If divorce is looming, here are six ways to protect yourself financially, identify all of your assets and clarify what is yours. Get copies of all your financial statements. Decide what you want and need. If you and your spouse mixed financial accounts, your credit will affect theirs and vice versa.
Even couples with the best intentions can accidentally damage a couple's credit by paying bills late or missing a payment. In the worst case scenario, your partner has exclusive access to your confidential financial information, and you want to make sure you monitor your credit activity while doing so. With the help of your lawyer, request a full disclosure of all jointly and individually owned financial assets so you can know where your money is and where it is going. Make copies to protect loans and credit card accounts, as well as home guarantee lines, past tax returns, and business debts.
You'll also want to control nonmarital assets, things that are considered to belong to a single spouse, such as property brought into marriage, inheritances, and gifts given specifically to a person. There are three ways to protect yourself financially during a divorce. The first is to ensure that child support is paid. The second is to request spousal maintenance, if applicable.
The third is to conduct proper discovery to ensure that all assets are known and divided equally. Meet with your spouse and agree to cancel unnecessary utilities, such as cable television, additional phone lines, etc. You will most likely need the additional money in the very near future. The stress that comes from a divorce can often be compounded by financial challenges without proper planning.
We have guided many clients through the financial challenges of divorce and have compiled some tips for women who might find themselves in the process. Make sure you know exactly what you have financially in terms of cash, assets and real estate down to the last penny. If you consult your lawyer and come up with a plan, you can ensure that you protect yourself financially during and after your divorce. It's easy for us to talk about divorce and say that the best way to prevent financial, emotional, and relational difficulties is simply to prevent divorce from happening.
Both spouses tend to do better in structured processes where they negotiate solutions to their disputes, financial and otherwise, rather than letting a court decide. Sometimes the two spouses can come to an agreement about who keeps the house, but it often makes more financial sense to sell it. And after a couple has spent decades saving and investing together, the stakes and the potential financial consequences may be greater in these gray divorces. In addition to the emotional toll that divorce can cause families, people going through a divorce can often experience financial challenges as well.
Now is an ideal time to meet with a financial professional to help guide you through the many complex financial challenges of a divorce.