The Divorce Strategy - Make a New Plan
A woman ending a marriage, voluntarily or involuntarily, needs to fashion a divorce strategy that includes such factors as earnings, inflation, division of property, the amount and duration of maintenance, and, yes, a reduced standard of living. Put another way, a woman facing divorce needs to think about short-term and long-term considerations. Thinking short term means the division and distribution of assets and liabilities of the dissolving marriage; thinking long-term means financial survival after the marriage is over. Ideally, divorcing spouses negotiate in good faith and fairness; in actuality, for many spouses negotiations become heated and adversarial.
Even before filing, a woman must bear in mind considerations that she may not have had during the happier times of the marriage. For example, a divorce woman must establish credit in her own name, and this entails a good credit rating. A woman can obtain her credit rating from any one of the three major credit rating organizations - Experian, TransUnion and Equifax. At the same time, setting up bank accounts in her own name is a wise idea.
Despite the liberation of women, men in many marriages still manage the money even when the wife writes the monthly checks and pays the bills. As a result, many women go into divorce at a disadvantage because they simply do not know what assets and liabilities she and her husband have.
In many marriages, the largest assets that couples divide are the marital home and the pensions. Often the husband’s pension is much larger than the wife’s because she took off time for childrearing. The division and distribution of pensions can become very complicated, and doing it incorrectly exposes the spouses to painful tax consequences.
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TENDER YEARS DOCTRINE -- The "tender years doctrine," and what was called the “maternal preference,” presupposed that the relationship between the mother and the child was more crucial to a child's development than the relationship with the father. Since the 1970s, courts have become gender-neutral about child custody but in cases of contested custody mothers generally receive physical custody of the children.
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Women's Rights Manual for Divorce
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