Tag Archive for: divorce and philanthropy

Divorce and Philanthropy: How to Handle Shared Charitable Endeavors

If you and your spouse have built a legacy of charity and philanthropy, divorce may be especially painful for you. You may worry that the end of your marriage means an end to your charitable efforts, which you likely find very meaningful and fulfilling. You may also wonder if you’re financially tied to causes and agreements that don’t make sense to you after divorce.

You can discuss these and other issues with your Charleston divorce attorney. The team at the Pence Law Firm can help you find solutions that pave the way for your future. Call us at 304-345-7250 to set up a consultation now.

Understanding Your Current Obligations, Commitments, and Initiatives

You should start with a full analysis and inventory of your current charitable obligations and commitments. If you and your spouse have committed yourselves to financial donations, volunteer work, or official partnerships, there may be contractual requirements that will keep you locked in for a set period of time. Inventorying these gives you a foundation from which to start negotiating. 

If you foresee yourself having a lot of free time after divorce, you may agree to take on volunteer obligations while your ex takes on the financial commitments you’ve made. You may also want to find out if divorce is a valid reason to break or amend a contract. Keep in mind that you may damage your reputation within the charitable community if you do so—this is a decision to make after extensive research and contemplation.

Financial Contributions and Responsibilities

Your financial life after divorce will look very different from married life. Your charitable commitments must fit within the framework of your new life. This may mean adjusting your financial commitments or terminating them completely. You and your spouse may opt to split these commitments to ensure that one partner doesn’t bear the full load. 

In these cases, it often makes sense to have spouses take on the causes that matter most to them. If you and your spouse have substantial assets, you may choose to fulfill the financial terms of the contract in full immediately in order to sever the tie and start anew.

For some, it makes sense to tie ongoing financial contributions to the division of assets. For example, if one party takes on the financial obligations of a charitable agreement, it may make sense that they receive slightly more of the marital estate to make up for that. This is often a viable option if one spouse wants to wash their hands of philanthropy entirely and start completely anew after divorce.

Navigating Disputes

Disputes may arise as you and your spouse try to figure out your charitable goals and efforts after divorce. Try to maintain open communication during this time; even if you’re on opposite sides of your divorce, you both want to fulfill the terms of your charitable agreements and do good work in the community.

If disputes seem impossible to overcome, consider working with a mediator to develop decision-making protocols related to your philanthropic efforts. They can also help you negotiate an agreement that benefits both parties. Coming up with decision-making protocols before issues arise can make it much easier for everyone when problems inevitably come up.

Finding Your Own Independent Charitable Path

As your divorce winds down and you begin looking ahead to the future, think about what you want your presence in philanthropy to look like. Do you want to stick with the same causes you prioritized when you were married, or are there causes you weren’t able to explore because your spouse didn’t care for them? Are you interested in creating a charitable organization, donating money, or offering your time to the causes that matter most to you? There are lots of options to consider, and what you decide depends entirely on the obligations you’ll have after your divorce is finalized.

Explore Your Divorce Options with Pence Law Firm

If you’re planning on a divorce in Charleston, having the right legal team working for you can make a big difference. Let us help you figure out your next steps. Call Pence Law Firm at 304-345-7250 or get in touch online to set up a consultation right away.