Setting a Budget in Preparing for Divorce

The first step in preparing for a divorce is the preparation of a budget. Making a budget is often very difficult because many people have never done it. A surprising number of people operate a household in a cash in-cash out basis: depositing paychecks in a joint and household checking account. Very often, as mentioned above, the wife may pay the bills. During the happy times of the marriage, this routine works very well.

Some couples leave management of the finances to the husband because these accounts go untouched for daily expenses.

Ideally, people prepare a divorce budget independent of any anticipated division and distribution of marital property. After the property settlement, the budget making must be done again.

The first step in making a budget is listing income and expenses and then seeing how the two balance out. This basic step regains footing and restores calm. Once both expenses and income have been calculated, a comparison of the two suggests where changes must be made.

Both the leaver and the person left must take this step. Very often in a divorce the term leaver and the person left is used both literally and figuratively. In other words, a spouse can be the leaver, yet remain in the marital home; a person can be the person left, yet be the party who moves out at the request of the other spouse. In any event, both parties, even as they may be gathering financial information, must face the fact they each is likely to incur expenses and that each now must make a budget.

When a divorce is in the offing, the wife very often faces the prospect of profound changes in her standard of life.

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