Get Financially prepared before divorce.
When you go from a dual income hosuehold to a single income household, the financial change can be traumatizing. While many people’s first thought when getting ready to divorce is to hire a lawyer, too many make the mistake of not seeking financial advice first. If you are thinking about divorce, there are several steps you can take to put you in a better financial position for the process.
1) Pay attention to your accounts. If you don’t already, learn where they are, how much is in them, and what transactions have occurred in the last 6 months. To learn about what accounts may exist, look at your tax returns, the financial statement in the paperwork for your mortgage, and at your current bank statements.
2) Have some emergency cash set aside for hiring a lawyer, making a quick temporary housing change, or other needs if your marital funds are tied up by filing. You can do this by opening a separate checking account and moving some money to it or by putting cash in a safe place at home.
3) Get professional help with financial advice. They can help you outline how much money you may need and what you situation may look like as two separate households. This includes, retirement plans, regular savings, employment needs and options, and other issues that you should consider.
4) Consider mediation before filing. Most cases can be resolved through mediation, often before you ever file. Mediation can address division of assets, debts, and housing issues without the battle and expense of court. It can make the financial transition much easier by working out a plan for you each to ease into single incomehood.
No matter how much advice you get, know that you are never prepared enough to face financially what you will go through in divorce. But planning ahead of time can make things easier.