Don’t let lack of temporary support prevent decision to divorce

One of the most difficult aspects of filing for divorce is determining how the finances will be divided pending a final allocation by agreement or by the court. This is especially a problem for the spouse whose earnings and assets are substantially less than those of the other spouse. In that situation, the spouse with fewer resources may try to stay in a marriage, however unhappy he or she may be, for fear of a loss of lifestyle.

If you watch television at all, you’ve probably seen commercials for settlement funding, which provides advance or immediate payments for injury victims involved or awarded damages in a lawsuit. A similar service is now available in Massachusetts designed to allow a spouse to file for or agree to be a party to a divorce without the fear of a cash crunch as it proceeds.

The firm already operates in dozens of other states and makes loans to a spouse that needs money to cover living expenses and even legal fees that must be paid during the course of the divorce proceedings. The founder of the service says that most of their clients are women involved in a high net-worth divorce. He says that a client should have a net worth at stake of at least $600,000 to make the service and the interest rates worthwhile. The average loan is $250,000, with a minimum loan of $50,000.

As with settlement funding, this arrangement is not for everyone. Some spouses may have access to other means of support that are better options for them. A court may order temporary support that is sufficient for the other spouse’s living expenses. But it may still be comforting to know that the option is there.

A consultation with a divorce attorney who understands the stakes in a high-asset divorce in Massachusetts can help determine whether such a loan is the best option for you as the legal process progresses. But don’t put off an inquiry about a divorce for fear of losing a means of support until it is final.

Source: Boston Business Journal, “Cheating millionaire husband cut you off during divorce? There’s a loan for that,” Greg Ryan, July 8, 2015

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