Steps to Financially Prepare for Divorce
The beginning months of every year have been historically the most popular months to file for divorce. Whether you are the person who has made the legal move to end your marriage–or your spouse has–there are several steps you should take to avoid making costly financial mistakes.
Who Handles the Money in Your Marriage?
It is quite common in many marriages for one spouse to be the primary handler for the couple’s finances. This typically leaves the other spouse not quite aware of the details of where they stand financially. Often, that spouse may be unaware of large debts or money issues the couple have been unable to pay. It also can leave a spouse not fully aware of what the couple’s marriage estate looks like and what kind of assets they actually hold. If your spouse has been the one to handle finances, it is important for you to do your research and learn exactly what kind of financial shape your marriage is in.
Preparing for Legal Costs
The divorce process can be a long, drawn-out expensive affair. Not only are their court costs and legal fees to pay, but a person must also be prepared to cover living expenses and other debts during this process. Having access to funds that will help cover these expenses before you actually file for divorce can alleviate some of the stress this process causes.
Keep Emotional and Financial Issues Separate
This is easier said than done, but it is also where hiring an aggressive divorce attorney can be helpful. Too often, people are either quick to “throw in the towel” and concede to their ex’s demands just to end all the fighting. Conversely, a spouse may also not even consider reasonable negotiations because they are clouded by anger.
Children Are Not Bargaining Chips
Far too often, a spouse will attempt to use child custody and visitation to gain leverage in property negotiations. Child custody should never come into any discussions regarding how property and assets will be divided. Let your attorney know immediately if your ex-spouse resorts to this type of emotional blackmail.
Establish Your Own Credit While Married
If you only have joint bank accounts and credit cards, then it is important you quickly establish credit in your own name. This will likely be easier to do while you are still married. Open a checking and/or savings account in your name only. You should also apply for at least one major credit card, also in just your name.
If you are considering a divorce–even if you are not quite ready to file any legal paperwork–contact an experienced divorce lawyer in Will County to explore what all your legal options may be. Contact Kezy & Associates today for a free consultation.