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Waukesha, WI family law attorneysMany times, couples do not jump directly from being married to getting divorced. In most cases, a couple who is unhappy with their marriage will go through a period of separation before they file for divorce, even if that separation is not legally recognized. While this can be a good way for couples to determine whether or not they are actually ready for a divorce, it can also be a very important period of time for the couple’s finances. In Wisconsin, marital property is divided using “community property” theories. This means that each spouse is entitled to half of the marital estate, but that the marital estate is composed of all assets that either spouse owns, regardless of when they acquired that asset. Because there are such high stakes when it comes time to divide your property during a divorce, managing your finances prior to that is crucial. If you are currently separated from your spouse but are planning on filing for divorce, here are a few things you should keep in mind during your separation period:

  • Understand that your living situation will likely change. Many people do not want to come to terms with it, but after you are divorced, your standard of living is very likely going to change. Many households are dual-income households, meaning both partners work, allowing them to have a lifestyle that cannot usually be maintained with one income.

  • Put together and follow a post-divorce budget. Because of this, it is important that you begin to plan for your finances after your divorce is completed. Putting together a budget not only gives you an idea of how much you will need each month to live, but it can also help you understand what your bare minimum needs are when negotiating property division with your spouse. 

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