5 Ways You Can Financially Prepare for An Upcoming Divorce
April 20, 2018
Divorce is often an emotionally stressful and taxing time in a person’s life. It is easy to overlook the need to have a detailed plan on how to get through the divorce as well as how life will look afterward. One of the most important aspects to plan ahead for is one’s financial health.
Here are some steps that can help you financially prepare for your divorce, and life afterward:
1) Open Your Own Bank Account and Start Saving.
Even if you haven’t officially filed for divorce, one thing that you need to do is set up your own bank account that cannot be accessed by your soon-to-be former spouse—and start saving.
This will not only protect you from getting “cleaned out and left with nothing,” but will also give you a start for the expenses of single life. Even if you and your spouse already live separately, there will likely be expenses that you haven’t accounted for once you are living the life of a single person (with or without children to support).
2) Learn to Handle Your Financial Affairs.
You don’t want to be caught in the trap of, “My husband/wife took care of all the bills,” only to go through the divorce and not know how to pay the mortgage, car payments, utilities. As archaic as it may sound, even today there is often one spouse that handles most of the finances in the marriage. Many schools and colleges offer night courses on how to handle online banking, bill payments, and budgeting. Consider this option if you’re just not sure where to start.
3) Put Together a Realistic Budget and Be Prepared to Adjust Your Lifestyle.
Speaking of budgeting, one of the most painful parts of post-divorce life is realizing that life won’t be the same as it was before. To get a handle on how life will look post-divorce, you will need to put together a realistic budget showing what expenses you will expect and how you will pay them. That might involve selling the house and downsizing, trading the SUV for a compact car, and/or getting a job (or second job depending on the situation). It is best to come to terms with these choices ahead of time rather than risk losing it all in a bankruptcy by failing to be realistic and anticipate the changes to life after your divorce.
4) Find the Right Divorce Attorney.
Often, the most costly part of a divorce is how much you will be paying to handle the legal process. Unfortunately, no two divorces are the same, and you can’t simply read up what happened to someone else online and assume that you can handle it all yourself.
Some divorces are for couples that have only been married for a short time, have no children and few shared assets. For these couples, a low cost, uncontested divorce might work best.
Other couples may have been married for a number of years, have children and significant shared assets. These divorces can be significantly more complex because they could involve division of assets, support, and access issues. The job of the attorneys is to come to the solution that works best for both parties. We will guide you through all of your options.
5) Get Solid Financial Advice.
Last, but not least, you should seek assistance from a financial advisor who can evaluate your specific needs and financial situation. You will need to be open, clear, and honest about your and your spouse’s financial position. By working with your advisor, the two of you should be able to come up with a financial plan that best suits your needs and situation.
If you’re going through a divorce, or even considering it, find an attorney who will protect your interests while also taking your children’s best interest into consideration. Contact the Law Offices of Tad Davis today for assistance with your Arizona divorce!