For many facing divorce, a common concern is the disruption of financial security during the divorce process. This issue can be especially frightening and overwhelming when a stay-at-home parent, a financially dependent spouse, or a disabled spouse is facing divorce.
Here are some of the concerns I hear from spouses facing divorce who fear significant financial challenges:
- “My spouse earns much more than I do. How will I support myself and my children on my income alone while I am going through divorce?”
- “My spouse has complete control of the household finances. I have no money to pay a divorce attorney.”
- “My spouse is threatening to take away my children if I file for divorce since s/he makes most of the income.”
- “I have cared for our children and our home for many years and do not have a job. I need help acquiring skills so I can get work after the divorce.”
Many individuals facing these and similar circumstances are so concerned about finances, they are paralyzed with fear and unable to take action. I have counseled many such clients, and I cannot stress this enough: there are solutions to these and other such concerns. It is very possible for a couple to maintain financial stability during the divorce process.
While the divorce is pending and agreements are being worked out, most couples should consider setting up temporary orders and/or support. This will protect their assets and credit during the divorce process. Whatever the situation, either spouse can ask for a temporary support hearing at the time the divorce is filed or shortly thereafter.
Temporary orders can create a status quo while the divorce is pending, as well as preserve property until the final settlement. They can cover:
- Who stays in the family home
- Primary child custody and visitation schedules
- Possession of large assets, such as the family car
- Health insurance and medical expenses
- Who is financially responsible for the mortgage payment, utilities, car payments, etc.
- Preventing either spouse from selling large or valuable assets during divorce proceedings.
These orders also set rules restraining any inappropriate conduct by divorcing spouses.
In my experience, couples can often agree upon reasonable, temporary financial arrangements through their attorneys that will tide them over until the divorce is final. One attorney can draft a Temporary Orders document that outlines all the financial details agreed on. This document is then signed by each spouse and filed with the court. Agreeing on temporary orders at this stage moves the process along, alleviates fears, and avoids incurring additional legal fees from going to court. If the couple cannot agree on such arrangements, a lawyer can assist their client through mediation and help file Temporary Orders that will serve both spouses and any children they may have.
As far as paying attorney’s fees, many lawyers today accept credit cards from clients going through divorce. This is an option to consider if couples do not have the cash reserves available to finance the divorce. This also may be a good solution for couples wanting to preserve what cash reserves they have to pay for unexpected expenses during the divorce process.
The first step to securing your finances during the divorce process is to find a family law attorney who is experienced in divorce and can assist you with these and other concerns you may have. The Law Office of Sam M. “Trey” Yates, III, P.C. is here to make a challenging process easier. For more information, contact us for a consultation today.
Sam M. “Trey” Yates, III is a Houston-based Board Certified Family Law Attorney and creator of The Guide to Good Divorce℠ seminars for women. If you have questions about your Texas divorce, please contact The Law Office of Sam M. “Trey” Yates, III, P.C. for a consultation. If you would like more information about Trey Yates’ 2021 The Guide to Good Divorce℠ seminars, please visit www.GuideToGoodDivorce.com or call 713.742.6606.