Finally getting your divorce decree is a relief. But believe it or not, many divorcees suddenly find themselves confronting surprise challenges. Maybe they immediately start arguing with their ex, or they have expenses they hadn’t even planned for. The promise of a new beginning suddenly turns into a nightmare.
Helpfully, there are ways to proactively avoid some of the most common problems. With a little planning, you can preempt some of the most common post-divorce issues with the help of our Galveston county family law attorney.
You and Your Ex Argue about Transportation Expenses
Co-parenting comes with challenges, one of which is transportation. If you and your ex live far apart, then transportation could cost hundreds of dollars each week. Many exes end up complaining about who should pay for transportation.
Be Proactive: You can avoid disputes by including in your parenting plan a discussion of who will pay for transportation costs. The simplest thing to do is have each parent pay for their own costs. But one parent might do all the transportation, in which case you can agree to split the costs 50/50 or some other percentage.
Your Ex Wants Braces for the Children
Increasingly, parents get their children into braces before they are teens. The quest for a perfect smile isn’t cost-free, though, with parents paying upwards of $10,000 for orthodontic work. Braces are usually for cosmetic reasons, but some children need their teeth straightened for oral health. Many parents balk at having to contribute thousands of dollars to straighten out a smile. After all, your children can wait until they are adults and then pay for their own braces.
Be Proactive: Address this in your child custody order. You can identify whether each parent will pay for braces.
A Creditor Sues You for Non-Payment
This is a common situation. Although couples divide debts, a creditor still has a right to sue whoever signed for the debt. For example, you might have taken out a personal loan with your ex for $15,000. In the divorce, he gets the entire debt assigned to him. Nonetheless, your name is still on the loan, so the creditor can sue you, possibly tanking your credit.
Be Proactive: Try to get your spouse to refinance any loan into his or her own name. Alternatively, they might use a balance transfer onto one of their credit cards. In this way, you get your name off the debt and avoid any lawsuit or collection action.
Your Home Needs Major Repairs
Every home needs work at some point. Experts recommend a new roof every 20 years, which can cost at least $15,000. Other repairs include a new boiler, appliances, and sometimes wiring. You could end up paying thousands of dollars to keep your home in decent shape, which reduces the amount of money you have following divorce. Is there anything you can do?
Be Proactive: One option is to sell your home after divorce or not even ask for the property. If you don’t have young children, you might find it more useful to immediately begin renting. That way you are not responsible for major repairs when money is tight. Alternatively, you could work with your lawyer to estimate the costs of home maintenance and request an amount in the divorce to cover that. Or you might get alimony which could also defray the costs of home repair.
You Can’t Retire as Planned
It’s easier for married people to retire. They can rely on each other’s income and pool resources. Those who are newly single often find that it’s much more expensive to live. Unsurprisingly, some carefully laid retirement plans get upended.
Be Proactive: You should always discuss financial goals with your divorce lawyer and consider all options for boosting income. For example, you might claim Social Security benefits off your ex-spouse’s work history, or you could ask for a portion of your ex’s retirement accounts. Alimony is another option for boosting your income.
You Never See Your Children
Many parents suddenly realize that their parenting plan doesn’t work for them. They might have agreed to a plan without giving it sufficient thought, or their lives suddenly changed once they were single. It isn’t unusual for people to suddenly change jobs once they divorce.
Be Proactive: An attorney can help you think through the details of a custody agreement. If your life suddenly changes, a lawyer can also request a modification of custody.
Call Our Family Lawyer for Help
Tad Nelson and Associates is ready to help in any way we can. Call for a consultation with our Galveston County family lawyers today!