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What does it mean to financially prepare for divorce?

If you've decided to divorce, your immediate attention will turn to matters regarding child custody, child support, spousal support and property and debt division.

While all of these things are important, don't wait too long to financially prepare for the divorce process. Here are some of the many things you can do:

  • Create a budget: Knowing what your budget will look like after divorce gives you a better idea of the steps to take. For example, if you can't pay all your bills with your current income, seek out ways to save money in the future.
  • Gather documentation: Your financial records will provide you with guidance. These may also be required during your divorce. Gather bank statements, retirement account statements, credit card statements, pay stubs and tax returns to start.
  • Make a list of separate and joint assets: Any assets you brought into your marriage may be protected from division. Listing these out will help you keep these items safe.
  • Cancel joint accounts: Leaving a joint credit card account open, for example, could result in trouble. Your soon to be ex-spouse could run up a high balance, thus sticking you with half in the divorce.

When you take the time to financially prepare for divorce, you'll feel better about what's to come as the process begins.

You may need to change direction along the way, so don't hesitate to reassess your situation as necessary. As long as you know how to protect your legal rights, you'll be confident in your ability to avoid a mistake that costs you time and/or money.

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