If you are facing divorce, you may dread the thought of having to go through the property division process.
Getting your financial house in order in advance will make the divorce easier on all fronts and you will appreciate the lasting benefits.
Gather your financial records
Collecting financial documents is usually a slow and tedious process, so give yourself ample time before the divorce proceedings begin. The more wealth you have the more documentation there is and it may help you to make lists of your assets and debts. Begin with the basics, which will likely include:
– Copies of tax returns for the last two years
– Checking and savings account statements
– Copies of pay stubs
– Retirement account statements
– Investment account statements
– Credit card statements
– Listings of both marital and separate property
Begin tracking your expenses
When you begin tracking your expenses, you discover where your money actually goes each month. Include household bills, food and clothing, home repairs, childcare, transportation expenses; in other words, whatever you spend money for. With this information in hand, you can estimate future expenses. This will be extremely useful when preparing a budget for your new life in a post-divorce world.
You may continue to use both your separate and joint accounts but take care when spending money. The more you know about your current financial situation and what it will take to live on after the divorce, the easier it will be to put conservative spending habits into practice both now and in the future.