Florida Women's Law Group
Preparing Your Finances For DivorceAuthor: Olivia Dodd
Date: Sep 25 2023
Divorce can be emotionally challenging, but it's essential to take action to protect your financial well-being. Here are some steps to consider:
1. Gather Financial Documents:
Collect all financial documents, including bank statements, tax returns, investment accounts, mortgage statements, credit card statements, retirement account statements, and any other financial records. Make copies of these documents and store them in a safe place.
2. Create a Detailed Inventory:
Make a comprehensive list of all assets and debts, both shared and individual. This should include real estate, vehicles, investments, personal property, and outstanding loans.
3. Establish Separate Accounts:
Open new bank and credit card accounts in your name only. This will help you maintain control over your finances and prevent your spouse from depleting joint accounts.
4. Monitor Joint Accounts:
Keep an eye on any joint bank or credit card accounts to ensure your spouse doesn't make unauthorized withdrawals or rack up debt. If necessary, consider freezing joint accounts or removing your name from them.
5. Evaluate Your Income and Expenses:
Create a budget that outlines your monthly income and expenses. This will help you determine your financial needs during and after the divorce.
6. Seek Legal Advice:
Consult with an experienced divorce attorney to understand your rights and responsibilities regarding property division, alimony, child support, and custody arrangements. They can help you navigate the legal aspects of divorce and protect your financial interests.
7. Consider Your Long-Term Financial Goals:
Think about your financial goals after the divorce, including retirement, homeownership, and education for your children. Your attorney and financial advisor can help you make informed decisions that align with your goals.
8. Update Beneficiaries and Legal Documents:
Review and update your will, insurance policies, retirement account beneficiaries, and any other legal documents that may need to be changed due to the divorce.
9. Understand Tax Implications:
Be aware of the tax consequences of property division, alimony, and other financial aspects of divorce. Consult with a tax professional to make informed decisions.
10. Build an Emergency Fund:
Start or bolster an emergency fund to cover unexpected expenses during and after the divorce. Having a financial cushion can provide peace of mind.
11. Plan for Child Support and Custody:
If you have children, work with your attorney to establish child custody and support arrangements that are fair and in the best interest of the children.
12. Stay Informed:
Keep yourself informed about the progress of your divorce proceedings and any financial decisions made during this time.
Check out some of our podcast episodes on finances in the divorce process:
Divorce can be financially complex, so it's crucial to have professional guidance from an experienced divorce lawyer and potentially a financial advisor. They can help you make informed decisions that protect your financial future. If you require guidance in navigating the divorce and financial division process, reach out to Florida Women’s Law Group’s team of seasoned attorneys.
Disclaimer: This blog post is for informational purposes only and is not an advertisement for legal services. The information provided in this article is not intended to be legal advice. You should not rely on what you read here as legal advice. If you have a legal issue, please contact a lawyer. The views and opinions expressed by the author and guest author are solely those of the individuals and do not represent the views or opinions of the firms or organizations. Any editing, reproduction, or redistribution of this article for commercial use or monetary gain without the expressed, written consent of the creator is prohibited.