5 Tips to Get Your Finances in Order Before Divorce
Going through a divorce can be difficult and stressful. Probably the hardest part of the divorce process is agreeing on a financial settlement. This is even harder if previously during your marriage, you didn’t get involved much in the family finances, leaving it to your partner.
Once you have decided to get divorced, you must take action to get your finances in order as soon as you can. During the divorce process, you will make decisions that will affect the rest of your life. Educate yourself to ensure you get what you want with as little stress and acrimony as possible.
Here are 5 tips to help you:
1) Get advice
Sure, you can complete your divorce on your own, but it’s much harder that way, emotionally and intellectually.
Find someone who can direct you towards all the financial information you need, and help you make sense of it. A solicitor practising in Family Law is the ideal person for this task. They have the knowledge and experience to help you with every eventuality.
If you encounter any resistance while preparing your finances, your solicitor will back you up. Plus, they will reassure you that you are on the right path to a smooth divorce.
2) Know your income and spending
If you were not previously involved in the finances of your household, once you have decided to get a divorce, now is the time to start.
Track the budgets of your household; the money coming in and going out. Work out how much of your income you spend on your mortgage, bills, cars and everything else. If you have children, know how much it costs to support them in everything they do. Are you in debt? If so, how much and who do you owe?
You also need to think of the future. Are your children about to go to university? Are you about to retire? All of this information is necessary to bring about a settlement that works for you.
Working out all of this early on in the process will help you decide how to split your resources after divorce. It will also give you a steer on how to budget for life after divorce.
3) Find your essential financial documents
Okay, no one likes rummaging through reams of old paper, but if you’re getting divorced, you’re going to have to!
There may come a time in your divorce process when you will need to prove something in your financial affairs. If you have all your documents to hand, you will save yourself time and stress.
Think about locating:
- Bank statements
- Mortgage statements
- Loan agreements
- Life insurance and anything else you may think is useful
- You might not need all of it, but it will provide peace of mind.
4) Be cautious with your spending
After deciding to get divorced, it may be tempting to splash out on a trip to Las Vegas on the family credit card. Resist that temptation!
It will only deplete the pot that will be shared out later. It could also create bad feeling and make you look irresponsible.
Save Vegas for after the Decree Absolute!
5) Think about your expectations
This can be hard, especially when you are emotionally drained from the breakup of your marriage. However, it is a good idea to think early on about what you want from your divorce settlement. Think about your house, your bank accounts and your pensions. What is in your mind as a reasonable division, at this early stage?
Your solicitor will help you with this. Be wary of taking advice from friends who will be more bullish and combative.
This will help you manage your expectations. It will also help you approach the negotiations in a reasonable manner. Finally, it could stop you from going along with everything your ex-spouse proposes just for a quiet life.
Follow these tips and you will be in a better place emotionally and financially to start the divorce process.