Yes, divorce is a very stressful time. You now have to split everything you built together. Because of this, you’ll likely have many questions
Some of these questions may include:
Who keeps the house?
How will our financial assets be separated?
To which assets am I entitled?
Are the property and assets I accumulated before marriage mine to keep?
Well, those answers will depend on Georgia’s divorce laws. Georgia is an equitable distribution state, which means that property and assets accumulated during marriage are split based upon the state’s determination. Equitable distribution does not mean automatically mean a 50/50 split. Each divorce will have a unique outcome.
As for the property you brought into the marriage, that’s safe and would not fall subject to division.
You may think you are in a worse financial situation, but not so fast. Yes, there is almost a certainty that you will have a smaller bank account, but remember that before, two incomes (if you both worked) was supporting that bank account. Now you only have to worry about you and your children’s well-being, if you have children. And if you have kids, a good chunk of their support will be provided by your ex’s monthly child support payment.
Wait, there’s more?
There are also four lesser-realized financial benefits of divorce, including:
No more fights over money: From now on, you, and only you call the financial shots. You control your budget and can say goodbye to bickering with your spouse about whether or not to spend this dollar or that dollar. If you’ve always wanted to save, save. If you’ve always desired to go on a “treat yourself” weekend, and feel you can pull it off, go for it.
Early access to a penalty-free retirement fund: Have you heard or a qualified domestic relations order? Upon divorce, this agreement would allow you to take some money out of a retirement account without being hit by a 10% penalty. While this may seem enticing, it would be wise to speak first with a divorce attorney or financial planner about your options.
Opportunity to diversify your investment portfolio: Has your spouse always controlled your investments? Have you thought for years that their investments were too aggressive? Do you feel that you would benefit from higher returns in the long run if you had more input? Well, now is your chance.
Social Security benefits (for older divorcees): Are you 62 or older and been married for at least 10 years? If so, you need to know about Social Security spousal benefits that would entitle you to half of your spouse’s benefits while letting yours grow until age 70.
In many ways, divorce turns lives upside down. But the benefits can be fruitful if managed correctly. Take time to focus on your financial desires after divorce. Remember, you are now in control.