One of the first things you should do after deciding to divorce your partner is to get your finances in order. You may have ideas in mind about what you plan to receive in your settlement; however, until the court issues a decree for your situation, nothing is certain.
It is important for you to consider the impact that divorce will have on your current and future situation. Here are some suggestions on how to get your finances in shape to improve your financial standing once you are legally single again.
Establish your financial identity
A common cause of disputes and conflict in many divorces is joint accounts. It is important for you to establish a separate financial identity for yourself. Close all joint accounts. Pay down as much joint debt as possible and open individual accounts for yourself. If there are some joint accounts that you would rather keep, ask your spouse to remove themselves from them or to sign them over to you.
Ideally, you want to gather copies of financial accounts and records before you file for divorce. There is a chance that your spouse may try to hide them or assets from you once he or she finds out you want to leave. The courts cannot rule on assets you insist are there but there is no proof of. If you have trouble getting copies of your spouse’s financial records, you should ask the courts to intervene and subpoena them.
Get professional help
Divorces are not always easy to resolve. Complications and delays tend to increase when there are more assets and wealth to distribute between spouses. You may want to consult with an attorney and a financial advisor so you can avoid complications that could have an adverse effect on your post-divorce life.
Your marriage may be over but your financial responsibilities are not. Unless you take actions to sort things out and absolve yourself of any joint accounts, you could end up at a severe disadvantage once everything is over.