Financial Preparation For Divorce – 6 Steps to Help Secure Your Financial Future
Divorce is a costly proposition for couples. The non-breadwinner often takes a standard of living cut when a divorce takes place and becomes financially disadvantaged. There are some immediate steps you can take to help you prepare yourself for the best possible outcome. Here are 6 steps you can to take to ensure the best result financially:
1. Hire a good attorney immediately. Do not make the mistake of “trusting” your spouse to take care of your best interests. If there are properties, assets, or child custody issues, a lawyer is important to the process. Make copies of all your financial records, including tax returns, insurance policies, bank statements, investments, mortgage statements, loan information, pay stubs, mileage plans, employee compensation plans, and W-2’s.
2. Look into a financial planner to help you assess the ramifications of a future settlement. There are certified divorce financial analysts that can be extremely helpful in helping you determine what is in the best interests of one or both spouses.
3. Get a credit card in your name, while your credit is still combined with your spouse’s. If you are denied credit, you can try again with a different company.
4. Get your own bank account and place an emergency stash of funds in it. Having this cash available is important in case your spouse tries to freeze accounts or otherwise control your access to money. While this may violate a court order, while the attorneys are sorting it out in front of a judge, you need to be able to access funds for basic needs.
5. Create a realistic budget that you and the children can live on. Include mortgage or rent payments, insurance premiums, car payments, utilities, food, gas, healthcare costs, clothing, toys, car maintenance, entertainment, HOA dues, property taxes, and any other expenses.
6. Begin planning for future employment and/or a career. If you are a homemaker, or your job does not have potential to provide for you and your children fully, it is wise to investigate options. Begin researching careers yourself. If you feel stuck, you can hire a career coach to help you focus on your passions, skill sets, and potential application to various jobs and careers.
Are you interested in addressing the challenge of divorce from a holistic standpoint, assessing the physical, emotional, and relationship components?
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Shannon Cook is a personal coach and resource guide who has written a number of informative articles and ebooks on the topic of toxic relationships and holistic personal growth, including physical, emotional and relationship health.