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List: Posted: 12/10/10
The financial impact of divorce can be enormous – bigger than most people expect. Not only does it cost on average $20,000 to get a divorce, but there are also financial impacts after the papers are filed and everything is final. The key to surviving a divorce financially is to make sure you’re getting your fair share without paying a lawyer your firstborn child to do it.
The first financial survival tip for someone going through a divorce is to get copies of everything. And we mean EVERYTHING. Pull your joint credit reports to make sure your spouse doesn’t have debt you don’t know about. Get copies of bank records, pay stubs, tax returns, and everything else. Even if your spouse isn’t necessarily trying to pull one over on you, paperwork has a way of getting lost during a divorce, especially if you are moving around a lot or moving house. Start that copy machine running as soon as you feel permanent separation is imminent, you won't regret it.
Next, make sure you actually shop around for a divorce lawyer. Don’t take it from a friend of a friend who the best guy in town is. You want a good balance between cost and effectiveness. Your divorce lawyer should be able to fight for your rights, but he should also be able to charge you reasonable rates. You can expect to pay between $100 and $500 an hour for a lawyer’s services, and you’re probably going to be spending a lot of time with this person.
Finally, make a budget! Many people who are going through a divorce are more concerned with sticking it to their spouses than figuring out their own futures. Don’t get stuck there! Thin ahead and make a budget for you new 'single' life if you are tempted to try to take him or her to the cleaners. Your spouse will get the best of you if you get the house and the car but then get foreclosed on because you can’t make the payments post divorce. Figure out how you’re going to live on your income as a single person, and stick to that budget after your divorce is done. The road to personal recovery will be so much easier going if you have your finances in order.
Whitbeck Cisneros McElroy PC is proud to be a successful, full service law firm with a strong focus on family law, divorce and mental health law. We provide legal services to Virginia families, individuals and businesses, helping them get the best result possible through experience, aggressiveness and compassion. Our Leesburg family law attorneys have a strong focus in family law and divorce, but also represent clients in areas such as civil litigation, criminal defense, DUI/DWI, traffic offenses, lemon law and election law.
Admitted to Practice: All Virginia Courts, Maryland Courts, District of Columbia Courts, South Carolina State Courts.
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