We recently discussed taxes on our blog, but after reviewing the last few years of blogging, we noticed a severe lack in discussions of finances and divorce. Whoops. That’s kind of a big deal. Let’s rectify this situation, shall we?
There can be some big surprises in a divorce, but not all of them need to be financial. We came up with seven pieces of advice for the future of your finances.
- Get a financial plan going. If you can, have an accountant or a financial planner work with your divorce attorney. Divorce can leave people in a precarious place financially. With careful planning, even if things are tight, you can avoid issues like bankruptcy and you can make sure your retirement plan is protected.
- Know what you spend. By tracking your expenses, you have an idea of what you spend on food, education, bills, clothing, entertainment, household maintenance and repairs, insurance, pets, child care, this helps you develop a budget, but also gives your attorney valuable information. From here you can make plans for future expenses as well to take into consideration.
- Locate important documents. Begin this as soon as possible! This process is boring and painful – not gonna lie—but necessary. It’s going to take some time to gather all your records and sometimes you need the help of an angry or distant spouse.
- Assets and debts
- Checking and savings accounts statements
- Credit card statements
- Income tax returns
- Investment account statements
- Loan information
- Pay stubs
- Watch your legal fees.What you spend legally all needs to be a part of #1. Know what your attorney costs and what you can afford. Many firms have payment plans of some kind. Be sure you understand what you are getting and the cost of a good attorney.
- Don’t make big financial decisions. Pretty simple. Watch how you spend and save.
- Get what you deserve.For the years you invested, for you future, for the future of you family, know your worth.
- Get financial help when needed. It’s fine to need help. Plenty of people find themselves drowning in the stress and emotion of divorce. Add finances. Yeesh. Some people feel lost because their former spouse handled that part of the marriage. Get help from a financial planner. Ask your attorney for recommendations.
Make your finances a priority because your financial future is important for all other aspects of your future.