As we've discussed in past blog posts, divorce can wreak havoc on anyone's finances. Couples who go their separate ways must find a way to survive on their own, and for the lower-earning spouse, that can take some adjustment. This is especially true for parents who end up with primary child custody. They're usually forced to shoulder most of the costs of feeding, clothing and educating their children -- along with all the other household expenses -- on a reduced income.
Of course, not all newly single parents are living paycheck to paycheck. Texas residents familiar with TV personality Bethenny Frankel may have heard the news that she filed for divorce last week. Frankel, who by some estimates has a net worth of between $25 million and $55 million, is requesting child support from her soon-to-be ex-husband, Jason Hoppy. The two married in March 2010.
It's not clear yet how much the head of the Skinny Girl enterprise is demanding per month on behalf of the couple's 2-year-old daughter, Bryn. But in addition to that figure, she's reportedly asking Hoppy to cover all future medical expenses for her and Bryn, as well as life insurance that names both of them beneficiaries. She's also laying claim to the family home and their apartment.
The couple had a prenuptial agreement that should be upheld, offering protection of Frankel's massive fortune. Hoppy brought his own net worth to the marriage thanks to a lucrative real estate career, but it's hard to say what he'll have left after the divorce papers are signed, given the work he's put into supporting his wife's career since the couple married.
While most Texas couples don't have a fortune to play around with in their divorce settlement, they may want to take a lesson from Frankel's approach. Asserting yourself as you negotiate the terms of your divorce -- be it child support, alimony or the division of your property -- may prevent you from losing more than you can afford. While cooperation is important, so is making sure that you and your children not only survive the divorce, but get off to a good start once the final papers are signed.
Source: Examiner.com, "Bethenny Frankel divorce: Frankel demands child support from Jason Hoppy," Rachael Monaco, Jan. 7, 2013