Besides your emotions, the other thing that takes a serious hit when you are divorcing is your finances. One reason is that contested divorces are often expensive as you have to hire divorce lawyers and make countless trips to the courthouse.
When you part with your spouse, they most likely won’t be chipping in the daily expenses, and it will solely be on you.
If you don’t sort your finances, you not only risk being in a financial mess in the short term but in the long term as well. Regardless of whether you are a man or woman, it’s vital that you put your finances in line.
Wondering how to prepare for divorce financially? Well, there are plenty of ways to go about it. Some of these ways include:
Gather the necessary documentation
To have a clear understanding of your financial situation, you should gather the necessary documents. These documents include:
- Credit card statements
- Checking and savings account statements
- Investment account statements
- Recent pay stubs
- Income tax returns
- A list of the assets and debts brought into the marriage and those that have accumulated since marriage.
- Ledgers for loads including auto loans, mortgages, and personal loans
- Investment account statements
- Retirement account statements
You should note that you need to contact a lot of people and step into many offices to get these documents, so you need to brace yourself for it.
Track your expenses
Once you have tried solving your issues and it has become apparent that you have to part ways, you should begin tracking your expenses.
Doing this will help you know where your money goes and what you can cut. Tracking your expenses also helps the judge and attorney decide how to split the assets and debts. It’s also from these records that the judge will determine whether you deserve child support and the amount required.
Keep track of everything, including the food, clothing, entertainment, household bills, transportation, child care, home maintenance, and many others.
Be prepared for resistance.
If your partner controlled the household’s finances, chances are they are going to hide some of the information, such as assets they might have bought during the marriage.
Even if your divorce is cordial, it’s always wise to be fully ready, for the chances are high that it will have rough patches. The right way to go about it is to gather all the necessary paperwork.
Understand the divorce laws in your state
Divorce laws vary by state, so you should take your time and read the laws in your state. In some states, moving money as you are going through a divorce is termed as trying to hide something, but it’s never an issue in other states.
To avoid being on the wrong side, know the divorce law in your state and follow it to the tee.
Refrain from making big financial decisions
We know that you want to protect yourself as much as possible, but you should refrain from making large financial decisions. For example, don’t try to adjust your life insurance beneficiaries.
Also, don’t buy a house, a car, get a new retirement account, or anything else.
The reason for this is because if you make these changes before the divorce is complete, the judge can award them to your spouse. And you don’t want this, do you?
Divorce is a highly emotional affair, and it can be lonely and tiring walking the journey by yourself. To have an easy ride, work closely with experienced family lawyers Fairfax VA and finance experts. These will not only be your source of strength during the turmoil, but also will offer you valuable advice that you desperately need.