Costs can mount long after divorce finalized

Los Angeles TimesApril 21, 2013 

Size as needed (300 dpi, 58p x 28p) Rick Steinhauser B&W illustration of couple rowing in a rowboat that is breaking up; dollar bills are flying around in the air. Can be used with stories about divorce. Akron Beacon Journal 1997 With BREAKUP, Knight-Ridder by Melanie Payne FOR AT-RISK READERS CATEGORY: ILLUSTRATION SUBJECT: BREAKUP illus ARTIST: Rick Steinhauser ORIGIN: Akron Beacon Journal TYPE: EPS JPEG SIZE: As needed ENTERED: 2/12/97 REVISED: STORY SLUG: BREAKUP, Knight-Ridder by Melanie Payne FOR AT-RISK READERS illustration, payne, ak, business, breakup, divorce, personal, finance, money, marriage, risk, women, feature, features, marriage, finances, savings, debt, loan, bankruptcy, 1997, steinhauser

Divorce can hurt the pocketbook in ways that some people don't expect.

Lost income, child support, spousal support all hurt. But there are other ways that divorces affect finances, said Samantha Fraelich, vice president of Bernard R. Wolfe & Associates, a Chevy Chase, Md., wealth management firm.

Here are five of them:

Legal expenses: Be prepared to spend thousands of dollars on legal expenses, even if the divorce is amicable. If it's contested, expect to spend much more.

Child-care expense: Without another parent in the household, divorced parents often need to pay more for child care than they expected.

Taxes: Going from married, filing jointly, to single filing status can significantly increase taxes.

Retirement planning: Without two people contributing, retirement planning expenses can increase after divorce. Pension, IRA and 401(k) distributions will often be significantly lower too.

"It is usually helpful to get a retirement plan run by a professional before you actually sign divorce paperwork," Fraelich said.

Insurance: Because married people expect their spouses to care for them as they age, they may not have thought about long-term care insurance. After a divorce, it may be important for people to purchase those policies.

"Most people don't realize the depths of what divorce can do when it comes to their finances," Fraelich said. "It is usually a matter of much more than a loss of salary or income."

Lexington Herald-Leader is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service