The way you prepare for the divorce process is unique to your marital circumstances and personal situation. However, it’s important for anyone going through a divorce to prepare from a financial perspective.
Here are five steps to take if divorce is imminent:
- Create a property division and debt checklist: List out all of your assets and debts. Also, make note of which ones are separate and which ones are joint. You’ll need this during the divorce process, so you might as well compile it as soon as possible.
- Close joint accounts: Leaving open joint accounts is inviting trouble. Once you know you’re divorcing, discuss your options for closing them with your imminent ex-spouse. For example, if you have joint credit card debt, talk about paying it off and closing the account before the process begins.
- Get professional help: There is help to be had, so don’t assume you’re alone. For example, you can consult with your tax professional regarding how divorce will impact you now and in the future.
- Open accounts in your own name: Once you close joint accounts, open new ones in your name (and your name only). This is an important step in regaining your financial independence.
- Create a budget: With your financial situation changing, a new budget is a must. Knowing your income and expenses will help you make the necessary adjustments in the months to come.
Along with the above, avoid making any large purchases before or during your divorce. Doing so can result in additional challenges, such as if the other individual argues that you made the purchase with joint funds.
You have a lot to deal with as you prepare for divorce, so it’s not always easy to take these steps. However, once you’re on the right track, you’ll feel better about your ability to deal with anything that comes your way during the process.
Even if you think you can trust your soon-to-be ex-spouse to play nice during your divorce, don’t expect this to happen. You need to do what’s best for you, and that starts with taking steps to protect your legal rights in Texas.