If you believe that a divorce is in your future, you may already be taking steps to prepare emotionally, but there are also steps you should be taking to prepare financially.
We explained how to financially prepare for a divorce in an in-depth article on our website, but we will cover the basics here in five simple steps:
Meet with a divorce lawyer. Even if you aren’t 100 percent sure about getting a divorce, meeting with a divorce lawyer can provide you with valuable information that you may rely on to make your decision. Find an attorney in your area who offers a free consultation for the greatest value.
Take inventory of all marital assets. List all of your marital assets, including all financial accounts, real property and personal property, as well as the value of the assets. If you aren’t sure about how much some assets are worth, contact an appraiser.
Make copies of financial and legal documents. It’s smart to make copies of documents now, in case your spouse is reluctant to hand them over once the divorce has begun. This includes copies of financial statements from retirement accounts, savings accounts and investment accounts as well as your marriage license, deeds and wills.
Prepare a new post-divorce budget. You will need to have an idea of your post-divorce budget in order to know how much to ask for in the divorce and whether you will need alimony. Creating a budget can also give you an idea as to what type of home you will be able to afford and how your standard of living may change.
Check on your credit score. After your divorce, you will depend on your own credit score to buy or rent a new place to live, qualify for credit cards or purchase a new vehicle. That’s why you will want to follow it closely to make sure that your soon-to-be ex isn’t driving up debt or causing your credit score to suffer.
This steps can put you in position to help make sure that you end up with a fair settlement if you do decide to end your marriage.