Divorce is, unfortunately, a common occurrence in today’s society. While trying to work things out with your spouse is always best, sometimes it is impossible. If you find yourself in a situation where you are getting a divorce, there are some essential things to keep in mind when settling your finances.
Below are some steps to help you get organized and protect yourself during a marital separation:
Gather all critical financial documents in one place.
Having all your financial documents in one place when going through a divorce is essential. Doing so will make settling your finances and figuring out what you are owed more accessible. Your divorce settlement will depend on many factors, including your income, debts, and assets. If you do not have all of your financial information organized, it will be much harder to get a fair settlement.
Some financial documents you will need include tax returns, bank statements, pay stubs, and mortgage paperwork. Getting a copy of your credit report is also a good idea. It will give you an accurate picture of your financial situation. Once you have gathered your financial documents, you can start working on the technical aspects of your divorce settlement.
Talk to a family lawyer.
A reputable family lawyer can help you understand the legal process of divorce and what you are entitled to. They can also help you negotiate a fair settlement with your spouse. A lawyer can help determine child custody arrangements and child support payments if you have children. If you own a home, a lawyer can help you figure out what will happen to it during the divorce.
When you have a professional by your side, you are more likely to get a fair settlement. You should also talk to a financial advisor to help you understand the financial aspects of divorce and what you can do to protect your finances.
Create a budget.
Of course, you will need to create a budget during your divorce. This part is significant if you are used to living on one income. You will need to figure out how much money you will have and your expenses. Ensure to include child care, alimony, and mortgage payments in your budget.
If you have never created a budget before, many resources are available to help you. There are also numerous financial calculators online that can help you figure out your expenses. Plus, many software programs can help you create a budget and track your spending.
A budget will give you a clear picture of your current situation and help you plan for the future. If you are going through a divorce, take the time to create a budget and use it as a tool to help you settle your finances.
Get your credit in order.
Your credit will be affected by divorce, so it is essential to get it in order before you start the process. You should get a copy of your credit report and check it for errors. If you find any, dispute them with the credit bureau. You should also start paying down your debts and building your credit score.
If you have joint accounts with your spouse, close them. You do not want to be held responsible for their debts after the divorce. It’s best if you could open new accounts in your name only. Doing so will help you establish credit in your name and rebuild your credit score.
Keep track of all expenses.
During your divorce, it is essential to keep track of all of your expenses. That includes attorney’s fees, court costs, and other costs associated with the divorce. You will need this information when negotiating a settlement with your spouse.
Make sure to keep receipts and bank statements. You can use them to prove your expenses if you need to. Besides, keeping track of your costs will also help you stay on budget during your divorce.
And although it may be difficult, try to avoid using credit cards during your transactions. Using credit cards can add to your debt and make it harder to get a fair settlement.
A divorce can be a stressful and emotional time. But take the time to understand the process and organize your finances. You can protect yourself and get a fair settlement. The above steps will help you do just that. So, if you are facing a divorce, take the time to gather your financial documents, talk to a lawyer and financial advisor, create a budget, and track your expenses. Doing so will help you through this tough time and set you up for success in the future.