08 Jul Part 2: Can I Financially Afford to Get a Divorce?
In part one of this post, we discuss Discernment Counseling and how couples use this approach to make a decision about taking a next step to fix their marriage or choosing divorce.
Deb Daufeldt of New Chapter Solutions is an experienced Counselor who often leads couples through this process in Colorado. In her work, she often sees couples questioning whether they can afford to get a divorce, if they are willing to compromise their lifestyle as part of the decision, and whether they should stay together for financial reasons. When these conversations arise, Deb works with the team at A.M. Financial in various ways to help the couple understand what to expect on the financial side of the divorce.
In this post, we’ll share what to consider and how to plan for the financial decisions that coincide with a divorce.
Typical Financial Concerns
When a couple or individual is going through Discernment Counseling, they often identify that they have different relationships with money. In fact, one of the top three reasons individuals or couples enter counseling and/or get divorced is due to different philosophies on spending or saving money. Even if a couple decides to get divorced, these conflicts continue to exist throughout the divorce process, with varying expectations about how money should be divided and spent as attorneys draft separation agreements and parenting plans.
If a couple is considering divorce, typical financial questions that might arise include:
- Can I afford to live on my own?
- How much will my lifestyle have to change if I live on my own?
- What does the financial sacrifice look like if we choose divorce?
- Can we keep the house or buy two houses independently if we get divorced?
- Will I have to go back to work or get a different, higher-paying, job?
- How does divorce impact my retirement plans?
With the current cost of living increasing and housing becoming a greater challenge for many individuals, it’s important to understand the answers to these questions and create clear financial expectations during Discernment Counseling. This approach ensures that couples truly understand the impact of their decision to get divorced.
While finances isn’t a reason to stay together, having an accurate understanding of what post-divorce life will look like can help motivate a couple to exhaust all options to fix their marriage. Having the full picture helps a couple arrive at the decision to choose divorce with eyes wide open.
Planning & Modeling
If you have a number of money-related questions as you decide whether or not to move toward a divorce, it’s important to validate whether you can financially stand on your own two feet as part of the Discernment Counseling process.
At A.M. Financial, we work with couples or individuals who are considering a divorce to understand what their future budget looks like, how the divorce will impact their retirement, what to expect with taxes, and whether they may need to return to the workforce to support their needs and lifestyle. We can model various scenarios to help you understand what will be required to maintain certain lifestyle standards with the current and future cost of living.
Armed with this data, couples or individuals can have a clear understanding of the sacrifices they will need to make in order to exist on their own post-divorce. By visualizing this new lifestyle through detailed budgets and planning, couples can make more informed decisions about everything from the timing of their divorce to what kind of attorney they may want to hire, based on how they want to negotiate their divorce settlement—and depending on their financial goals.
If you are at a crossroads in your marriage and considering Discernment Counseling to help you arrive at a “go” or “no-go” decision, consider pairing that process with sessions that help you understand the financial considerations of your divorce. Even if you decide not to move forward with your divorce, working with Amy Mahlen, Certified Financial Divorce Analyst, can give you additional insights that can help you address any financial challenges in your marriage, especially if that is a primary source of conflict for you and your partner.
Get started with a free consultation by contacting us today.