Kathy D. Sheive Attorney at Law

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The financial transition between marriage and divorce

A marital relationship often allows two people to share a single economic burden. The end of a Florida marriage changes the wealth structure. The financial balance is altered, frequently in a negative direction, whether couples have a moderate collective net worth or are involved in a high-asset divorce.

Divorced Osceola spouses segue into separate lifestyles, and therefore, into independent financial directions. Spousal and child support decisions are made. Marital property like pensions, investments and business assets are divided according to a couple's wishes or a judge's ruling.

Spouses must begin to adapt financially to divorce even as these choices are underway. Setting and sticking to a budget, one that probably looks entirely different from any spending plan of the recent past, is essential. A budget helps you understand the money flow whether you're working with modest income or millions of dollars.

Part of that plan should include a rainy day fund, vital to a newly self-sufficient lifestyle. Emergency funds should cover a minimum of three months of living costs in case of an unforeseen financial event. A post-divorce budget also shouldn't skimp on setting money aside for retirement, even if initial savings are at a minimum.

A divorce can have a tremendous impact on an estate plan. It's likely you'll no longer want a former spouse to be a medical or financial decision maker on your behalf if you are incapacitated. Speak with an attorney about modifications you'd like to make to powers of attorney, a will or trust.

Check and revise beneficiary designations. A divorce decree does not change beneficiary choices for you -- that's an action you'll have to take with each financial institution. Also, take the time, sooner rather than later, to make sure all promises made in a property agreement have been kept.

You don't have to do this alone. Legal and financial advice can help smooth this economic transition.

Source: The Huffington Post, "7 Steps To A Better Financial Future After Divorce," Brittany Wong, June 15, 2015

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