No two people approach the divorce process in the exact same manner, but it’s critical that you have a clear understanding of what to expect. This allows you to take steps that protect you now and in the future.
The way you approach divorce can and probably will impact your financial future. Here are some tips for ensuring that you don’t go down the wrong path:
- Use an asset and debt division checklist: Once you decide to divorce, create a checklist that clearly outlines all of your assets and debts. Make note of which ones are marital and which ones are separate. This reduces the risk of overlooking something of importance, such as an asset that your soon-to-be ex-spouse is trying to hide.
- Don’t make big purchases: Yes, you still have to live despite the fact that you’re going through a divorce. However, if you make large purchases, they can cloud the water. Examples of big purchases include a motor vehicle, boat or even a second home.
- Stop using joint funds: The moment you decide to divorce is the moment you should consider if you have the ability to use separate funds for all non-joint purchases. Once again, this can protect you against a dispute in the future, such as your spouse arguing that you ran up a high credit card bill.
- Create a post-divorce budget: You don’t know what will happen during your divorce, with respect to your assets and debts, but that shouldn’t stop you from creating a post-divorce budget. With this in place, you can hit the ground running once your divorce is in the past. But without it, you may find that you don’t have the income to cover your expenses. This will add even more stress to your life.
The way you approach divorce and move through the process is likely to affect your financial future.
By following the steps above, you better position yourself to avoid trouble during this difficult time of your life. And when you do that, it’s easier to protect your legal rights while creating the best possible future for yourself.