If someone were to ask you right now how much money you would need each month to live comfortably, do you think you could give them an accurate number? Most people have no idea how much money they actually need to survive each month or how much they actually spend, even if they do have a budget. However, when you go to get a divorce, it is important to have an idea of your spending habits and financial needs, as it will be one of the questions that your attorney will bring up when discussing issues including spousal support and asset division. Most of the time, people will significantly underestimate or overestimate what they actually need to live a comfortable life or to maintain the lifestyle that they had during their marriage. A lifestyle analysis can help to ensure that you are prepared for life after your divorce is final.
Components of a Lifestyle Analysis
The goal of a lifestyle analysis is to produce a report that contains all of you and your spouse’s recent financial information. The analysis will also establish a basis for what your standard of living was during your marriage, and it may help to identify any issues or discrepancies. Information in your lifestyle analysis may include:
Personal tax returns from at least the past three years for both you and your spouse, along with business tax returns if either of you owns a business
All applicable financial statements, including for bank accounts, credit cards, and brokerage and retirement accounts
Living expenses that you and your spouse shared
Spending habits of both you and your spouse and other recurring expenses, such as travel or entertainment
Using the Analysis to Your Advantage
There are many benefits to having a lifestyle analysis conducted before you make any financial decisions in your divorce. A financial analysis will allow you to gain a better understanding of your money situation and what you actually need from your spouse in the divorce. It can also put you in a better position to negotiate the terms of spousal maintenance if the financial analysis shows a significant inequality in income. Another benefit of having a financial analysis conducted is that it can also uncover or point to other financial issues, such as hidden or dissipated assets.
Contact a DuPage County Divorce Attorney
Some of the biggest concerns that you may have when you go to get a divorce are those that have to do with your finances. Conducting a financial analysis can greatly help you understand your current financial health, as well as make sure that your marital assets are divided equitably and that spousal support is addressed in an appropriate manner. At the Goostree Law Group, our attorneys can help you conduct a lifestyle analysis and use it to your advantage. To schedule a free consultation with one of our skilled Wheaton, IL divorce lawyers, call our office today at 630-364-4046.