When a once-happy marriage begins to crumble there is no denying the fact there will be some emotional scars left behind. However, if you’re not careful divorce can also lead to some collateral damage. Getting your finances in order before the dissolution of a marriage can help you survive the process without any unrecoverable monetary upheaval.
According to sources like the American Psychological Association, 40-50% of all US marriages today end in divorce. Keeping this statistic in mind, it would be advisable to have an understanding of some of the best ways to financially prepare for a separation or divorce.
Find an Attorney
You may feel that retaining an attorney is a pricey venture that you don’t need, especially if your divorce seems mostly amicable. But the truth is, even in notoriously expensive divorce states you can find a reasonably priced attorney to make the entire process run smoother and easier. Experienced and affordable divorce lawyers can assist in things like assembling paperwork, filing documents, and corresponding with your estranged spouse.
Collect as Much Information as Possible
It’s not uncommon in a marriage to have one partner assume the responsibility for maintaining household finances. And while this works well in a partnership, it can make things difficult during a divorce. If you feel that your marriage is nearing its end, gather bank statements, credit card accounts, loan applications, income information, tax bills, mortgage statements or rent receipts, credit reports, W-2s, 1099s, and anything else that has a bearing on your financial health. Keep these records on hand, as they will help you and your attorney.
If Possible, Save Some Money
You know that you are about to embark on the divorce process. What you don’t know is how all of this will affect your financial future. Aside from the costs of a divorce itself–which can be quite costly–you might end up facing child support or alimony payments. And some attorneys won’t work without a retainer. You’ll also want to have some extra cash on hand for living expenses in case your bank accounts are tied up. If at all possible, save up some extra cash in the months or weeks leading up to your divorce.