Divorce is not easy for anyone and most couples dread the property division phase.
The more assets there are, the more complex this process will be. Here are four tips to help you prepare financially and face property division with greater confidence.
1. Gather records
Pull together your financial records. You will need to give these records to your divorce attorney but remember to keep copies for yourself. The information you need will include:
– income tax returns for the past three years
– checking and savings account statements
– retirement account statements
– investment account statements
– credit card statements
– loan documents: mortgage, auto loans, personal loans
– Recent pay stubs or direct deposit information
– lists of marital and separate assets and debts
2. Track your expenses
Gathering your financial records will likely help you track your household income and expenses. Although tracking your expenses is important for the divorce, you will find this a beneficial exercise in establishing your post-divorce budget.
3. Spend conservatively
You and your spouse may continue to use your accounts, but you should be transparent about your spending and agree with your spouse not to overspend with the divorce coming up.
4. Avoid big financial decisions
You should also refrain from making big financial decisions, such as changing the terms of your will or adding and subtracting beneficiaries in your life insurance policy. Remember that determinations about major financial decisions are part of the property division process. The court prefers that you wait until the divorce decree is final before following through on any major changes you have in mind.