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The importance of budgeting during the divorce process

When it comes to managing household finances, most Louisiana spouses will find the task far different once their marriage has ended. In many cases, one spouse assumes responsibility for all financial matters during the marriage, while the other takes on a different set of tasks. Even in situations where both parties work together to manage their money, the sheer volume of changes that occur as part of a divorce will alter the financial landscape for both individuals. Addressing those changes early in the divorce process is a critical part of reaching a favorable settlement.

A good place to begin is by creating a comprehensive list of all current expenses. This should include the basics associated with housing, food and other necessities. It should also incorporate expenses that do not occur on a monthly basis, but that are unavoidable. This includes the costs of owning and maintaining a vehicle, pet care costs and home repair expenses. Be sure to think about entertainment and recreation expenses, as well.

The next step lies in crafting a post-divorce budget that covers all of the changes that will occur as a result of the split. Housing costs will almost certainly change, and it is never too soon to begin planning the details of one’s upcoming move. For many people, their monthly food expense will shift, either up or down. It is also important to think about those areas where one’s ex provided a valuable contribution to the household, such as childcare or home maintenance. It may be necessary to replace those efforts with professional help, which can be pricey.

Having a full understanding of the complete range of financial needs for the years to follow a Louisiana divorce is the best way to plan ahead. Once all of this information has been compiled and assembled, sit down and go over the details. Knowing where one needs to be in the months and years ahead is a great way to structure a property division approach. Divorce is a time of change, but proper planning can mean that the bulk of those changes are positive in nature.

Source: nerdwallet.com, “7 Ways to Ready Your Finances for Divorce“, Elizabeth Renter, May 30, 2017

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