As a parent, you were understandably concerned about how your decision to divorce might affect your kids. Such decisions have a major emotional effect on children. However, the financial implications of divorce are another factor that can affect children’s lives. Especially if you’re going to be transitioning from a dual-income household to a single-income household, your financial situation might undergo significant changes due to divorce.
If you’re one of many people who sacrificed personal careers to stay home full-time and raise a family, then you might encounter particularly difficult financial issues, especially if you’re the parent with whom the children spend the most time. The more you know about the possible financial implications of divorce, the better-equipped you might be to help your children cope with their lifestyle changes.
Are you starting over with a lot of debt in tow?
The more debt you can resolve before you finalize your divorce, the less you will carry into your new lifestyle. Property division proceedings do not merely address marital assets. The judge overseeing your case will also determine for which debts you are liable. California is a community property state — the court’s goal is to divide assets and debts acquired or incurred during marriage equally between the spouses.
Determine who will pay child-related expenses
If one of your children needs braces, goes to summer camp or has a medical emergency, will you or your ex be responsible for the expenses? You can easily incorporate such issues into the terms of your co-parenting agreement. Some parents prefer to split child-related costs equally while others assign the responsibility to one parent over the other.
Child support, alimony and other issues
The court may order a parent (often, the non-custodial one) to make regular child support payments. This is one of the most common means of providing financial support to children’s well-being after divorce. However, it’s only helpful if the assigned parent is making his or her payments on time. If your ex disregards a child support order, you have every right to bring it to the court’s immediate attention.
Daily cost of living
It’s reasonable to expect that your children should be able to continue living a financial lifestyle to which they were accustomed when you were married. While it might not be possible for things to remain exactly the same after divorce as before, you should be able to move on in life, confident that you can provide for your children’s needs.