Go Fund My......Divorce?
Crowdfunding sites and resources are everywhere with the various sites and various requests for funding multiplying at an electrifying rate.
Families can take a financial hit during a divorce. Not only are a husband and wife dividing up their respective assets, debts, and retirement accounts, but there will now be two households to purchase and manage. The same amount of resources may now be going to support two separate homes, two separate bedrooms for children, groceries, clothing, and maybe even child support or temporary spousal support. And there will be at least one and in a lot of cases, two lawyers to pay to negotiate and broker the terms of what the division and separation will look like.
All of the foregoing is a definite indicator of the type of life circumstance that would cause people to rush to crowdfunding to seek financial assistance. But is this a good idea? Perhaps, if you and your spouse are on the same page in seeking financial assistance and are willing to be amicable and friendly about it. Otherwise, I see a lot of pitfalls. If you decide to post a crowdfunding page and request donations for your child support obligation, you should expect your spouse (or her lawyer) to show the court all of the monies you’ve received through your effort and argue that your child support obligation should be increased as a result. Or, if one spouse is raising money to help with the divorce, that spouse has now raised even more money that could arguably be subject to an equal division from a trial court as part of “the marital pot.”
The biggest pitfall with posting personal issues on a crowdfunding site are similar to those I find on any other social media site: the temptation to share your feelings about your soon-to-be ex-spouse, co-parent, or any other person related to a divorce, paternity, or custody dispute. Anything you post describing your situation or need for money on a crowdfunding site is accessible to the public and a savvy and curious opposing lawyer. You should expect it to be presented as an exhibit in the courtroom and presented to a judge. So suggesting that you’ve been forced to seek crowdfunding as a way to deal with a “greedy ex-wife” will likely only put you in a very bad light to a judge who is viewing your public postings down the road.
As with any public posting, think twice and remember that it will most likely be taken out of context and submitted as an exhibit against you in a future court proceeding. If you’re not completely comfortable defending your explanation of events to a court, then don’t post it! And if you’re not comfortable sharing your proceeds with your ex or her lawyer, I would think again before requesting this type of fund.