There are some couples who stand at the threshold of a separation and for whom no amount of professional counseling can help them avoid the inevitable. Going through the process of a divorce is both financially and emotionally draining. It is tough enough to untangle two people’s money when they’re no longer in a harmonious relationship. Way before child support or spousal support is given to you; you have to prepare your finances so that your money is in place.
Each divorce case is unique and hence expert advice can only come from experts and attorneys who are dealing with a respective case. Nevertheless, if you want to stay on top of your finances despite going through a divorce, you have to ensure planning ahead of time. Here are few tips to take into account.
#1: Be aware of well-meaning advice
Divorce laws differ from one state to another and hence you need to be watchful about the advice which seems to be a solution for all, irrespective of whether you receive it from some friend or your find it online. In case you’re not dead-sure about moving your money and changing accounts and making other vital financial moves before a divorce, get in touch with an attorney who is licensed within your state.
#2: Predict your future expenses & track your current expenses
As soon as you start sensing that your marriage is going to come to an end, you should start monitoring your household expenditures and income. Such a drastic step will not only assist you with a budget after you get divorced but it will also become easier for your divorce attorney to judge the way in which he should split debts and assets among both of you. In case you were already following a budget and tracking it, that’s even better. Go beyond normal expenses and take into account vacations, holiday trips and other one-time expenses as well.
#3: Assemble all important documents
Remember that your monetary records will depict the story of the financial health of your marriage. Accumulate all such documents, no matter how much time consuming and intimidating it can be. The sooner you start the better for you. Check your savings and checking account statements, retirement statements, statements of investment accounts, credit card statements, recent pay stubs, list of debts and assets, a clear list of debts and assets brought through marriage and income tax returns.
#4: Stay away from making big fiscal decisions
Only after the divorce proceedings, you will be able to determine all important financial changes. You may feel tempted to dive into adjusting the life insurance beneficiaries but remember that it is always better to wait. Any sorts of changes to retirement accounts, beneficiaries, will and such things will all be sorted in legal proceedings. Hence, you should strictly refrain from any such big decisions.
Even though your divorce deals more about dividing assets and debts, you should always seek help of a financial expert so as to take the best steps ahead.