Filing for divorce can be a complicated, confusing, and often difficult process. The thought of going from two incomes to one can be terrifying for individuals getting a divorce. However, through proper planning, you can protect your financial security in a divorce. Keep reading to learn more.
Do You Have a Marital Agreement?
If a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement has been created, protecting property in a divorce is a far easier task. Typically, in the prenup or postnup, the couple would have already made decisions on what to do with large assets and property in the event of a divorce.
Even if there is no prenup or postnup in place, it isn't too late to protect your finances. There are a few options for proceeding: 1) work with your spouse to reach an agreement on property division, or 2) let the court determine the fairest way to divide marital property.
Open Separate Accounts
Regardless of whether you are a working or nonworking spouse, it's important to start building your own credit history. At a later date, you may need credit built in order to secure a loan or mortgage. Don't close or freeze your joint accounts as it could impact how property is divided in the divorce. Instead, you want to prepare your bank accounts, insurance policies, and other financial accounts to reflect your new relationship status.
Assess Your Property and Debts
It's important to be aware of all of your joint and individually owned financial assets so that you know where your money is and where it is going. Make multiple copies of everything. Records you should look for include:
- Loans and credit card accounts
- Home equity lines
- Past tax returns
- Business debts
- Any separate property like gifts or inheritances
You'll want to keep a copy for your personal records in case you need them in the future. Additionally, you should also turn over a copy to your attorney so they can ensure that your spouse isn't hiding assets.
Once you've determined your daily, monthly, and yearly expenses, you will need to create a plan for how to survive financially on your own, pay your bills, and support your children. Make a list of what income you'll have after the divorce and budget out your necessary and discretionary expenses. By doing this, you are setting up a financial plan after divorce that will leave you feeling more in control of your life.
Hire an Experienced Divorce Lawyer
The skilled Montgomery County divorce lawyers at Testa & Pagnanelli, LLC are here to help you organize and protect your finances through the divorce process. Our team will help you negotiate solutions with your spouse over your disputes, financial and otherwise.
Contact our firm today at (610) 365-4733 for financial advice during your divorce.