Financially Preparing For Divorce

f you are considering divorce, one of your first concerns is probably how you’ll manage financially. Generally the same income that supported one household must now support two. If money was tight before, you can bet it’s going to be tough when you’re on your own.

Financial issues can be the root cause of a divorce. Money is an issue that drives a wedge between many couples, creating a gap that cannot easily be bridged. Divorce can be particularly stressful if you don’t know how you’ll make it when all is said and done.

To ease the financial anxiety of divorce, you need to plan well and do some research. It’s important that you speak with a divorce lawyer before negotiating or agreeing to any divorce settlement to protect your finances.

After you decide to divorce, you should cancel all joint credit accounts and start fresh with accounts that are in only your name. If these accounts can be paid off, it’s a good idea to clear the balance to avoid future credit problems. Joint accounts are the legal responsibility of both parties, regardless of the divorce settlement. This means that if an ex-spouse is irresponsible with an account after divorce, the creditor may pursue you for payment and post negatives on your credit report.

You should open a post office box and start having your mail delivered to it before filing for divorce. Even if you may not be planning to move, keeping your mail separate will ensure your privacy. With a post office box, you will also be certain that you are receiving all of your mail. You may need to have confidential financial documents mailed to you, and your separate post office box will keep them safe from prying eyes.

If possible, you should put some of your own money aside while contemplating divorce. You will likely have to disclose these funds during the discovery process, but this money can be a safety net while you are planning your divorce.

Before meeting with your divorce lawyer, you will need to gather all financial records. You will need copies of recent tax returns, bank statements, credit card statements, loan documents, deeds to real estate, insurance policies and a list of all debts and assets. By providing your lawyer with complete information you can avoid frustrating and delaying the process.

If you own any non-marital property or have an inheritance or trust fund, you should also provide documentation and information about these assets to your divorce lawyer. While they will likely remain yours, you will be required to prove that they are not a part of the marital estate.

With guidance from your divorce lawyer [], you may be able to negotiate parts of your divorce settlement agreement with your spouse and avoid costly litigation. Keep the legal advice you are given in mind and never agree to anything without running it by your lawyer first.

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