Best Time To Divorce

Best Time To Divorce - Timing is Everything

Divorce does not happen overnight. Just as you don’t jump into marriage to make it right, getting out of it should also be a well-thought-out move. 

 

Because divorce is a long and detailed process that may take months or even longer, it’s important to take steps to lessen its emotional and financial impact on both partners and the family. 

 

When it comes to divorce and when to do it, timing is everything.

When is the Best Time to Divorce from an Emotional Standpoint?

January has recently become known as “Divorce Month”.  Often because people are reluctant to rock the boat during the holidays, they put off filing for divorce until January. Some attribute the spike in January divorce figures to holiday stress which can put even more pressure on an already faltering marriage. 

 

A recent study based on data gathered between 2001 to 2015 seems to affirm this. The period between January to March shows a spike of 33% in the number of divorce filings.

From an emotional standpoint, filing early in the year does make sense and it may be the best time to divorce. Barring any major problems that can derail the process, it’s possible that a divorce may get wrapped up during the summer. 

 

While there will never be a good time to divorce, finalizing a divorce before the start of a new school year gives you and your children time to adjust to the new normal.

A divorce during the school year can be disruptive, especially if it involves making a move to a new home and possibly new schools. This can be stressful for both ex-spouses and extra traumatic for the kids. 

 

Imagine your kids leaving friends they have in their old school and transferring to one where they may not know anybody. Add to it the stress of the divorce, and this can be emotionally scarring. 

 

When is the Best Time to Divorce from a Financial Standpoint?

If divorce is inevitable despite your best efforts, there are certain steps you can take to be in the best financial situation possible. Here are situations that can give you better possible financial outcomes.

 

When There’s Minimal Credit Card Debt

As a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst®, I would advise you to assemble your financial documents so you have a complete picture of your household finances. Doing so will not only give you an idea of how much in assets you jointly own with your spouse, it will also outline all debts. 

 

In California, this is important because it is a community property state where property and debt acquired during the marriage are considered owned by each spouse equally. If your spouse has accumulated credit card debt during the marriage, you are both legally responsible for this debt. If one of you defaults, the other spouse will bear the financial burden.

If you are contemplating divorce, timing it when your credit card debt is at manageable levels is a wise financial move. Sharing a smaller debt burden can put you in a better financial position. This would be the best time to divorce. 

 

When Your Credit Score is Good

A divorce can land a serious blow to your credit score. This can happen as bills are missed while the settlement is not yet finalized. 

 

When your credit score is good, this makes it easier to find a new home to rent or to own. This also makes it easier to purchase another car if your ex gets the car during the settlement. If possible, consider waiting before filing for divorce to give yourselves time to boost your credit score.  

 

If you are planning to file a divorce, you will be in a better financial position if you plan ahead. Establish your own credit and open up your own bank accounts. Such moves lay the foundation for a more secure financial future and create a better time for divorce.

 

My suggestion as a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst? 

 

  • Obtain a credit card and open checking and savings accounts under your own name.

 

  • Obtain a copy of your credit report. Correct any errors it may contain.

 

  • Seek professional advice on how you can boost your credit score. 

 

When the Real Estate Market Favors Sellers

While some people will want to hold on to the family home for sentimental reasons during the divorce, it is often more logical to sell the house and split the proceeds to afford smaller and separate homes for each partner. 

 

For a scenario like this, the best time to divorce is if it’s a seller’s market. This means you and your spouse can maximize the proceeds you get from the sale of your home. This can give you enough to pay off the mortgage and divide any equity left over with your spouse. 

 

On the other hand, if the real estate market is in a slump, you may agree to have one of you get the house as part of the settlement. However, the spouse who will continue living in the property may prefer to divorce during a weak real estate market.  

The settlement will still be 50/50, but if the value of the house is down, the equity will also be down, and that is less you will have to give up in other areas, such as retirement or cash.

When You’re Expecting Extra Income or Assets

In a case like this, it is better for the spouse who is anticipating a bonus, or raise to have the divorce finalized before coming into receipt of these extra monies. Under California community property laws, any income or assets that you receive after the divorce is finalized will likely remain under your name.

