).
So, the person who (to make the process go smoothly) forgoes an interest in the retirement benefit their spouse built during the marriage can never access that money again. Even if a debilitating illness hits.
A spouse who agrees to contractual maintenance cannot escape the obligation, even if they lose their job. Even if they file bankruptcy.
As we often say at The Resolution Center, “Couples don’t know what they don’t know.” We help you avoid making decisions that compromise your financial options or your financial future.
More importantly, we offer strategies that stretch your resources to ensure financial viability for both households. Options include:
- utilizing long-term assets to ease short-term cash-flow deficits,
- renegotiating debt payments to ease financial strain, and
- utilizing tax options to help fund some of the payments between spouses.
In short, we help ensure that you understand your current finances, your options for moving forward, and the costs and benefits of each option. You are then poised to make the best decisions for your financial future.
Though financial issues often cause divorce, mediation can put couples on the right track for life after divorce. You create a path that moves you into a secure life.
If you are contemplating divorce and would like help, call 317-344-9740 or email info@TheResolutionCenterIndy.com for information. We are here to serve you.