Robert G. Smith, PLLC

Managing finances before and after divorce

Balancing the budget for a New York household can be challenging, but after a divorce, the use of divided assets to manage a single lifestyle can become even more difficult and costly. Although many individuals wait until a divorce is finalized to begin planning financially for the future, the ideal time to begin preparations is actually before starting divorce proceedings.

After the divorce of a high profile couple, one's future life may not be quite as restricted, but in many cases, an individual may need to think about downsizing to avoid serious financial pitfalls. Some parents, for example, might choose to keep family homes to provide emotional stability for their children, but if maintaining such a home becomes a source of financial difficulty, it is better to sell it in favor of a smaller and more affordable property. Even those dealing with high asset scenarios may need to change their expectations to compensate for fewer available resources after a divorce.

It may be necessary to regroup from a professional standpoint, especially for a spouse who has stayed at home to raise children for a lengthy period. Alimony may be available to such an individual, and this amount should be budgeted to address tax burdens and personal needs, including retraining for new employment opportunities. A thorough review of one's financial status prior to and after the divorce will make it easier to identify areas that may require adjustment. It may also be important to compare household expenditures from the past to one's anticipated costs in the future.

Because New York is an equitable distribution state, it may be important for a client to have a lawyer analyze household finances prior to starting the divorce process. This may allow for planning related to housing and other needs as joint and personal assets are identified.

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Robert G. Smith, PLLC
950 Third Ave., 11th Floor
New York, NY 10022

Phone: 212-499-0940
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