According to the American Psychological Association, approximately 40 to 50 percent of all married couples in Colorado and throughout the U.S. eventually divorce. Although marriage dissolution is a common occurrence, it still poses difficult financial challenges to those who are embarking on the process. However, there are several steps divorcing spouses can take to safeguard their financial stability before, during and after their divorce.
Gather financial documentation
According to Forbes, divorcing spouses should collect all important documentation related to their bank accounts, mortgages, tax returns, credit cards and brokerage accounts soon after the decision to divorce is made. Once these documents have been acquired, spouses should make copies of them, store them in a safety deposit box or entrust them to a family member or close friend so that their future ex-spouse cannot gain access to them.
Open new credit and bank accounts
Divorcing spouses should open new bank and credit card accounts strictly in their individual name at a financial institution where their future ex-spouse does not bank. Forbes states that it is best for spouses who have little or no income to establish new credit accounts while they are still married because the process can be more complicated than filling out a simple application or making a quick phone call.
Have a lifestyle analysis prepared
For some, having a lifestyle analysis prepared is the key to asserting their best interests when it comes to finances during the divorce process. According to Forbes, a lifestyle analysis:
- Identifies what standard of living was maintained during the marriage
- Analyzes the spending habits of both spouses
- Reconstructs the everyday living expenses of both spouses
Once one of these analyses is completed, spouses may have a better idea of how much money they need to maintain their standard of living once their divorce is finalized.
Establish methods of private communication
From the day the decision to divorce is made, divorcing spouses will be required to communicate with financial institutions and other professionals and will likely want to keep the information they exchange private. To accomplish this, those embarking on the divorce process should consider securing their own post office box for mail, setting up a new email account and acquiring a mobile phone with a new phone number.
How an attorney can help
During the onset of the divorce process, spouses may be extremely concerned about how they will maintain their current style of living or survive financially once their marriage is officially over. If you and your spouse are thinking about getting a divorce, consult with an attorney to find out what legal actions can be taken to protect your financial interests.