For some couples, no matter what they do to fix their marriage, the only option left for them is to get a divorce. Going through this process is not fun emotionally, mentally, or financially.
Divorces can quickly get messy when finance issues start to rear their head. Separating money between the two parties can cause many fights and resentment. However, it is a necessary and crucial part of the divorce process.
Although your divorce attorney in Scottsdale will have advice specific to your case, there are some general tips to help you get your finances ready for your upcoming or pending divorce.
Gather All Necessary Documents
You’ll need to gather all the documents that show what you and your spouse’s financial situation is like. It is a good idea to have a copy of things like your checking and savings account, any investments, loans, credit card statements, retirement accounts, and income tax. The more organized you are with your finances, the smoother the process is likely to go. Plan on gathering up at least 24 to 36 months of statements for the past 2 to 3 years on all accounts.
Don’t Start Overspending
When you know that you’ll be getting a divorce, try to keep your spending habits either the same or more conservative. Deciding to go and spend all of yours and your spouse’s money before the divorce begins could certainly work against you once the case begins.
Ensure that the two of you have sufficient money set aside for the attorneys and anything else related to the divorce (e.g. expert witnesses).
Leave Large Financial Decisions for Later
Once a divorce is certain, it may be tempting to go and take your soon-to-be ex-spouse off of your life insurance, health insurance, or anything else that his or her name is on. You may want to hold off on that though. Once the case begins, you are prohibited from canceling insurance coverage or joint accounts. The judge will certainly want things to remain status quo until the case resolves.
Jumping too quickly into significant changes that remove your spouse could work against you in court. Many of those issues will need to be negotiated out during the legal proceedings. The judge takes issue with what you may have done without the blessing of the court and reward your spouse instead.
Make a note of Your Assets
It’s important that you have a clear picture of all the assets and liabilities you and your spouse possess. Make sure to note what is owned together and what you each bought before marriage. These documents will help you out when it is time to split things between the two of you.
Ask for Help
When in doubt, talk to your attorney for help on how to handle your finances during a divorce. He or she is there to help you navigate the case, so it is wise to take advantage of that. You will be able to get advice precisely tailored to your family wealth situation.
Once the divorce is finalized, you’ll be living without the help of your spouse. Especially if he or she was the primary income for the family, you likely will need to adjust your spending habits.
Start budgeting with only your income in mind. See how you will be able to manage all of your expenses and if you will need to bring in any additional revenue. By starting now, it will help prepare you for when the divorce ultimately concludes. They all do.