The name of Oklahoma law firm Fry & Elder has been synonymous with Tulsa divorce and child custody for over 40 years. While the Oklahoma law firm has extended its reach to take on criminal law and personal injury cases, Oklahoma family law still remains a focal point for our Tulsa divorce lawyers.
Whether you are getting a divorce in Tulsa or anywhere else in Oklahoma, part of the process that goes along with getting a divorce is starting over. To better help transition into this new chapter of your life, it helps to have a good financial plan for your life after the divorce. Below are a few tips that the Tulsa divorce lawyers of Fry & Elder recommend that people going through a divorce keep in mind.
Go over your finances
It is important when doing this to look at everything – income sources, your tax situation, assets and expenses because maintaining two separate households is more expensive than one. You need to make sure that you know what you were spending before the divorce to give you a better idea of what you are going to spend after a divorce.
A good starting point for this would be to review and go over all bank statements and credit cards statements from the past year. Set up various tables for everyone involved in the divorce – mom, dad and children. This way you will have a better idea of what to budget for after the divorce. It is important that if you have children that you budget for future education and medical expenses.
Factor in health insurance
If you were on your spouse’s health insurance plan, this could become a considerable expense moving forward. While COBRA is an option, it is one that is expensive and is limited to just 36 months. Your best bet is to begin looking and researching policies that are out there.
Prepare for alimony
There are many factors that will go into deciding whether alimony is part of a settlement. These could include the length of the marriage and whether the spouse did not work and for how long, as well as the spouse’s earning potential.
Alimony not only impacts one’s budget, it will impact your tax situation. While there is nontaxable alimony that can be paid from after-tax dollars and is tax-free to the receiver, most generally it is taxable alimony that is paid, which means it is tax-deductible for the person paying the alimony and taxable to the person receiving alimony. Under Oklahoma law, there is no firm rule on the duration of how long alimony payments need to be made. The trial judge has broad discretion in determining the amount of alimony and the terms of payment.
Think about your career
If you were not working or working part time during the marriage, you are probably going to have to go back into the workforce on a full-time basis. While this may seem a little daunting initially, it will help you financially and also give you greater confidence, a social life and a stronger sense of resilience.
If you have been out of the workforce for a while, you might want to consider taking some educational or certification courses to make yourself more attractive and marketable to potential employers. This also will help enhance your confidence and make you a more viable candidate.
Experience the Fry & Elder difference
If you are in need of a Tulsa divorce lawyer or have any other questions in regards to family law in Oklahoma, we encourage you to contact Fry & Elder today. The firm is home to some of the most highly regarded and experienced family law attorneys not only in the state of Oklahoma, but in the United States. Robert G “Hap” Fry Jr. has been named a “Super Lawyer” in Oklahoma and is a fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. Firm attorneys James Elder, M. Shane Henry, Aaron Bundy and Fry all have garnered the prestigious AV® Preeminent Peer Review Rated by Martindal-Hubbell®, which is the highest recognition in the legal industry. Additionally, the family law firm of Fry & Elder made the U.S. News & World Report’s list of Best Law Firms for 2015.