Getting a divorce is a life-altering experience, and not matter how much you prepare for it, you will likely be confronted by some unexpected hurdles at some point in the process. However, although you will not necessarily be able to fully prepare yourself mentally for the divorce process, you can take some steps to financially prepare for an upcoming divorce. By taking these steps, you may be able to streamline some of the steps of the divorce process while also giving yourself the best chances of sidestepping any future possible financial woes.
- Make a detailed list of your assets and debts: This list should include all shared assets, including real estate, motor vehicles, bank accounts and investment funds, etc. Since the judge presiding over your case will need this, having it ready will help you be prepared so you can focus on other aspects of your divorce.
- Focus on your credit: Any debts that you and your future ex share – including credit card debts, car loans and medical bills – will be assigned to one or both spouses in the divorce. However, before this happens, it is wise to close any joint bank accounts or credit cards with your ex and establish them in your own name. Also, it is smart to notify any creditors with whom you have a shared debt with your soon-to-be ex-spouse that you would like to be notified if any payments are late; this will keep you informed of potential damage your credit, allow you to pay any outstanding debts, etc.
- Develop a post-divorce budget: Having a clear understanding of what your income versus your expenses will be once your divorce is settled can help you take steps to prepare for your budgetary changes. For example, knowing that your household income will decrease can prompt you to downside your home or trade in your car so as to lower your monthly income and avoid sliding in to serious post-divorce debt. Additionally, as you develop your post-divorce budget, be sure to take into account your childcare costs (if you and your spouse have children). This will be a key component in deciding the child support payments that will be allotted.
There are additional steps you can take to financially prepare for a divorce, and the experienced Colorado divorce lawyers at Mike Hulen are here to help guide you at every stage of the process. We encourage those considering divorce to consult with us for a thorough, professional assessment of their case, along with expert advice regarding the best manner in which to move forward.