During this step, you will be comparing 2 budgets. The first budget is based on the here and now or pre-divorce. Make notations by items that are currently covered by your spouse’s work, such as if health benefits are acquired through their employment. What bills does their salary currently cover and extra expenses including life insurance, child care and or afterschool care if you have young children, and utilities such as electric, gas, phone, food and internet.
Next, create an estimated budget that will reflect what you will need to pay post-divorce. Pre-divorce, health insurance was covered, now it is an added expense. Financial advisors will be able to assist you with getting quotes on medical insurance plans and help you become proactive with your new post-divorce budget.
By having an estimated budget set and ready to present to your attorney, you will be able to determine if the support numbers coming in will be able to cover your expenses, or if you will need to adjust your budget and way of life.
Also, it is important to understand what your post-divorce budget is going into the divorce settlement. If you are not prepared, you may settle on an amount that will not be conducive to your financial needs and it is much harder to go back and amend any divided assets post-divorce.
When you are in the divorce process, there is a lot of unknowns. It is important to look at multiple scenarios and look at possible expenses that will stress your financial situation. Try to plan accordingly and not to use credit cards to pay debt. Paying off credit card debt is much harder to pay down; do not make haste decisions regarding your financial stability.