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Avoid big buys during a divorce

Thousands of personal finance books hit the shelves every year. Almost all of them will advise you, at some point in time, to reduce spending. Often, these are sensible statements, even borderline generic. But what if you have been investing and saving, and you’re ready to make a big purchase? If you’re in the middle of a divorce, there are a few good reasons to wait.

  • Marital property is questionable. Assuming your divorce is pending, it is important to remember how martial property works. If you make a purchase within a marriage, it can also become your spouse’s property. Therefore, your new car or boat could end up sitting on your ex-spouse driveway. Unless a huge purchase is necessary, try and wait it out.
  • Loans get complex. Big purchases often require taking out a loan or two. Adding divorce into the mix could lead to disaster. Since you’re in a delicate financial situation, lenders may find that granting a loan is too risky. If you’re buying a townhome while still married to your spouse, they may also have to sign the mortgage contract. And lastly, consider possible court-ordered spousal payments. Altogether, the bills could rack up.
  • Court can be a wildcard. Remember that the court determines child support and alimony. Making a big purchase, for whatever the reason, could look financially irresponsible or irrational. Every move you make can fall into judgment. It may be wise to play it safe until the papers are signed.

Divorce is already a tricky and intricate process, especially in regards to property division. To ensure purchasing has little impact, try to avoid impulse buys and speak with your attorney about other measures to take.