When a divorce becomes inevitable, both parties typically begin to worry about their financial futures. Dividing the security and buying power of one household into two households can be frightening – even if divorce is the best solution for both partners. The good news is that you can work ahead of the divorce to help you survive the ordeal and move into a bright, independent future.
Divorce can be a stressful, complex time both financially and emotionally. Here are six things to keep in mind:
- Seek financial advice: In even the most equal of marriages, there is some sort of financial disparity. From differences in salary to bill-paying responsibilities to control of retirement accounts, one spouse generally finds himself or herself lacking certain skills. Discussing your situation with a financial advisor can help you identify shortcomings or financial complexities.
- Take stock of assets: You’ll need to go through this in the divorce proceeding, but it’s nice to get a head start. Identify cash on hand, savings, investments and any other assets you might uncover.
- Be frugal: It might be time to limit spending and focus some attention on saving money to be used later.
- Identify who owns what: Again, this will likely come out during the divorce, but it is wise to begin researching without the added pressure and strict timetable. Whose name is on the title for the car? Is your spouse your sole beneficiary of your life insurance?
- Prepare to sacrifice: It is unlikely that you will come out of the divorce with everything you hope to keep. It is important to prioritize and choose your battles wisely. A hard-fought victory over a prized book collection might feel good, but what if it comes at the cost of your stake in the family business?
- Agree to work together: Many divorces end badly. There might be allegations of infidelity or a relationship that simply grew acrimonious over time. The best way to arrive at a successful compromise, though, is to put aside your differences and work as a team.
As soon as you realize divorce is a possibility, it is wise to consider these tips. Sound financial planning can reduce or eliminate countless battles and ensure your divorce process runs smoothly.