Divorce, no doubt, will leave you and your spouse wounded, not only emotionally but financially as well. Untangling the money of two people can prove to be messy and challenging. The process is already stressful and full of hassles that dealing with finances during that time can add more burden and stress. So, it is advised to prepare your finances well before time.
Wondering how you can protect yourself? In this article, we have talked about financial tips before a divorce.
1. Take a Look at Your Financial Records
The first thing you need to do is collect your financial records. This will include at least 5 years of documents like payroll stubs, benefits information, investment accounts, property information, tax returns, and bank statements.
It is recommended to keep a copy of all the documents outside the house. You can safely keep them in a safe deposit box or at a trustworthy friend’s house. This an important step as it will speed up the process of divorce if you already have evidence of your financials. In addition, it will in keeping you safe if anything goes missing.
When you are preparing for a divorce, you can start by making an inventory of all your assets and liabilities. It is important to mention the value of every item on the list. In case you don’t know the value, it is advised to get it appraised.
Keep in mind, you have to show all assets, liabilities, and income during a divorce. All the assets and liabilities that were acquired during the marriage and brought in at the time of marriage are to be included. You should start an inventory of all your assets. It is advised to take data-stamped and digital photos of all your valuables like antiques, jewelry, and collectibles.
When it comes to dividing the property and finances, it is dependent on state law and several other factors. An important thing to keep in mind is that dishonesty can result in financial penalties or other legal consequences.
2. Keep a Track of Your Credit Report
Another thing you should do is to be aware of your existing financial situation. This will help in staying financially unscathed during a divorce. In order to have a clear idea, have a copy of your credit report. It is suggested that your main focus should be on any outstanding debts.
You will probably, closing down all your accounts and opening new accounts. In this way, the debts will be divided between spouses. These things will have a direct impact on your financial position and even affect your credit score.
In case you think there is something wrong, you should seek assistance from your lawyer. Avoid asking your partner for complete disclosure of records. If you want to avoid any surprises, it is advised to keep a track of your credit report.
For those who don’t know, the outcome of changes is not instant. Your old accounts will be on your credit report for several years, mostly up to seven years. It is recommended to keep an eye on your credit after your divorce. There is a chance that your ex might be opening an account in your name. So, you have to ensure nothing of this sort happens.
3. Have Information Regarding Your Expenses
Let’s face it, divorces are quite expensive. This is why you must modify your budget as soon as you realize that your marriage is doomed. It will enable you to bear the costs of divorce and even start your new single life without any difficulty.
Savings are important for everyone who is going through a divorce. In order to increase your savings, you have to change your lifestyle and get rid of unnecessary expenses.
4. Open New Individual Accounts
An important tip you should follow is the opening of individual accounts. This should be done when you know that divorce is inevitable. Keeping the account confidential is imperative. This is the reason why you need to choose a different bank that you and your spouse are using.
It is suggested to open a new checking account, credit card, and savings account in your name. With the help of the credit card, strengthen or improve your credit history.
5. Be Prepared for Resistance
In some divorce cases, there is an open and free exchange of information between spouses. Unfortunately, sometimes, a spouse might not disclose financial documents unless they are forced to do so. This might happen if the spouse used to control the finances of the household.
It is the reason why being prepared for resistance is crucial. When you are prepared for rough patches, the chances of confrontation will be reduced. Filing important paperwork beforehand is advised to make sure everything goes smoothly and decrease stress. In case your spouse fights you at every step, you must discuss it with your attorney and explore court-ordered options.
6. Get Help from Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA)
Since a lawyer helps with legal aspects of divorce, a CDFA might be able to manage the financial aspect. It is recommended to contact the analyst as soon as possible. The expert is trained and skilled enough to help and support you throughout the process of divorce. They will make sure you are financially stable and healthy. You must understand divorce is a transaction that has financial consequences in the future.
Therefore, these are some things that you can do before getting divorced. It will help in financially protecting yourself, so your transition is easy and less stressful. There are plenty of divorce lawyers to choose from; however, not all of them are reliable and qualified. So, when you are in search of divorce attorney Columbia MO, we are a perfect choice. We have a team of high-skilled and experienced experts to guide you throughout the divorce process. If you want to know more about us, feel free to get in touch with our customer support professionals.