One of the biggest concerns for people going through a divorce is how that divorce will impact their finances- not just at the time, but in the long-term as well. Divorce is expensive, and we’ve all heard horror stories from people who’ve been stuck in litigation for long periods of time.
If you’re currently going through a divorce, the right actions at the right time can make a massive difference when it comes to your financial health. Here’s how you can protect your finances:
Talk to a professional
Well-meaning family and friends are often quick to give you advice when you’re going through a divorce. But this advice can often be silly at best, and hugely damaging at worst. The best thing you can do is engage a family law solicitor. Ask if they’ve dealt with similar cases to yours. Check if they’ve dealt with the opposing attorneys or the judge in the past. And make sure you feel comfortable with them- after all, you’ll be giving them a lot of detail about your financial and personal lives.
When getting a divorce, the more educated you are, the better. Begin studying up on divorce law, and understand what these laws could possibly mean for your finances. Now’s the time to begin finding all of your records and keeping track of all your expenses. Find information about your bank accounts, credit card statements, tax returns, and mortgage. Write down every cent you spend- especially if you’re someone who tends to use cash. Now is also a good time to begin opening up your own credit cards.
Try to avoid emotional decisions
Divorce is a stressful time in anyone’s life. And while it’s unlikely you can completely remove emotion from the process, you can do your best to remove it from the decision-making process.
For example, you may find that your ex offers the house to you. If you make this decision based on emotion, you may decide that this is where you raised your children and you want to keep these happy memories. But if you remove the emotion, you may find that you can’t quite afford the upkeep, payments, and taxes. Maybe the house needs a new roof, or it’s a bad market and you won’t be able to see it if you need to. These are the types of things to consider, and a good lawyer will help you navigate them effectively.