Getting divorced often involves emotional and financial distress. Ending your marriage without proper preparation can exacerbate this. If you are not aware of your financial standing, you could be sideswiped by the financial effects of divorce.
Do not let yourself be financially devastated by your divorce. Below are some tips to ensure you are financially prepared and protected throughout the process.
1. Collect your financial records
The first step you should take is gathering your financial documents. Collect tax returns, benefits information, payroll stubs, bank statements and investment account information. Make copies of all records and store them in a safe deposit box or with a trusted family member or friend.
2. Take inventory of your assets
Next, you will want to start an inventory of all your property. Begin categorizing your assets as either separate property or marital property owned jointly by both you and your spouse. Take pictures of valuable belongs such as antiques, collectibles and jewelry.
3. Check your credit report
Looking at your credit report before the proceedings begin is helpful for being aware of your financial situation. Review your report, checking for any missed payments by your spouse on joint accounts. Keep an eye out for outstanding debts.
4. Open individual accounts
As soon as either you or your spouse file for divorce, start closing joint accounts and begin opening individual ones. Open individual check and savings accounts as well as getting new credit cards. This will help strengthen or build your credit history.
5. Manage your expenses
Divorce tends to cost a lot. As soon as you sense your marriage coming to an end, begin a new budget according to divorce expenses and costs associated with your new single life. You may need to change your spending habits.
Do not ignore the financial implications of getting divorced. Follow these tips to get an idea of your finances and consult an attorney for further guidance on what steps you should take to protect your assets.