Photo: poochynooch / cake central
Parting is such sweet sorrow, and divorce can spell tragedy for your wallet.With the divorce industry raking in $28 billion a year and each divorce averaging around $20,000, according to maritalstatus.com, you would do well to time your split before legally saying “I don’t” to your spouse.
Short-term, you face emotional stress, court and attorneys’ fees; long-term, you could bear the burden of an irreparably damaged credit score and downgraded lifestyle.
If you’re bent on calling it quits, here are the five best times to do it:
When the real estate market isn’t tanking. A seller’s market ensures you can quickly offload the house without having to deal with the mortgage, or risk falling behind in payments, which could damage your credit for years. What’s more, this would help you get the most money from the sale to help offset the cost of attorneys.
As we’ve reported before, onerous mortgage payments and a glut of foreclosed homes have made it difficult for spouses to part ways and take their kids.
When you have zero credit debt. Taking on extra legal costs is no time to stretch out your credit line. Before you file papers, you should have a clear picture of where your finances are headed, including all joint and individual debts, explains Stacy Johnson, a personal finance expert, on MoneyTalksNews.
When your kids are headed to college. Think about it: Most courts aren’t granting custodial parents permission to relocate their children, and the costs of raising a child are exorbitant right now. There is never a good time to say goodbye, particularly when kids are involved, but factoring in child support, relocation costs, and other payments, makes good financial sense, says Johnson.
When you have a spotless credit score. Why put your score through the grinder while your settlement hangs in limbo? You’ll need decent credit to weather the hard times ahead, whether that means locking down a temporary apartment to rent, leasing a car (since your spouse kept the clunker), or moving on to a permanent house of your own.
Before you inherit a windfall. If you live in a community state, says Johnson, any money Grandma leaves behind will be yours and your legally-bound partner’s. You might be forced to divvy these assets in court, which you’ll likely need after the settlement. Try to arrange to receive this windfall after your divorce has been finalised.