You're about to settle your divorce and you're certain you thought of everything, right?
You remembered to include the San Francisco 49er season tickets and your spouse's coin collection in your tally of assets. But did your lawyer discuss with you these financial consequences of divorce?
1) You will lose your health insurance. Once the divorce is final and you're no longer a dependent, your spouse is no longer legally able to carry you on his policy because you have ceased to be a dependent. As such, be sure to include this additional cost in your calculation for spousal support. By the way, your children can still receive coverage.
2) You may be entitled to Social Security benefits. If you were married for more than 10 years, are at least 62 years of age, and if you weren't the "breadwinner" during your marriage, you may be entitled to receive Social Security derivative benefits. Talk to your lawyer about this.
3) The courts want you to become economically self-sufficient. Even if you are awarded spousal support, you still need to make "reasonable" attempts at finding employment. This law also applies to spouses with small children.
4) Did you know that you have to pay taxes on any spousal support you receive? It's often best to pay estimated taxes quarterly but if you prefer, be certain to save enough money to pay these taxes in April.
5) You're happy because you were awarded the house. Did you know that whoever wins the family home will be responsible for property taxes on the house and capital gain taxes when the home is sold? Make sure that you can afford to own the house before fighting for it.
There's no question that divorce is financially stressful. On average, divorced individuals need up to a 30 percent increase in income just to maintain their prior standard of living. Before you finalize your divorce, think carefully about all of the financial consequences and discuss them with your lawyer.
Do you have questions about your divorce, children's issues, or spousal support? If so, call me or schedule a consultation with the Law Offices of James V. Sansone at 707-623-1875 or contact me by email. You can find additional information on family law, children's issues, spousal support, domestic violence as well as a list of resources you'll find helpful on our website.