Step 1 in Divorce Preparation: Getting Your Money Matters in Order
Whatever makes you ask for a divorce, but if you and your partner are no longer willing to share space and thus are dead set on ending your marital relationship anytime soon, then it is time to put your mind to this problem fundamentally.
Because breakup is a complicated, yet very stressful process, it is crucial to prepare for it in advance. Of course, you cannot be a hundred percent prepared for the process, as unpredictable circumstances may arise any minute. However, with the right amount of organizational work, your process will go faster and more smoothly with no doubt.
From there, let’s start from the very beginning and consider the first step you should take long before you get to prepare your legal divorce forms.
Detailed Plan on How to Evaluate Your Financial Health
You have probably spent a lot of time weighing all the pros and cons of divorce. Moreover, you have probably tried couples therapy, but it was all for nothing. Given the said, it is time to arrange your money matters to protect yourself financially.
- Collect your financial records
Make sure that you have all your financial records at hand. If not, then gather all relevant documents, including your payroll records, tax returns, benefits data, banking records, capital accounts, and property info.
Also, it doesn’t hurt to duplicate your documentation and keep the copies anywhere else than at home – either at your office or in a bank. If you have evidence of your financial business, you can settle your property-asset division issues faster and protect yourself in case a piece of important financial information goes missing.
- Take inventory of your all assets
While collecting your documentation, take an inventory of your all assets. When it comes to separate property, you should take inventory of anything that you had acquired before entered into marriage, including gifts and inheritance. Everything bought during your marital life should be treated as marital property.
Snap a picture of your belongings, including your collector’s items, pieces of jewelry, and antiques. As ridiculous as it may sound, things are likely to go missing as soon as you start preparing your divorce package.
- Check on your credit activity
To recover financially after divorce within the shortest possible time, you must have a good understanding of your financial standing today. To get a full picture of your financial shape, you should check on your credit report to find out exactly how much you owe at the moment.
If it seems like something doesn’t add up, then consult with your lawyer if you have one, and only then ask another party for explanations politely. Also, it pays to keep monitoring your credit activity throughout the entire divorce process to avoid painful surprises in the future.
- Open personal accounts
Once a big decision is made, make time to open individual accounts in your name. Due to confidentiality concerns, choose a bank other than that used by your soon-to-be ex-spouse. Make sure you have a credit card and checking and savings accounts opened in your name only. Use your credit card as is right and proper to build a good credit history to achieve financial independence from your former love as soon as possible.
- Evaluate your spending and cut your expenses when possible
Getting divorced has never been cheap. As soon as you realize that your marital life is about to end and breakup is inevitable, you should get a closer look at your spending habit, list your expenses, and tally up how much money you will need not only to cover divorce filing fees but also to make a fresh start as a single person. To put enough money aside, adopt new lifestyle changes to eliminate unnecessary expenses.
- Consult with a certified divorce financial analyst
While lawyers help their clients deal with various legal issues, financial professionals help their clients resolve their financial issues. So, it is highly recommended to consult with a CDFA to get to know exactly where you stand financially. This person will help you deal with your money issues so that you can avoid unwanted financial problems later on.
Keep in mind that every financial decision that you make during a divorce will have a long-term impact on your future life. Far not all attorneys are financially competent. No matter how experienced your lawyer is, he or she may be not able to settle important financial matters that usually arise along the way.
A good financial specialist will lend you a helping hand on every stage of your financial assessment process and ensure that you don’t offend against the law. Even if you are going to get divorce online, this person will explain to you what personal finances are in the simplest terms so that you can clearly realize what your standing is like at the moment. It is no secret that you will go to the expense of untying your knot on paper very soon, but if you arrange your matters properly today, there are fewer chances of you going on the hook tomorrow.