How to get your finances ready for the divorce process

If you are served with divorce papers, it's safe to assume that you're now staring down the barrel at a variety of challenges. Even though this is sure to test your patience, there are steps you can take to try to move through the process in a timely manner.

While there is a lot to think about, you need to immediately turn your attention to your finances. There are many steps you can take to ready your finances for the divorce process, including but not limited to:

  • Create a property division checklist. This will give you a clear idea of what is subject to division, such as joint bank accounts and retirement savings.
  • Open your own accounts. Now that your divorce is in motion, you need to open your own accounts, such as one at a local bank and a credit card.
  • Gather all the necessary documentation. You'll need many things during your divorce, such as credit card statements, bank statements, loan balances and income tax returns.
  • Prepare yourself for a fight. Even if you go into the process with the best intentions, you may find that your soon to be ex-spouse is pushing for a fight over financial issues. It may not be easy, but preparing yourself for the different possibilities is good place to start. 
  • Don't make any big financial decisions. For example, even if you want to buy a home so you have a place to live after your divorce, you may need to refrain from doing so. A big purchase during a divorce can cloud the water, and that's generally not something you need at this time.

These are the types of steps you can take to true get your finances ready for the divorce process. Good preparation could leave you feeling much better about the future.

Once you have your finances in order, everything else may begin to come together. There will be challenges along the way, but the right knowledge of the divorce process and your legal rights can go a long way in putting you in a good position to address them.

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