When going through the divorce process, you’ll have questions and concerns about everything from property and debt division to child support and alimony. You may soon find that many of the things you continually think about are closely related to your current and future finances.
There are steps you can take to prepare your finances for divorce and beyond, including the following:
- Use a property division and debt checklist: This lists out all your assets and debts, so that you manage them appropriately during the divorce process. You can also use your checklist to make note of which assets and debts are joint and separate.
- Pay off joint debt: You don’t necessarily have to wait until the divorce process to tackle joint debt. For example, if you have a joint credit card balance, talk to your spouse about using some of your savings to eliminate it.
- Create a new budget: Once you have a post-divorce budget in place, you’ll better understand how much money you need to maintain your standard of living. This could alter your career path and/or cause you to make some changes to the way you spend.
- Don’t make large purchases: You’ll need to spend some money to live during your divorce, but don’t push the limit. This isn’t the right time to buy a new house or car, as doing so could result in confusion in regard to where you got the money. Wait until your divorce is finalized to make these types of purchases.
- Make smart financial decisions: This basic advice can go a long way in keeping you on the right path. For example, if you can’t afford to maintain your family home, don’t argue that you should receive it in your settlement.
Your financial situation isn’t the only thing to think about during your divorce, but it’s one of the most important details. When you prepare in advance, you’ll feel better about what the future will bring while also positioning yourself to immediately deal with any challenges.
Proper preparation and knowledge of your legal rights will give you peace of mind before, during and after your divorce.