Divorce has the potential to beHaddonfield Divorce Lawyers discuss Preparing Financially for Divorce financially devastating. The lifestyle you once knew may be turned upside down. And even the most amicable couples can turn against each other when it comes to the finances and other matters in a divorce. For these reasons and more, it is critical prepare yourself financially if divorce is on the horizon. Careful preparation can mean the difference between thriving and struggling after your divorce. Here are a few steps that can help:
Create an overview of your financial situation. Gather any documents or records related to your and your spouse’s outstanding debts. An attorney can help you get a full disclosure of all financial records and accounts. You will need to gather copies related to credit card accounts, home equity lines, and a variety of other items. It would be wise to store your documents safely away in a safe deposit box. You will also need to disclose your own financial status.
Open your own accounts. You should open your own checking, savings, and retirement accounts; and your own credit cards. You should also acquire your own car insurance. You should begin using these accounts right away, because any account that lists both spouses will likely be split equally, but could be used to pay off one spouse’s debt beforehand.
Note your assets. Even though it may seem like an extreme step in the beginning, taking an inventory of your assets will help to protect you later in the divorce. Although anything you obtain during the marriage is usually considered marital property, you will want to separate anything you owned prior to marriage, any gifts given to you alone, and any inheritances. Take time-stamped photos of anything of value, including jewelry, antiques, valuable rugs, and so on.
Keep track of your credit report. Get a copy of your credit report, and review it carefully. This is a good time to correct any errors. Look carefully at outstanding debts, and if something does not add up, ask your attorney for assistance in making corrections. You should continue to monitor your report throughout your divorce.
Make decisions quickly about mortgage or rent payments. Even though you are divorcing, someone must continue to pay the mortgage or the rent. If you move out prematurely, it could hurt your claim to the home. You may come to an arrangement about who will keep the house, but until then, you are responsible for 50 percent of the payments. Keep records of any payments you make. Be aware that a judge could mandate the sale of a house to make the settlement easier.
Consider the will. If you have a will, this is the time to review it and make any changes, or to start anew. You need to immediately discuss and adjust your will based on your divorce settlement agreement. You need to consider how your will could impact the children you already have, and any possible future children or stepchildren. It is always best to review your estate plan immediately, no matter how small.
Come with a plan for child support. If you have children, this will be a primary consideration of course. The parents are expected to come up with a financial arrangement to care for the children that will not dramatically affect their current standard of living. It would be smart to work with your spouse to come to a child support agreement.
Adjust your expenses. You may have to make lifestyle changes to deal with your new financial reality. Be ever-conscious of your expenses, create a budget, and save money where you can. What is most important, and what you can live without will become clear through this process.
Haddonfield Divorce Lawyers at Kearney, Burns & Martone Assist Clients in Preparing for Divorce
A qualified Haddonfield divorce lawyer can help to guide you and protect you financially as you navigate through the complex maze of divorce. Complete our online contact form or call 856-547-7733 to schedule your confidential consultation at Kearney, Burns & Martone. We are located in Haddon Heights, NJ.