This year, like any other, many Chicagoland women get the family together for the holidays and simultaneously get their house in order to file for divorce in January. Many women and mothers want to keep the peace during the holidays and not air any dirty laundry until after the New Year’s celebrations. Moving forward with divorce, Connie Walsh advises there are financial consequences to how and when you file for divorce. Connie has over 25 years experience in the financial industry, including 12 years on Wall Street.
Quoted in a Chicago Tribune article: "When her [client's] 11-1/2-year marriage ended in divorce, Cindy T. worried about the prospect of moving with her two children into a smaller house and, worse in her eyes, a different school district.” Connie Walsh works with clients with a variety of complex financial assets to consider before filing for divorce.
Connie urges women to be aware that their marital status on the last day of the year determines their marital status for the entire tax year. There are rare reasons where it would be a financial benefit to file Married filing Separately, especially where you would lose many of the tax breaks built into the IRS code to benefit couples Married filing Jointly.
To the extent you are still legally married and have not yet been divorced by the end of the year you will share the Jointly filed tax benefits such as: lower general tax rate, exemption amounts, child and dependent car tax credits, earned income credits, capital loss deductions, just to name a few. Of course, you should consult a divorce attorney and a financial professional to look at each individual situation because there could be many other factors helping to guide a decision on strategy.
Women who decide to wait until January to file for divorce should spend some time before Thanksgiving to start getting things in order. If cleaning before in-laws invade your home for turkey day, make some notes of where all your financial documentation is located and how much time it might take to get things in order. When you have time, make copies of recent financial statements and recent tax returns so you could provide those to a divorce financial expert like Connie to advise them on their financial considerations.
Just like the vigilant folks who prepare for natural disasters, women preparing for divorce should be ready for potentially rough waters for a while. A line of credit in your own name and cash on hand might be necessary if another terminates access to joint accounts or funds. Keeping a sense of personal financial control during preparation time helps ensure a smooth transition.
If you have read most of the divorce preparation literature available to consumers, you likely face the challenge of selecting the right professionals to help guide you through the divorce process and to your new independent life. One of the questions often arising is, “How much is this all going to cost, and how will I pay for it?” There are a variety of ways to get divorced: traditional divorce litigation through the courts, mediation, and collaborative divorce. Selecting the right attorney, financial, and often when children are involved, mental health professionals can be challenging.
Get in touch with Connie at Walsh Financial Divorce Solutions, LLC to ask for some resources for divorce preparation during your downtime this holiday season. If you are going to move forward and terminate the marriage, you might as well do it properly and put yourself in the best position.
For more tips and pointers on how and when to make the right financial decisions in marriage and divorce, contact Connie Walsh today to see how she help you make some smart choices.