There is nothing easy about getting a divorce, and in fact, it might be one of the most emotionally complicated experiences you will ever have. And with that in mind, it is important to do all that you can to try to make the process as smooth as possible – and a big part of this is managing your finances.
Of course, there are the questions about your home, your tangible assets as well as your liquid assets and the share of income and joint bank accounts, and sometimes dealing with all this is complicated and near-impossible if the divorce has become a little messier than you’d have liked.
However, we have a few tips below when it comes to managing your finances when getting a divorce that may help you out.
Getting Legal Advice
Off the top, it is a good idea to consult with a lawyer as soon as you can. Not because things are in a rush, but because you want to put your mind at ease and understand more about the process as soon as you can.
There isn’t too much point in sitting and wondering what to do when it comes to divorce and becoming stressed and anxious about the whole process, and so we suggest speaking with a legal team like Unified Lawyers as soon as you can. They may be able to help you out in forming a legal settlement, for example, which can prevent you from going to court and dealing with your divorce that way.
Added to this, you may be able to get some form of free legal advice from government agencies or the law firms themselves that give you some direction as to what to do about assets as well as debts and housing.
It’s good to keep in mind that just because you’ve chosen to divorce that you give up your right to your share of assets and property, and a legal guide will help you with this.
Some Important Steps
At the beginning of your divorce, it is in everyone’s best interests to be as calm and respectful as possible to get some of the more important aspects out of the way.
This means that sitting down to talk through some important points such as who will remain in the home, or whether the home will be sold, for example. Added to this, other financial points to keep in mind are joint bank accounts and what will happen to these following a divorce.
A few other points to talk through include:
- Changes to mortgage, rent and loan payments.
- New living situations.
- How children will be financially supported.
Among other points, these are some of the more important ones to talk directly to your partner about prior to divorce proceedings to make the process a little more streamlined and less stressful for all parties involved.
It isn’t a secret that when we share our lives with someone, we also share just about everything else too and this includes our finances. And with that being said, it will be time to go through all of your documents and to work out who owns what, and whether some assets or income streams are owned as a couple – and which assets you want to divide.
With all of these documents sorted through, you will be more in the clear when it comes to finalising your divorce and understanding who owns what, and what can be split, for example.
Keep in mind that statements such as bank statements should also be looked over during this process too, to allow for as much clarity as possible.
Begin Financial Separation
If both parties have agreed cordially on whose finances are whose, then the separation of money can begin, and this means that joint accounts can be closed and the process of segregating incomes can start which will allow for a more fluid division of assets given that the process has already begun.
It is a good idea to have income streams removed from joint accounts as soon as possible and deposited into personal accounts, which will make the updating of bills, payments and policies a lot easier too.
One big tip from us is to ensure annually-billed subscriptions and loan repayments are sorted as soon as possible and moved to one of the personal accounts given that there is a chance that this could be forgotten – simply down to annual payments being a rarity.
A Final Financial ‘Stocktake’
After you have completed all of the separation processes and analysis of your incomes, etc, it would be wise to do a final look over of all your finances from assets, incomes to bills and expenses and work out whether these are all accurate or there are further changes to be made.
If all is in the green, you can work to move on to divorce proceedings, or you will know that it’s time to go back to the drawing board with regards to further investigation of incomes and expenses. You also need to start considering the changes you want to make once the divorce process is finalized. For example, tangible changes like changing your last name can be a positive turning point in your life. If you’re considering a legal name change, you need to keep in mind that every state has its own procedures. For example, if you live in the Peach State, it’s in your best interest to seek expert advice in order to determine how to legally change and how much a name change costs in Georgia. It’s important to take all the necessary steps to ensure your well-being after the divorce is over, and to consider whether you’re financially prepared for these upcoming changes.
Considering the Children
To end, it is of utmost importance that child support and the housing of children are taken care of prior to all proceedings being completed.
There is a good chance this is already on the top of your mind, though be sure to get the technicals in writing and work to make sure that financial support for your children is solid.