For many people facing divorce, a common concern is the disruption of financial security during the divorce process. This can be especially frightening and overwhelming when a stay-at-home parent, a financially dependent spouse, or a disabled spouse is facing divorce. And understandably so.
Attorneys with The Levey Law Group often hear comments such as, “My spouse earns much more than I do, how will I support myself and my children on my income alone while I’m going through divorce?” Or, “My spouse has complete control of the household finances.” Another common concern voiced by those facing divorce is, “My spouse is threatening to take away my children if I file for divorce since he/she makes most of the income.”
Rest assured, we offer a variety of solutions to these and other concerns with regard to helping clients maintain their financial stability during the divorce process.
While the divorce is pending and agreements are being worked out, most couples benefit by setting up temporary orders to protect their assets and credit during the divorce process.
Temporary orders can determine who stays in the family home, make arrangements for the care and support of children, make arrangements for the support of the other spouse if warranted (commonly known as alimony, but referred to as “spousal maintenance” in Washington), and who is financially responsible for the mortgage payment, utilities, car payments, etc. These orders also typically set rules restraining any inappropriate conduct by divorcing spouses.
We have found that spouses often can agree upon reasonable, temporary financial arrangements that will tide them over until the divorce is final. Either spouse’s attorney can draft temporary orders (which might include a child support order) for the other attorney–and both spouses–to review and sign. Once everyone signs these orders, a court commissioner signs the agreed order which makes the order an official court order that both spouses must abide by.
If the couple have children, a temporary parenting plan also can be drafted. Agreeing on temporary orders early on offers everyone involved some breathing room. This also alleviates fears, moves the process along, and may prevent court hearings down the road.
A temporary order also can include a provision ordering that one spouse (typically the higher wage-earner) help pay the other spouse’s attorney fees. On that note, as far as paying attorney fees, The Levey Law Group accepts credit card payments from clients, and also offers an online payment option called LawPay. These options may work for clients who might not have the cash reserves available to finance a divorce. LawPay also may be a good solution for clients wanting to preserve what cash reserves they have to pay for unexpected expenses during the divorce process.
The first step in securing your finances during divorce is to call our office and schedule a consultation. We will answer your questions, and assist you with these and other concerns you may have about the divorce process.
Disclaimer: The information above is provided as a guideline and offers only general information. It is not intended to be a substitute for–nor is it–legal advice or counsel. For more specific details regarding your family law questions, please call The Levey Law Group at 253-272-9459.