It may not be something you’re looking forward to, but it’s a necessity to prepare your finances for divorce. With knowledge of your situation, it’s easier to make confident decisions that will work in your favor in the future.
Here are five steps you can take to prepare your finances for divorce:
- Gather all necessary financial records: These vary from person to person, but typically include bank account statements, retirement account statements, mortgage statements, tax returns and pay stubs.
- Make a list of your assets and debts: Knowledge of both your assets and debts is imperative as you move into discussions regarding property division. Also, make note of which assets are jointly owned and which ones are owned by either you or your ex.
- Open your own accounts: Once you close joint accounts, it’s time to open new ones for yourself. This can include bank accounts, retirement accounts and a credit card account, among others.
- Create a budget: Your income and expenses are likely to change as a result of divorce, so creating a new budget is a must. This is also a good time to search for unnecessary expenses, as you may want to eliminate these when possible.
- Get help: You’re not alone as you prepare your finances for divorce. There is plenty of help to be had, ranging from a divorce attorney to a financial analyst to your tax professional. These professionals can answer your questions and provide direction during this difficult period.
As you take these steps, you’ll find yourself feeling better about your current situation and your ability to tackle the divorce process head on.
Along the way, you may find that you need to adjust your approach. Doing so is critical to remaining on track from start to finish.
Every move you make should take into consideration what’s best for you, both now and post-divorce. Also, keep your legal rights in mind, as you need to protect yourself every step of the way.
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