Is your marriage heading towards divorce? Are you struggling to find the answers to ‘how do I protect myself financially in a divorce’?
The financial responsibility during separation or divorce can be very complex and can cause a lot of conflicts and misinterpretation.
The longer you have been married and the more assets you have acquired together, the harder it is to make a “clear and fair cut” that serves justice to both sides.
How to survive a divorce financially is an area in which many people made a lot of mistakes while dealing with their divorce.
When your relationship is in ruins, your decisions are highly influenced by your emotional and mental state. It is because of this fragile state that many people fail in financially preparing for divorce.
There’s some good news for you because you can learn a lot from them and make sure not to make those same mistakes again.
Getting through a divorce is difficult enough, and adding the task of financial planning for divorce only makes the process that much harder.
To simplify the process of how to financially prepare for a divorce, we will divide it into 3 stages and offer you practical divorce financial advice on how to make the best out of this difficult situation and how to get through a divorce financially.
Pre-divorce financial advice
Are you wondering how do I prepare financially for divorce?
The divorce financial advice is to separate your bank accounts if possible talk about this step with your soon to be ex-partner.
Take the money you have and bring it to another bank, also make sure that you are the only one who has access to your credit cards.
Make sure that you have photocopies of all the household expenses for the previous twelve months, including utility bills, property taxes, repairs, improvements made to your household, and all the association fees.
Obtain copies of all of the bank records for the previous months along with the real estate transaction during the entire duration of the marriage.
Credit card statements for all open and closed accounts can be a great source of information, and even your travel tickets are valuable indicators of your past and current financial status.
You will need all this documentation to provide a clear picture of income, expenses, and investments made through your marriage to facilitate a better division of “the financial cake” in your divorce.
During divorce financial advice
This is likely going to be the most emotionally challenging period for you, so get support from anyone close to you and ideally went through a divorce or a similar situation.
If you are in an emotional mess, and you decide to isolate such a circumstance will indeed influence the financial decisions you are going to make during your divorce.
How to manage financial issues during a divorce?
Keep a list of questions regarding your finances that are concerning your divorce.
Note down any questions that you have and ask your lawyer, financial advisor, or any other professional advisor you are working with.
Keep in mind that experts that you hired to help you out through your divorce need to be people that you choose consciously and carefully.
People who you feel comfortable with, individuals who you trust, professionals who are competent and efficient in answering your questions. Make sure they are answering in a relevant and timely manner.
Questions you might be dealing with in this stage on your divorce are likely connected to:
1. Current financial concerns- what will be the financial impact of the divorce? What will be the overall expenses? How am I doing financially now? Where will I find more money if I need it?
2. Your family home– what is going to happen to it? Will it be sold? What will be the financial consequences of moving out and living elsewhere?
What if I stay in my current home, will I be able to maintain it with my current income? What are my options in the long-term?
3. Savings and pension money acquired during the marriage- what happens with this money? What is the best way to reach a fair financial settlement around savings and pension?
Which solution would work for me and be respectful of my ex-partner?
If you are having difficulties affording a lawyer, try applying for legal aid if available.
Often for people whose income is below a threshold, there is a state-funded legal board. This may support you in getting the help you need without the trouble of having to lend money from your relatives and going in debt.
Also watch: Preparing for a divorce
Post-divorce financial advice
When the divorce process is over, you can finally look forward to bringing prosperity into your life again. Your life as a single person will be different than the one you had while you were married, and so will be your financial situation.
There are 3 basic divorce financial advice that can support you in your life after divorce.
1. Continue keeping track of your finances- what is not measured can’t be managed, so make sure to keep your habit of having clarity over your income and expenses. When you become good at this, you will be able to predict your future financial figures.
2. Indulge in what you love and cut fearlessly on what you don’t find important – this will teach you to enjoy your life while living within your means.
3. Return your debt and start saving- is decent divorce financial advice relevant to anyone looking for a good quality of life, but for people who went through a divorce, it comes with a sense of “urgency.”
If nothing else, your divorce likely allowed you to look closely into your financial situation, and now you can continue planning out your life with more clarity and, therefore, better control over your finances.
Be accountable, responsible, and proactive, and you will make the best out of your financial situation affected by divorce.
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
Rachael Pace is a noted relationship writer associated with Marriage.com. She provides inspiration, support, and empowerment in the form of motivational articles and essays. Rachael enjoys studying the evolution of loving partnerships and is passionate about writing on them. She believes that everyone should make room for love in their lives and encourages couples to work on overcoming their challenges together.