Household Budgets And Divorce
Maintaining a household budget is common advice. A balanced budget allows you to plan for long-term expenses and keep track of your progress along the way. Plus, when people are in the beginning of their careers or after a person experiences loss of work, it can help to ensure you aren’t spending money you do not have.
Just as budgeting your income and expenses is essential to financial success when starting a marriage, having a good understanding of your household budget when ending a marriage is in your best interests. Talk to a Bucks County family attorney to learn more.
Budget History and Standard of Living
One term you will hear as you navigate the divorce process is standard of living. An established standard of living is the amount of income, services, and location that a person has become accustomed to, what economic level their daily life exists within. Naturally, there can be a dispute between spouses divorcing. One person may insist they need more financial support than the other is willing to provide.
Past and current household budgets can play a key role in demonstrating standard of living needs. Budgets can support the need for maintenance payments, child support, and additional expenses. Some are able to access financial support during the process itself, when historical records, such as household budgets, prove that one spouse needs support.
Budgets can be useful in pinpointing expenses. For instance, if children attend private school and go to a sleepaway camp each summer, those costs will be clearly outlined in past budgets. Then, the amount can be added to a support payment figure moving forward. Budgets can also bring light to situations in which it is suspected assets are being hidden. Inconsistent figures, such as income declared on tax statements not matching the amount spent over the years could be proof of hidden assets.
There Are a Variety of Budget Tools
Many budget tools exist. Some find it helpful to use an app, such as Mint or YNAB (You Need A Budget), others prefer to create their own spreadsheets. To start budgeting, you will need to document the spending habits of the family over a period of time, then a baseline of expenses and payments will become clear. Then, you can assign funds to expenses.
Discuss what data you should be collecting with a Bucks County family attorney. Organized files with a long budgetary history can be extremely helpful, but don’t be discouraged if this is not true for you. You can make progress wherever you are in the process.
Do you have historical household budgets? If you are divorcing, those budgets can help you secure the financial future you need. Talk to the family law attorneys at Kardos, Rickles & Hand to learn more. With clarity around the financial figures of your marriage, our attorneys can strategize the best path to achieving your goals. This is true whether you are seeking spousal support, child support, or a specific type of asset division. When you are ready to have a legal expert on your side, call 215-968-6602.