One of the most challenging parts of a divorce can be money issues. Since you'll be dividing shared assets, dividing on spousal support, and paying court and legal fees, you may have concerns about protecting your finances during the process. Here are some things that you'll want to do to help ensure your finances will be in a good spot after your divorce is over.
Know Your Personal Finances
The first thing that should be done in a divorce is to gather all of the financial information you can about you and your spouse as a couple. You'll want to figure out how much you have in savings and checking accounts, retirement accounts, investments, and things of that nature. You'll also want to get a handle on how much debt you two have as a couple and as individuals. This includes credit card debt, mortgages, student loans, personal loans, and anything else where you still owe money to another entity. This will help paint a clear financial picture of what you will be working with.
Know Your Personal Expenses
It's important that you don't give up more than necessary when it comes to finances in a divorce. You want to know what budget you need to live as a single person, and unfortunately, many people do not do this until after the divorce is final and they start that new life. You should create a rough budget that you can use to determine the amount of money that you need to have in your bank account at the end of each month to cover everything. This will help you have a valid argument about how much money you need after spousal or child support is paid.
Divide Assets Strategically
Dividing assets is something that needs to be fair between both people. However, it's important to use the division of property strategically to get things that you want. Anything that was bought while you were married will count as a shared asset, no matter who actually uses it. Do not allow your spouse to have more than what they deserve just because the property is primarily used by them. You can use this to strategically divide assets between the two of you so that you get your fair share.
For example, your spouse may have a big clothing collection with fancy name-brand attire, accessories, and shoes. All those items have a value to them that need to be estimated and accounted for. Even though you have no desire to keep them, those expensive items can allow you to hold onto more of the things that you really want.
Reach out to a local divorce lawyer to learn more.