Counseling isn’t always the answer to marital problems. Sometimes it’s in everyone’s best interest to go their separate ways, but that’s easier said than done. These are a few easy ways to prep your finances for divorce so your future seems less intimidating.
Separating your lives includes all of your financial accounts and assets. Whether you only share a bank account or spend decades building a life together, these tips will help you navigate the road to becoming financially independent.
1. Research Your Current Standing
Establishing your current standing is the first way to prep your finances for divorce. List any accounts you have in your name and which you share with your partner. Include any insurance policies in your name, including your life insurance.
It’s also crucial to save printed or digital statements from your accounts. Bank accounts, retirement savings and any investments will need written proof of your ownership and contributions. The same standard goes for any shared loans or credit card debt.
2. Track Your Expenses
Redirecting your finances isn’t possible if you don’t know where your money goes. Track your expenses and investigate your monthly purchases, like subscriptions and impulse shopping. Categorize each purchase to narrow down how you spend your income and prepare to either cover the same lifestyle independently or cut down your budget.
3. Pick a Place to Live
Prep your finances for divorce by picking a place to live as the foundation of your budget. You may have to move out of your home and pay monthly rent or mortgage payments. Those will take a significant chunk of your budget, so it’s best to form your spending and saving habits around what you’ll pay for housing. Research where you’d like to live and compare prices for whatever you want as your new living arrangements.
4. Wait for Big Decisions
It’s natural to want to change your life insurance policy beneficiaries after deciding to divorce, but don’t make any big decisions yet. Adjusting financial assets like that will seem suspicious to a judge if it happens before legal representatives step in. Your lawyers will handle insurance policies, retirement accounts and any other financial changes that involve your spouse. Otherwise, the moves will appear suspicious and could result in criminal contempt charges.
5. Keep Things Amicable
If possible, try to keep things amicable before asking for your divorce. It’s easier to communicate about financial issues if you both agree that the divorce is best. Partners who are deeply hurt and emotionally charged are less likely to compromise, which could drag your divorce proceedings and complicate your financial independence.
6. Ask for Help
There’s so much to think about after filing divorce papers. You might feel overwhelmed after jumping into your financial situation. Ask your lawyer for help if you’re ever confused. They’ll clarify what’s in your best interest so everything proceeds smoothly. If they don’t know how to help, they’ll have professional connections to someone who can.
Prep Your Finances for Divorce
You can use any of these ways to prep your finances for divorce. Start simple by assessing how you spend money and what your income looks like. As the divorce proceedings commence, your lawyer will work with you to move accounts into your name so you can support yourself when the divorce becomes official.