You have a lot to think about once you decide to file for divorce, but your finances are sure to land somewhere near the top of your priority list.
If you don’t focus the necessary attention on your finances before and during your divorce, you could come to regret your decision down the road.
Here are some of the many steps you can take to protect your finances in a divorce:
- Review everything: From your bank account statements to your retirement account statements, from your credit card debt to your mortgage balance, review everything associated with your finances. Furthermore, keep this information nearby, as you’re likely to need it during your divorce.
- Create a property and debt division checklist: In its most basic form, this is a list of all the assets and debts that you have. You can categorize both by those that are separate and those that are marital.
- Know what you want to accomplish: For example, you may have concerns about where you’ll live with your children post-divorce, so you want to fight to stay in your family home. Or maybe you don’t want to stay in your family home, as you’re unsure of if you can handle the monthly mortgage payment and maintenance on your own.
- Consider the tax implications: Many of the decisions you make regarding your finances can have tax implications, especially those associated with retirement accounts, investment accounts, stocks, bonds and mutual funds. Consult with your tax professional to ensure that you know how your divorce and property/debt division will affect your tax situation.
- Seek out hidden assets: If you’re suspicious that your imminent ex-spouse is hiding assets, dig around in an attempt to gather as much evidence as possible.
When you take these steps, you’ll feel more confident in your ability to protect your finances during the divorce process.
Don’t lose sight of the fact that the other individual may be taking these exact same steps. For that reason, a detailed plan that provides direction will help you reach all your goals while putting you on the right path to future financial success.