As the new year begins, many individuals facing divorce may feel overwhelmed and uncertain about what the future holds. One of the most important aspects of preparing for divorce is getting your finances in order. Taking the following five key financial steps can help you feel more in control and better prepared for the road ahead.
1. Take stock of your assets and liabilities. Make a list of all your assets, including bank accounts, retirement accounts, investments, real estate, and personal property. Also, list your liabilities, such as credit card debt, mortgages, and car loans. Knowing what you have and what you owe is essential to understanding your financial situation.
2. Review your credit report. Order a free copy of your credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) to make sure it's accurate and up-to-date. Your credit report will show all your credit accounts, including joint accounts with your spouse, and any outstanding balances or delinquencies. This information will be important in negotiating a fair division of assets and liabilities.
3. Create a budget. Understanding your monthly income and expenses is critical to planning for your financial future. Start tracking your spending and create a budget that reflects your current needs and lifestyle. Be sure to consider expenses related to divorce, such as legal fees and moving costs.
4. Open individual accounts. If you don't already have individual bank and credit card accounts, now is the time to open them. Having your own accounts can help you establish credit in your name and make it easier to manage your finances during and after divorce.
5. Consult with a financial professional. A financial advisor or accountant can help you understand the tax implications of divorce, assist with dividing assets and liabilities, and plan for your financial future. They can also help you navigate the complex financial issues that often arise during divorce.
By taking these key financial steps, you can help ensure that you are better prepared for the financial impact of divorce. At Gladstone, Weissman, Hirschberg & Schneider, P.A., our experienced family law attorneys can provide guidance and support throughout the divorce process. Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help you navigate divorce with confidence.