One of the hardest moments for a couple in the collaborative divorce process or mediation is when they see that their projected budgets exceed their monthly income. In my office that moment comes when we are all looking at the budget form on a large computer monitor. The last number is plugged into the form and the totals appear at the bottom. Then…
Silence. Or moans. Sometimes tears. For the really loose couples, laughter.
This moment taps into what can be a couples’ deepest fears about whether they and/or their children are going to be OK.
Here is the interesting thing that I’ve found: This moment is the same for most people, no matter how much money they make.
Couples that make $500,000 a year (or more) typically have the same reaction as the couples that make $50,000 a year (or less). Almost invariably, their projected budgets exceed their incomes.
And, almost invariably, it works out. Through some combination of raising incomes, lowering expenses or using assets, couples find solutions to their financial and cash flow issues.
The point of this is that if you are facing a separation or a divorce, try not to let the cash flow and financial issues panic you. Understand that the fears about money are part of the process. There is almost always a solution out there, no matter your income level. You may just need to work harder to find it.