Minimize Financial Fallout: How to Plan for a Divorce

Although divorce is common, it’s a topic that people are loathe to talk about. Going from married to unmarried can be traumatic for everyone involved. Despite your anguish, divorce is not the time to stand still. Family life may never be the same, but your entire life doesn’t have to come to ruination just because you called it quits on your marriage. Before you get divorced, there are several financial considerations you must deal with, no matter what.

Speak with an expert

Although your divorce attorney may be well versed in the legal aspects of the dissolution of marriage, she or he may not be a financial expert. Speak with a certified divorce financial analyst, or CDFA the day you decide to divorce. A CDFA is specially trained to offer sound advice as well as a measure of emotional support to their client. Divorce is, after all, a legal transaction that may weigh significantly on your future life as an unmarried person. A CDFA will help you to understand the particular regulations and laws in your hometown, advises Nerd Wallet.

Begin your individual financial life

Before you divorce, go to a bank where your spouse doesn’t do business and open individual accounts in your own name. Get a checking account and have the checks sent to a post office box or a friend’s house. Open a savings account and start to tuck away funds as you can. Depending on the laws in your state, you may be entitled to remove half of your joint savings and checking accounts to deposit into accounts under your own name. Consult with your divorce attorney prior to doing so to eliminate the chances of a legal battle with an embittered spouse.

Get a copy of your credit report and correct any inconsistencies or errors. If you and your spouse are deeply in debt, speak with an expert for assistance in settling debts. You may be able to settle old debts for pennies on the dollar. Doing this will make your divorce easier and allow you to regain your autonomy without the burden of big debt. Apply for a credit card in your own name and don’t add your almost-ex as a co-user, says Learnvest magazine.

Preparing for divorce

Take pictures of your valuables and store the photos in a safe deposit box or at the home of a trusted friend. Snap pics of the valuables you brought into the marriage as well as pictures of items that you bought together as husband and wife. Even if you and your soon-to-be-ex are getting along now, there’s no guarantee that divorce proceedings won’t become contentious in the near future. Other assets such as a real-estate property might somehow bring conflict to both parties. It is best to agree to transfer these kinds of property to your kids or any family member through a quitclaim deed instead. Documenting your valuable assets may protect you in the long run.

If your marriage is coming undone, you may feel weak and unable to manage your day-to-day life. Take steps to protect your assets and call on family and friends to support your effort during this trying time.