If you have decided that you want to divorce your spouse, then you also need to consider the financial consequences and come up with a plan to make sure you are prepared for what’s ahead. Below, we explain what you can do to get your finances in order before you file divorce papers.
Gather Important Documentation
Although it can be tedious and time-consuming, you need to track down financial records and other documents for assets and financial liabilities. Remember, if you share accounts with your spouse, then financial institutions or advisors have no obligation to keep your requests confidential. You should find and make copies of the following documents for assets that are in your name or jointly owned:
- The deed for the marital home
- Deeds for any other real estate properties
- Retirement account statements
- Investment account statements
- Ledgers for personal loans
- Credit card statements
- Recent pay stubs
- Income tax returns
- Retirement, pensions, employee benefit plan statements
- Stock certificates
Gathering important documents will give your lawyer a solid foundation to work with as they build a strong strategy to pursue what you hope to gain out of the divorce settlement.
Important Divorce Costs to Consider
The cost of divorce can vary depending on how complex the case is and whether the spouses can reach agreements on matters like child custody and spousal support. Potential divorce expenses you need to prepare for include:
- Court costs
- Attorney fees
- Mediation costs
- Refinancing costs for the home
- Record deed fees
Be Conservative with Your Spending and Saving Habits
When spouses separate joint finances, the process for determining who is entitled to what will depend on the law, so don’t feel like you need to be the first one to the bank. Since some states treat income, assets, and debts as if they're part of a single pot, you should refrain from spending or pulling more money than usual in the weeks and months before your divorce because it might impact how the judge sees your case. The same goes for other major financial changes, like switching beneficiaries on your insurance or retirement accounts.
The divorce lawyers at Nelson, Taylor & Associates PLLC are here to walk you through each phase of the divorce process. Give us a call today at (801) 901-7046 or contact us online to request your free case consultation.