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Preparing Your Finances for Divorce

Having a Plan

Many aspects of your life will change once your divorce is finalized, and perhaps no area will be impacted more than your financial life. Big changes are coming to your finances, and it’s important to get a head start on these changes by taking steps to prepare for the future.

Here are some tips you can follow to get your finances in order before your divorce:

Start Preparing a Post-Divorce Budget

Since you know that your financial situation is going to change after your divorce, now is a good time to look at your current expenses and income and try to project how your spending and saving will change when your divorce is finalized. It’s important to examine every detail to determine if any expenses will increase, decrease, or disappear completely once your divorce is complete.

As you track your expenses, you can then begin to determine your spending and saving based on your changed income. If there is a mismatch, then you may have to decide whether or not any non-essential expenses need to be cut.

Prepare Documentation

Gathering documents together, while necessary, can be time-consuming and stressful. However, taking care of this step sooner rather than later can save you a headache in the long run. Preparing your checking and saving account statements, credit card statements, statements for accounts such as retirement or investments, and other important financial documents not only gives you an accurate picture of your financial health but also works to ensure that asset division is truly equitable.

Be Careful With Spending

It can be very easy to want to treat yourself to something nice during a time as difficult as divorce. While it might help you feel better momentarily, such a decision could have a big impact on your financial future. Making a big purchase such as a car or new electronics could signal to a judge that you are better off financially than you may claim.

Avoid Big Financial Decisions During the Process

Along a similar line, divorce is not the right time to make a big financial decision such as opening new credit cards or applying for a mortgage. Unless you’ve received prior permission from the court to do so, making changes to your already existing financial life could change your award or, worse yet, could find you in contempt of court. It’s best to hold off on big decisions until after your divorce is finalized.

Consult With Your Attorney

If you have questions about your financial health or are unsure if making a certain move would be wise, it might be best to speak with your divorce attorney on these matters before taking action. They can help you understand how such a move could impact your divorce and may advise you on alternative solutions.

At Verner Brumley Mueller Parker, we’re prepared to help you work through the financial steps of starting you on your new chapter of life. To ask questions of our divorce attorneys or to get started, call us at (214) 225-6766 or visit us online.