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Budgeting essential to obtaining a favorable divorce outcome

For many in Maryland, the primary focus within a divorce case is the division of marital wealth. This is an understandable approach because the outcome of the property division process will have lasting ramifications for both spouses. When structuring a negotiation strategy during a divorce, many spouses fail to acknowledge the importance that budgeting can have on that process.

In order to walk away with sufficient assets to maintain one's lifestyle, it is necessary to understand the costs of maintaining that lifestyle. Even more importantly, spouses must determine how their current expenses might shift following a divorce. It is undeniable that it is costlier to maintain two separate households than to provide for the upkeep of a combined living arrangement. That said, the actual cost of starting from scratch can be difficult to assess.

Spouses should begin by researching what their new housing, utility, insurance, food and transportation costs may be. It is important to include expenses such as entertainment, debt service and savings as well. Many spouses find it helpful to budget for the creation of an emergency fund.

Once those numbers are in place, Maryland spouses will have the information necessary to pursue a favorable property division settlement. In addition, taking the reins on one's own financial future can be a very empowering experience, especially for spouses who did not take an active role in the family's financial matters during the marriage. When it comes to achieving financial stability in the months and years following a divorce, the importance of budgeting cannot be overstated.

Source: marketwatch.com, "Marriage is about love; divorce is about assets", Andrew McNair, July 22, 2015

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