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New Laws Tend to Rule the Needs Over the Wants - Creating a Cash Flow of Needs
“It’s not how much you make, it’s how wisely you spend your money...” Whether you are going through a divorce or not, it is good practice to have a working cash flow spreadsheet in hand to have a more accurate grasp on where your money is going. In a divorce, this spreadsheet is crucial and it will serve as a trial aid to help the judge understand your needs and not be mislead to believe that what you are asking for is merely your wants.
It is well documented that post divorce life for the woman is usually financially more challenging than that for the man. There are a number of factors that lead to that general conclusion.
Three quick reasons for that start with the fact that the women will likely take on the brunt of the care taking of the children and the awarded child support equation is grossly outdated. Another factor that greatly affects women’s financial health is their professional career status. Many women have put their careers on the back burner, either completely or at least on a part time level in order to focus their attention on the family and running the home. Even those who have worked full time found themselves answering the needs of the family instead of allowing themselves to be in that “put in the extra hours to climb the corporate ladder” mode. And lastly, the finances are most often handled by the husband and he is often the one who has the relationship with their financial planner.
Women, however, should not fret. A well thought out and accurate cash flow of needs will serve them well to establishing support and then budgeting to stay on track. Then laying out a plan for spending and saving will empower them to stay financially healthy.
The “breadwinners” will also benefit from creating and keeping a working cash flow to assure them that they are only supporting the needs of the family and not the wants of an unrealistic spouse. Both sides will feel a tightening of the belt and gone are the days when the breadwinner had to keep the family in the exact lifestyle. It simply can’t happen in most cases.
Long and short, divorce is a splitting of the assets and it is hard for all involved. A goal for keeping harmony in the family or at least attempting to keep the children from feeling the strain caused by the dissolution of the marriage, is to make sure the children’s lives aren’t changed too much even at the expense of the divorcing parties doing with less.
A good financial plan for dividing the assets and setting standards for support are crucial to a smooth and less costly divorce. The more work done in preparation, the less work your attorney has to do and the more empowered you become to present your case and to move forward with your divorce.
Remember, your children are watching everything you do. Approach this change in your life with confidence in your ability to adjust and face challenges and do it with integrity and class. They will learn from this what you teach them through your actions. Grab that silver lining and keep that in the forefront of all your dealings throughout the process. Divorce should be merely an untying of the knot and not an irreparable cut in the relationship.
New Jersey is an equitable distribution state, meaning that the division of property in a divorce is to be done fairly, not necessarily equally. The court can take into consideration any factor it deems relevant when dividing property, but it must consider certain factors, such as how long the couple was married and the age and health of both spouses, the income or property brought to the marriage by each spouse, the standard of living that was achieved during the marriage, and the extent to which one spouse may have deferred career goals, among others.
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