One of the more difficult parts of a divorce is untangling the financial lives of two people. This is especially true if you’ve been married for awhile and don’t know where one person’s finances end and the others begins. Here are some tips on preparing your finances for a divorce.
TRACK ASSETS AND EXPENSES
Have a record of your current assets as well as your monthly expenses. This record can be used by attorneys and judges when it comes to dividing assets and/or assigning alimony/child support. Additionally, having this information will help you know exactly where your money needs to go so you can create a post-divorce budget.
The more documents and records you are able to gather together regarding your finances, the better. This includes checking & savings, retirement, debt records, tax returns, pay stubs, etc. Once gathered, store them in a safe place outside of your home. It may also be helpful to pull a copy of your credit report. This will allow you to see exactly where you stand financially. If you notice unfamiliar debt or other irregularities that may have been the cause of your spouse, share this with your attorney.
Even the most amicable of divorce could end up costing money. Once you know a divorce is inevitable, start setting aside money to both cover the costs of the proceedings as well as your life afterwards. This is especially important if you are going from a double income home to a single income.
If possible, look into hiring an attorney and financial expert to help guide you through your divorce. If you feel the divorce will be amicable, but need help sorting everything out, mediation may be great option for you. They work with both you and your spouse to come to a compromise, but are a neutral party. An attorney will only represent one side and will be an advocate.
Disclaimer: This article is intended for educational purposes and not as legal advice. As every situation is different, please speak to an attorney or financial professional if you have specific questions when filing for divorce.