Getting a divorce will have significant ramifications on your financial situation. If you have been relying on your spouse for income, you will soon have to make your way in life without your spouse’s financial assistance. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take that can help you emerge from your divorce in good financial shape.
U.S. News and World Report provides some information for people about to get a divorce that may help keep them on solid financial footing and perhaps avoid mistakes that could cost them in divorce.
Figure out the money you have
You might have a good idea of the balance of your marital savings account, but it possible you and your spouse have assets that you have overlooked or have forgotten about. Accounting for all the money you and your spouse possess is an important early step since you need to have an idea of how much you should receive in your divorce settlement.
Make an emergency fund
Divorces can be financially draining. You may need money for legal fees or to finance your own place to live if you need to separate from your spouse quickly. Having your own savings account can help in this regard. Consider setting up an account or a line of credit that only you have access to.
Do not hide your money
It is natural to worry about your financial future especially if you do not trust your spouse. However, hiding your money is more likely to cause you trouble. Your spouse will probably accuse you of hiding assets. Also, the judge who oversees your case may penalize you by awarding you less favorable terms in the settlement.
Protecting your assets is important, but there are ways to do it openly. Some spouses file a motion to freeze jointly owned accounts to keep another spouse from making withdrawals. Also, if you discover your spouse is hiding assets or withdrawing all the money from a joint account, you could inform the judge about it. You might end up with more favorable terms in your settlement as a result.