Once you decide to divorce, your emotions will be all over the place. While it's difficult to keep an even temperament during this time, it's a necessity if you want to manage the process in the best way possible.
Here are three steps you can take to financially prepare for divorce:
- Collect all applicable documentation: This typically includes retirement account statements, bank account statements, investment account statements, life insurance policies, pay stubs and tax returns.
- Set a budget for the future: Your financial situation is likely to change after divorce. For example, you no longer have your spouse's income to rely on. Setting a budget allows you to ensure that you make enough money to cover your necessities. The sooner you do this, the sooner you can adjust your budget to suit your new financial situation.
- Make a list of your assets and debts: This should include both separate and community property. Furthermore, keep a close eye on any assets your soon to be ex-spouse is trying to hide.
Along with the above, don't make any big financial decisions as you're going through your divorce. You may be tempted to buy a new car, for example, but it can complicate matters. You're best off waiting until your divorce is finalized to make the purchase.
When you take these steps, you'll find that you're financially prepared for everything the divorce process will bring. Also, a clear understanding of your legal rights will help prevent you from being taken advantage of in different situations.
Divorce is never easy, but proper preparation puts you in a position to overcome any challenge.