 

When the Children are Older and in High School

When there are minor children involved, divorce becomes more complicated as there are more arguments that relate to child custody and child support. The parent who pays child support may be required to do so for many more years.

 

When a divorce occurs and the children are older, child support may only have to be paid for a couple of years. Obligation stops as soon as the kids reach the legal age of eighteen, or high school graduation. 

 

As the children move on to college, college costs are not a requirement of child support.  Parents should help their children, but that frequently does not occur.

However, there may be opportunities for your children to get more financial aid being part of a divorced family.  Smaller assets and lower income may help your children qualify for student loans or grants that may not have otherwise been open to them if they were still part of an intact family. These programs only consider the income information of the custodial parent to determine eligibility for financial aid. 

 

The Best Time To Divorce: I Can Help

 

If you are contemplating a divorce or are in the middle of one, I am here to help! I can give you valuable guidance on financial decisions you make during the divorce process, so you emerge financially stronger and better empowered to tackle the next chapter of your life. 

 

Call today to have your questions answered at (907) 347-3860

Tags: best time to divorce, when to divorce, how to have a smart divorce, when should I divorce, smartest way to divorce

This information is not intended to be a substitute for seeking legal advice from an attorney. For legal or tax advice please seek the services of a qualified attorney and/or qualified tax professional.

Let's Talk About Your Divorce 
Call Me Now For A Free Consult

Gaining Financial Empowerment Now...

And For The Future

Kimberly Surber

Certified Divorce Financial Analyst®

Serving Riverside County, San Diego County

DISCLOSURE

Kimberly Surber is a Certified Financial Planner®  and a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst®; however such registration does not imply a certain level of skill or training and no inference to the contrary should be made. Information presented is for informational purposes only, does not intend to make an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of any securities, and should not be considered investment advice.  Kimberly Surber has not taken into account the investment objectives, financial situation or particular needs of any individual investor. There is a risk of loss from an investment in securities, including the risk of loss of principal. Different types of investments involve varying degrees of risk, and there can be no assurance that any specific investment will be profitable or suitable for a particular investor's financial situation or risk tolerance. Asset allocation and portfolio diversification cannot assure or guarantee better performance and cannot eliminate the risk of investment losses. Be sure to first consult with a qualified financial advisor and/or tax professional before implementing any strategy discussed here. Past performance is not indicative of future results. Investments involve risk, including loss of principal and unless otherwise stated, are not guaranteed. Information provided reflects Kimberly Surber's views as of certain time periods, such views are subject to change at any point without notice. For a copy of our Privacy Policy, see below.

Kimberly Surber provides informational articles not intended to be used as the sole basis for financial decisions, nor should it be construed as advice designed to meet the particular needs of an individual's situation. Kimberly Surber is not responsible for the consequences of any decisions or actions taken as a result of information provided in these articles and does not warrant or guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the information requested or displayed. External Links are not affiliated with Kimberly Surber.

The Women’s Choice Award Financial Advisor program was created by WomenCertified Inc., the Voice of Women, in an effort to help women make smart financial choices. The program is based on 17 objective criteria associated with providing quality service to women clients such as credentials, experience and a favorable regulatory history, among other factors. Financial advisors do not pay a fee to be considered or placed on the final list of Women’s Choice Award® Financial Advisors, though they may have paid a basic program fee to cover the cost of a client survey through Advisor Impact. The inclusion of a financial advisor within the Women’s Choice Award Financial Advisor network should not be construed as an endorsement of the financial advisor by WomenCertified or its partners and affiliates and is no guarantee as to future investment success. Women’s Choice Award® Financial Advisors and Firms represent less than 1% of financial advisors in the U.S. As of February 2016, of the 783 considered for the Women’s Choice Award, 122 were named Women’s Choice Award Financial Advisors/Firms.

Privacy Policy

©Kimberly Surber. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED ; website created by AmpUrBiz