When you get to the point in a marriage where it becomes clear that a divorce is imminent, or at least very likely, it will be quite emotional. There will be many things that you need to do in order to get ready for a divorce, and one of the most important is prepare financially. Not only is divorce an expensive process, but you also have to start preparing for when the finances that were once together in the marriage become separate. The following steps can help you financially prepare for a divorce so you can get through the divorce in as strong a position as possible.
Make a Personal Budget
The first thing you need to do is make a full budget with only the income and expenses you have, or are likely to have, after the divorce. Many people emerge from a divorce and are surprised at how different their finances are, which can cause big problems. By attempting to live as if you were already divorced, financially speaking, it can help ease the transition.
Cut Back on Optional Expenses
Unless you are very wealthy, you will almost certainly have to reduce your spending during and after the divorce. The sooner you can do that, the easier it will be. Go through all your expenses and see which ones you can live without. Cutting back on cable, for example, can free up money than can be used to help cover expenses associated with the divorce and leave you extra wiggle room in your post-divorce budget.
Start a Divorce Savings Fund
Attempt to make room in the budget to start putting money away for getting through the divorce process. You’ll need money to pay for an attorney, to deal with expenses of moving out of a home (if applicable), and much more. The sooner you can start putting money away to cover these expenses, the better off you’ll be.
Keep a Close Eye on Your Credit
Many people begin to act irrationally when a divorce is imminent. If your spouse begins racking up credit card or other debt as the divorce approaches, you need to be aware of it as soon as possible. Your attorney may be able to show the courts that this portion of the marital debt was intentionally created by your spouse so you won’t be responsible for it after the divorce.
Identify All of Your Assets
Another thing some people try to do when a divorce is approaching is attempt to hide certain assets. To combat this risk, it is a good idea to make a full list of all assets that you and your spouse have. This includes things like property, retirement accounts, savings accounts, cars, non-retirement accounts, and anything else that has value. Having this list when beginning a divorce will help streamline the division of assets since it won’t be necessary to do as much research in this area.
Contact an Attorney Today
One last ‘bonus’ tip is to make sure you contact an attorney as soon as possible when you believe a divorce is imminent. This can help you to get a better idea of how much you’ll need to save, and what you can expect during the divorce process. You can contact John Totten Law to schedule a consultation and discuss all your options to see how to best move forward.