“Why do I need to put together a budget?”

This is a question that couples I meet with as a financial neutral in collaborative divorce commonly ask – and with good reason!  Here they are, in the middle of what is likely the stressful, as well as sad and emotional, experience of ending their marriage, and I’m asking them to sit down and figure out what they each spend currently, and, even worse, will spend (post divorce) in their day to day lives. The current budget establishes the couple’s marital lifestyle – i.e., how they spent money during their marriage. The budget estimating expenses post-divorce looks at how their resources will be allocated now that they have separate households.

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