There is more to a divorce than bringing an end to your marriage. You also need to consider the many ways this will change your financial life.
If you don't focus on your finances up front, you could find yourself in an even more difficult position in the future.
Fortunately, there are a variety of steps you can take to financially prepare for divorce:
- Do what's best for you. You no longer have to consider the thoughts of a spouse, so it's time to make financial decisions that will work in your favor now and in the future.
- Create a budget. Since things are sure to change in regard to your income and expenses, it's imperative to create a budget to keep you on track month after month.
- Make note of how things will change in the future. Your finances will change after divorce, and it's up to you to make note of how this will happen. For example, you will now be a one income family. This could alter your ability to stay current with all your monthly expenses.
- Collect all the necessary documentation. This can include but is not limited to: retirement account statements, bank account statements, recent pay stubs, credit card statements, mortgage and car loan statements, and income tax returns. The more information you collect the better off you will be.
- Don't make any big financial decisions. You may be tempted to make a big purchase, such as a new vehicle, as a means of cheering yourself up. There will be time for this in the future. You don't want to jump the gun too soon, as it could lead to more harm than good.
You never know what will happen as the divorce process unwinds, so the best thing you can do is prepare for everything that could come your way.
When you feel good about your finances, you won't have nearly as much to worry about throughout your divorce and in the days, weeks and months that follow. Take the time to learn more about the divorce process, what to expect and the things you can do to financially prepare for the future.