When you think of marriage, you associate it with vows of sticking together through better or worse, until the end of time. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. Sometimes, it just isn’t the fairytale you had always dreamed it would be, and things fall apart. When you find that there’s no option left and you’ve tried your best to make it work, perhaps it’s time to call it a day. Divorce is a difficult experience to have to endure, and your emotions tend to overwhelm any sense of logic. However, you must consider the state of your finances. This is why we’ve created this simple guide to help you understand how best to protect your finances as you go through a divorce.
Make a List of Your Assets
The first thing you need to do is collect your thoughts and focus on making a list of all your assets. That one that belongs to you individually and any shared assets you may have with your partner. Nothing is exempt from this list. Anything at all you can think of, from big to small, needs to be included in this. You need to have paperwork and documentation to prove these belong to you. Evidence is everything walking into a divorce court. Sometimes when a divorce is messy, either one of the spouses may give the other a hard time over the simplest asset just to spite them. Remember that emotions are incredibly high at this time, so you need to try your best to stay calm and collected and focus on the big picture rather than nitpick.
Contact Your Lawyer
This is definitely a given. From the moment you feel like something is wrong, you shouldn’t have your head in the clouds. Yes, you should work to salvage your marriage, but you also need to have the foresight and move intelligently towards the future, no matter what the outcome is. Contacting a lawyer that specializes in this area to help with your divorce will not only help you pick up on a detail that you’re not aware of, but will also help to keep you grounded as you go through the ups and downs of your emotions. Find a reliable lawyer that has a good reputation and that you find yourself comfortable with, because they’re going to be by your side throughout this whole process, and the last thing you need is someone you cannot communicate with or understand.
Get all Your Bank & Credit Card Information
When it comes to money, paper talks. So you need to get every single piece of information on credible documents. You need to get bank statements, any kind of forms or contracts you may have signed to purchase anything together, and also don’t forget about tax forms. If you have a joint account, contact the bank and go through the process of ensuring that you need to be notified if any withdrawals are made, or you might even go so far as to freeze the account. However, it’s preferable if the both of you can agree when it comes to something like this because you really don’t need the stress of going back and forth about yet another thing concerning your finances. Since it was a joint account, it’s best to sit with one another and see how you’re going to separate it. If you can’t come to an agreement, then the court will have to get involved.
It is so easy to get caught up in all the events that revolve around a divorce, but you cannot let that get in the way of thinking about what you need to do when it comes to paying your taxes. As you split property and assets in general, you must consider the taxes because it does make a difference, so don’t forget to include that in your calculations with one another. If there is alimony involved, you have to understand the taxation implications in this, and it depends on where you live and what kind of laws apply to it.
As you can see, divorce comes with many layers to it. It’s important that as soon as you discover that this is going to happen, that you get to work right away on your finances to protect yourself and your assets. It may seem like a cold move to make, but you’ll be grateful later on down the line with the divorce is finally complete. It’s hard to detach from the whirlwind of emotions that you feel during this time, but you have to remember that you do need your money to survive, and you need to have a lawyer that knows exactly what needs to be done in this case.