A divorce can take its toll both mentally and emotionally, but one aspect that is sometimes overlooked is the effect it has on one's finances. Once you've decided to get a divorce, there are certain things you should do to prepare financially, not only so your divorce can proceed smoothly, but also so that you'll be set up for success after it's over. Here are a few key things to think about when it comes to your money:
- Separate your accounts – If you and your spouse had joint bank accounts and credit cards, now's the time to completely separate those items. This way you don't have to worry about your soon-to-be ex seeing what you are spending your money on, and it helps to build your credit history post-divorce.
- Evaluate your budget – Living in a marriage where there are possibly two incomes, yet needs to cover expenses for two people, looks very different than working and only having to pay for yourself. As soon as possible, try to prepare a budget for yourself that includes realistic numbers for how much you can afford in rent, groceries, and spending money.
- Meet with a financial planner – It's never too early to begin thinking about your life after the divorce, and items like retirement or investments should be addressed. You might also get some great tips about how to cut costs during your divorce or hear anecdotes about how others found success with their finances.
- Take inventory – As soon as you know that you're headed towards divorce, gather all the information you can about your finances. Make copies of your tax records, investment statements, home deeds, and bank records. Not only will this help your divorce proceedings to go forward faster, but it safeguards you in case your spouse tries to hide anything.
- Keep an eye on your credit report – While it's a good habit to have anyway, monitor your credit report closely during and after a divorce. The better your credit is once you're single, the more success you'll have when it comes to financially supporting yourself. It also pays to check your report to see if your spouse is doing anything to create a misleading picture about your financial position.
If you're thinking about getting divorced and need assistance getting your financial plan together, contact our office today. We can provide the support you need to get through a divorce with the best possible outcome.
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