Financial Budgeting

Financial Budgeting is not a legal requirement.

It is, however, one of the most complicated steps to reaching agreement.  Without proper budgeting, most Separation Agreements are signed with little regard to affordability.  THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT.  Signed agreements frequently break down simply because they weren’t affordable or workable prior to signing.

Budgeting is not a lawyer’s job.

Rosenfield Mediation believes that your personal financial budget to be one of the most important areas in his practice.  Consider this: you have commitments for Child Support, Spousal Support, extraordinary expenses, plus a car lease, insurance and your own apartment rental.  Do you have enough money to buy your own food and clothes and look after your children when they’re with you?

Second example: you keep the matrimonial home, arrange for a new mortgage and everything is looking great.  Your ex gets laid off and can’t make payments for Child Support and Spousal Support, etc.  What do you do?

Most separating couples can anticipate an increase to their expenses by $20,000.00 a year, or more.  This money has to come from somewhere.

Lawyers often use Form 13 or Form 13.1 to show budgets.  In theory it makes sense; however, the government forms are very basic with much room for error.  There is nothing worse than signing your Separation Agreement and finding you’re short by $1500.00/month because you didn’t consider a variety of personal expenses not listed on the legal forms.  Go through your bills, cheque book, credit card statements, bank statement, etc.  Identify how you actually spend money and what your true expenses are.  Try to tighten your belt.

In our experience, only one person in the family tends to have a strong understanding of the family’s finances. Let Rosenfield Mediation help you with your financial budgets.

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