Divorce is not only emotionally draining, but it also breaks you in all ways and leaves you cleaning up the left legal, spiritual and financial mess. Thankfully, you can organize yourself and prepare for the tough times ahead. One way to do it is to prepare yourself financially. Wondering how to go about it? Here are tips on how to prepare for divorce financially:
Be cautious of the advice you receive
When you are going through anything as tragic as divorce, you are bound to have a few people around you. While some might mean good, others might derail you. One thing you might be told is to move money from one account to another. Others will tell you to change accounts and make other financial moves that might land you into problems.
To be safe, don’t do anything your friends tell you. Remember, divorce laws vary by state, and what works in one state might not work in another. If you aren’t sure whether to make a certain move, consult your local top-rated divorce lawyers.
Pay close attention to your spending.
Most divorcees end up having less money than they had when they were together, so get granular on the amount of money you spend. Pay close attention to all the money you are spending. Whether it’s eating out, shopping, buying personal items, or having fun, have a record of it and start cutting unnecessary areas.
Do you really need that $4 coffee cup at your favorite coffee shop, or you enjoy being there as it’s more convenient?
What about the shopping that you constantly make? Does the house need those new drapes, or you have a bad buying habit?
The purpose of cutting back on your expenses is you have enough money to get through the process. Cutting back also helps you get used to having little, so even if you don’t get much from the divorce, you won’t have to adjust your life too much.
Work on increasing your income
If you have made the cuts and still the amount you have isn’t enough to cover your expenses, you should now look at the income side of the equation and see whether you can grow it.
Do you have bonds, stocks, CDs, rental real estate, or anything else you can get more money from? Do you have a high-income skill that you can put to use? Does your current schedule allow you to take another job?
You should explore these areas and choose the one that makes the most sense to you.
Gather the financial documents
Your marriage’s financial aspects will come up in court, so it’s good to prepare early and collect all the relevant documents. Although, the process is time-consuming and tedious, it will save you a lot of time and stress in the future.
If you and your spouse share accounts, get in touch with your financial institutions or advisors and get copies of these documents:
- Retirement account statements
- Investment account statements
- Checking and savings account statements
- Credit card statements
- Lists of assets and debts brought into the marriage and those you have accumulated since marriage.
- Recent pay stubs
- Income tax returns
Since emotions cloud your judgment, it’s wise to have a person you can count on by your side in your divorce journey. This can be your pastor, best man during your marriage, or an old genuine friend.
If you are still having a problem, sift through your local divorce lawyers Fairfax VA and find a reputable attorney to work with. Although the attorney will charge you for their service, they will save you a lot of stress as you will have a knowledgeable person to talk to. The attorney will also help you to smoothly separate your personal life from your finances.