As a woman, going through a divorce can be one of the hardest things you’ll have to go through in your lifetime. Especially if you have kids and have dedicated yourself to the family life, giving up your chance to have a career in order to take care of your children. The emotional toll, added to the stress of financial pressure that you are probably in, can seem overwhelming but there are a number of things you need to consider. Most importantly, you need to keep your children in mind. You want to make sure that, whatever the outcome, you are offering them the best chance to move ahead with a healthy life.
Consider these five things to make sure you maximize the child support and spousal support you receive:
- You are entitled to child support and, in many cases, spousal support. Child support is mandatory depending on the husband’s income, your income and time each party shares with the children. Alimony (call spousal support in California) is also paid where the wife has no income or earns much less than the husband. You should be aiming to at least get enough support so that you and your children can maintain the lifestyle level you had while you were still married.
- Be aware of his financial situation. If it changes for the better, and the support you have been receiving is inadequate, you could file a motion for the court to increase the amount you receive.
- Work in detail on an accurate budget. Take a few days, weeks if possible, to sit down and think about every single expense you incur each month. You can breakdown items that you pay once or twice per year into monthly increments. Since we are all busy, it is easy to forget a number of expenses which impact your budget. By accounting for all reasonable monthly expenses, you will be able to justify receiving the maximum amount of spousal support that will cover all of your expenses and not just part of them.
- Avoid being emotional. This is not easy as divorce certainly has an emotional content. In many cases, you feel hurt, betrayed and angry. Don’t let these emotions cloud your ability to come to a settlement in your divorce. You have to be realistic about what is you can and cannot receive in the division of community property. The things you shared together are now going to be divided. Make sure you are getting what you need and not just the flashy things or those you feel emotionally connected to. A house on the beach might not be worth much if you find yourself without a house in the city where you can actually live with your kids. Prioritize.
- Consider your husband’s eligibility for social security benefits. Social security payments may see irrelevant now, but the time will come when they are important. What your receive when you reach retirement age is determined by many factors. The government allows you to have social security based on your ex-husband’s earnings if you have been married over ten (10) years. Keep this in mind.
A negotiated settlement is always preferred over litigation, and much less costly. A good attorney can help you through the mediation process. Having a good communication channel with your soon to be former-husband will mean that things can be settled much more easily than having to fight over everything.
Garry J. Bowman is a Family Law expert with over 40 years in the market. He is aware of how tough it can be for a woman to get out of an unhealthy marriage and understands the financial implications it brings. With his expertise, he can offer you a set of options and can represent you in order to assure that you end up getting the most out of the divorce. Find out more about his at www.gbowmanlaw.com or call him for a free telephone consultation at (619) 426-7550. You will be glad you did.