If you’re going through a divorce, you already know it’s expensive. Some of the costs are obvious, including lawyers, separate residences, and increased child care. But there are also insidious hidden costs of divorce to keep your eye on. They are often too small to notice until they add up. For example, the loss of “family discount” plans on phone, cable, and insurance bills. Even the need for therapy for you or your kids. With good planning, however, the money shocks of divorce can be eased.
It includes things you might not count, like missing time off work to meet an attorney or go to a mediation session. And if real estate is involved, there can be extra fees involved in refinancing a mortgage, creating new deeds and title insurance, as well as other transfer costs. Also, your need for paid childcare could go up if you no longer have the ex as in-house back-up babysitter.
Retirement nest eggs are often halved, leaving each side with reduced assets heading into retirement. The splits are intended to be fair, if not necessarily equal — so the important thing is to make sure you have an accurate picture of what your spending and saving will be in retirement and before, and to plan from there.
HOW TO PREPARE
To help you get accurate figures for all your added expenses before you run aground in unexpected debt, try the following:
- Determine your budget and factor in the extra costs of living on your own
- Do a trial run of your tax return as a single individual to see what you will owe
- Try to work together with your ex to reduce legal costs, even though emotions may point you in the other direction
- Make sure your credit history is accurate and correctly reflects your personal individual credit score.