Whether starry-eyed planning marriage, happily married, or contemplating divorce, there are some factors that can help ensure a comfortable lifestyle that you can establish now and plan to maintain for the future. In an article written by Caroline Wright, REDBOOK, five everyday principles are given that promote financial security and may save you a lot of grief should you divorce or provide stability if you remain married.
1. Explore the possibility of a prenuptial agreement. If you have or think you will have major assets or if your spouse-to-be has excessive liabilities, a prenuptial agreement may be the easiest way to hold on to your assets and avoid a future legal battle. According to a Harris Interactive poll, 49 percent thought having a prenup was a good idea with 15 percent regretting not signing one.
2. Review your lifestyle. knowing your standard of living based on your spending habits-fixed and discretionary expenses-is critical for choosing life and disability insurance as well as providing a financial basis for divorce proceedings. You can do this yourself or commission a lifestyle analysis from a financial advisor who specializes in divorce. If you do divorce, “It’s important that you try to maintain your lifestyle during divorce proceedings,” says Linda Descano, president and CEO of Citi’s Women & Co. ”Reducing your standard of living during that period may be grounds for cutting the financial support you receive in the future.”
3. Organize financial documents. Maintaining current organized records is a smart practice for day-to-day living married or divorced. In divorce proceedings, when you are able to provide your attorney with a full set of financial facts and documents, you set the stage for successful negotiations and an equitable settlement. You also save on legal fees. Have at your fingertips: bank checking and savings account statements, brokerage account statements, credit card information/statements, mortgage papers, tax returns, retirement/pension statements as well as an inventory of personal property and loans, etc. Set up a system and you will be surprised how easy it is to keep updated.
4. Have your own source of income. “According to a 2012 report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, income control gives women self-confidence and increases their voice within the family. When you aren’t financially dependent, you’re also not as emotionally dependent.” It does not matter if you are working outside of the home or a working stay-at-home mom or dad, it’s important to have your own source of income and to keep it in a separate account. Just put a small portion of your monthly income–whether it’s from a traditional job or a side business of writing or telemarketing from home or maybe even investing in the stock market–into your own personal savings account.
5. Open a bank account and credit card in your name only. Open a checking account, savings account and credit card in your name. These rainy-day funds may be invaluable should you divorce.
As a marriage partner, you need to feel secure; it is a form of love. And should your marriage end in divorce, you need to remain stable and thrive. Plan for the future and what is best for you, it’s important!!
At Stange Law Firm, PC, we offer prospective clients a free half-hour consultation to talk with an attorney about issues you face and what you can expect if you choose to work with us. Please call us in St. Louis at 314-963-4700 to schedule an appointment or visit us online at St. Louis Divorce Attorneys.
Source: What Happily-Married Women Need to Know About Divorce, Caroline Wright, REDBOOK
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