If you’re considering divorce, you’re likely worried about how it will impact your finances. Whether you’re in a high-net-worth marriage, you and your spouse work full-time, or only one of you works, your financial situation is certainly going to change.
For some spouses, divorce changes their lifestyle more than others – every couple’s situation is different. There is consolation though: when people are in unsatisfying, unhappy, or hollow marriages, they usually feel that the divorce process, no matter how difficult, is well worth it.
Regardless of your income, assets, and debts, it’s advantageous to navigate your divorce wisely. While many of the divorce horror stories you’ve heard are true, it doesn’t mean you can’t achieve a satisfactory result. Often, success in a divorce comes down to strategy.
Do you want to protect your finances in divorce? Here are some great ways to start:
- If possible, run both of your credit reports so you can know exactly what debt you owe, and which accounts are in whose name.
- If you are in the dark about your finances, it’s time to get familiar with them.
- Make copies of all the financial records (e.g. mortgage documents, credit card statements, taxes, auto loans, insurance policies, retirement accounts, investments) and bring them into your first meeting with a divorce lawyer.
- Speak with a divorce attorney before you tell your spouse you want a divorce. This helps you be “proactive” instead of “reactive.”
- Do not transfer or hide any assets. This can get you into legal trouble and affect the divorce settlement.
- Create a post-divorce budget as a single person. Will you need to increase your income? If so, start putting attention on this.
- If you think you may receive spousal maintenance, realize that it is not guaranteed and even if it is awarded, it may be temporary.
- If possible, pay off all marital debt before the divorce is finalized.
- Close any joint credit card accounts. Or, switch them so they are only in one spouse’s name.
- Put serious thought into what you will do with the marital home. It’s important that you make the right “business decision,” otherwise the home can turn into a liability instead of an asset.
During and after the divorce process, you must be aware of how divorce can affect your credit. If your spouse agrees to take on a marital debt and he or she fails to pay it for any reason, the creditor can go after you, even after the divorce. This is why it’s best to sever the financial ties whenever possible before the divorce is final.
It is common knowledge that in the aftermath of divorce, it is more expensive to support two households than one, especially when children are involved. In many cases, it’s beneficial for the spouses to find ways to reduce their living expenses while increasing their income until they reach a new equilibrium, a new normal, which can take a year or two to achieve.
If you are looking for a Denver divorce lawyer, contactJones Law Firm, PC to schedule a free consultation with a caring and experienced member of our legal team.