It’s no secret that one of the most difficult parts of
divorce is the financial aspect. If the financial part were easier, we would probably
see a rise in divorce filings. If you have put off a divorce because you
were concerned about dividing assets, supporting two households, paying
child and/or spousal support, or having to give up your standard of living,
you are not alone.
While a lot of unhappy spouses delay their divorce because of financial
worries, the good news is that you don’t have to. If you’re
worried about losing your hard-earned assets or walking away with nothing,
you can avoid these pitfalls by educating yourself and hiring an experienced
divorce attorney as early as possible. In fact, the sooner you seek legal
representation, the better.
If someone were to ask us, “When is the right time to speak to a
divorce lawyer?” we would say it’s ideal to talk to an attorney
before you tell your spouse that you’re filing for divorce. Why? Because,
you are putting yourself in a proactive position, instead of a reactive one.
You’re also giving yourself the time you need to strategize your
divorce. Much like a game of chess, you can plan each move in advance
to further your goals. When you’re the spouse in the driver’s
seat, you’re in more control of the final outcome, and that can
make a huge difference in your life after divorce.
Our Top Financial Advice
If you’re contemplating divorce, money is probably at the top of
your list as far as priorities are concerned. That said, here is some
of our top financial advice that we give our clients, friends and family.
If you’re planning on filing for divorce in Denver, contact Jones
Law Firm, PC to speak with an experienced, yet compassionate divorce lawyer.
- Don’t hide assets. If you do, the judge will find out and it won’
sit favorably with him or her.
- If you’re in the dark about your finances, it’s time to get
up close and personal with them.
- If possible, run both of your credit reports (you and your spouse). This
way, you know exactly what debts you both have and whose name they are in.
- Make copies of all of your financial documents, including bank accounts,
tax returns, insurance policies, investment accounts, estate planning
- If you have marital debt, consider paying it all off before the divorce
is final if you can afford to.
- If you have joint credit cards, either close them or transfer them into
one spouse’s name alone. Otherwise, you can be “on the hook”
for any new charges made by your spouse.
- Consider getting a PO Box and routing all of your mail there. You don’t
want your spouse opening your mail, especially from your divorce attorney.
- Please be aware that the court will require you to disclose all of your
financial information, including your income, debts, and assets.
- Consider selling the marital home. Often, the best solution is for spouses
to sell the family residence and split the proceeds so they can make a
- Remember, if your spouse fails to pay a certain marital debt, the creditor
can, and probably will hold you liable for the debt. For this reason,
you must stay on top of marital debts assigned to your ex-spouse, even
if the divorce decree says your spouse is supposed to pay them.
- Develop a post-divorce budget. If you need more income, find a way to increase
it, even if it means getting creative.
- Once the divorce is final, don’t forget to update all of your beneficiary
designations, including on your bank accounts, life insurance policies,
and retirement accounts. Otherwise, your spouse remains the beneficiary
if something happens to you.
Aim for a
collaborative divorce, it’s far less expensive than a litigated divorce.