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How do you survive financially if a spouse drags out the divorce?

When you get married, you are excited about sharing a household. You’re excited about buying a home with your new spouse, investing in your future together, and even saving for retirement together. Everything is new and exciting, and it’s all abou the “Us” in your relationship. You’re not thinking for one moment you’ll ever struggle financially because of a divorce. When that happens, it’s a shocking realization to know that you’re unable to do anything with the “us” money you’ve been saving, the home you both own, and the financial assets being held captive during your divorce.

If you’re short on cash because you chose to stay home with the kids while your spouse worked, you might struggle during the divorce process. You can’t sell anything you jointly own to make ends meet during the divorce process because most of it is tied up in the divorce. If your spouse is being vindictive and dragging things out, you could struggle financially for years. What are you to do when your spouse keeps putting off hearings, mediations, and forgoing any signatures until the last possible legal moment?

Get Your Finances in Order

Sometimes one spouse has no idea what kind of financial situation the family is in if one spouse works and controls all the funds. If this is the case, you need to take note of your finances and become familiar with them. If your spouse won’t allow you any access to funds because he or she is the sole provider and feels the money belongs to them, you can ask the judge to allow you a chance to become involved in the finances.

Your spouse might be the only one who works, but your marriage entitles you to a portion of his or her income even if your job is raising the kids and caring for the household rather than bringing home a paycheck. A judge will help you figure out your financial situation by requiring your spouse shares the family financial information with you.

Work Out a Payment Plan

If you’re worried about paying for your attorney and his or her mounting bills during a highly contested divorce or one your spouse insists on dragging out far longer than necessary, it’s time to talk to your attorney. He or she is probably willing to work out a payment plan that fits well within your monthly budget so you can pay your bills each month in a timely fashion. Asking never hurts, and it’s a good idea to do this before things are out of control in your financial world.

Establish Credit of Your Own

One thing you should be doing is establishing credit of your own when you divorce. This is a card that’s not tied at all to your spouse, and it’s in your name only. Not only will this help you figure out how to survive when you’re going through a divorce, it also helps you build a good credit score so you can buy a home or even a car of your own when your divorce is finalized. Just be sure your new card is in your name only, and ask your attorney if it’s considered a marital asset even if you’re separated and in the divorce process. The law regarding this differs in every state.

Ask for Financial Support

A court will consider your request if you’ve given up your own career to raise your family and your spouse is not helping during the divorce. The judge might require your spouse continues to pay the household bills depending on his or her monthly income, which means you can still live comfortably while he or she drags out the divorce.

Once the divorce is finalized you’ll begin receiving child support and/or alimony payments, and you can use those to help you stay afloat when his or her income no longer supports your entire household. Once the divorce is finalized and you’re receiving this income, you might be required to return to work to make a living of your own. It’s not always easy to do this when you’re out of the workforce for so many years raising kids, but it’s something many people are doing when their divorce is over.

If your spouse is continuously dragging out the divorce, you might not be able to do much about it so long as he or she is getting things done on time even if it is last minute. You might realize he or she is only doing this to hurt you, but the law is the law. You can survive financially, but it might require speaking to your attorney about how you can make it happen.