For Florida spouses who are seriously considering ending their marriage, there is no such thing as being overprepared. In order to reach the most advantageous military divorce settlement, spouses need to pay close attention to current financial status, as well as their projected financial needs for the years ahead. Doing so can help spouses make more informed and, therefore, better decisions when it comes to financial matters, including divorce.

The process begins by tracking current expenses. This includes basic living expenses such as housing, groceries, utilities and fuel. It also encompasses expenses that are less common, but no less relevant. These include seemingly one-time expenditures such as having to replace one’s lawnmower, completing major service on a car and urgent veterinary care for pets.

Once current expenses have all been accounted for, it is time to turn one’s attention toward projected expenses. When doing so, is important to consider the changes that will take place once a divorce has been made final. Those tasks that were routinely handled by one’s partner will now have to be managed on one’s own. That could entail incurring additional expense for things such as child care, car maintenance, landscaping or a wide variety of other tasks.

Having this information in hand is a powerful tool toward reaching a favorable property division settlement. It is impossible to negotiate a settlement that supports a Florida resident’s projected financial needs without understanding exactly what those needs are. Creating a comprehensive current and future budget is the best way to understand the full scope of one’s financial health, and should be part of every military divorce.

Source: nerdwallet.com, “7 Ways to Ready Your Finances for Divorce“, Elizabeth Renter, May 30, 2017