Divorce can impact your finances more than you may have anticipated, especially if you do not prepare. If you suspect your relationship will end, your decision to think ahead can help you get organized before big changes happen.
Even if you have already filed paperwork, it is not too late to begin thinking about making changes to your finances. Adjusting your budget and being mindful of what you spend is a great place to begin.
Getting divorced certainly is not all bad. In fact, according to U.S. News, splitting up can have valuable financial benefits including the following:
- Better returns on investments
- Opportunities to financially reset
- Early access to retirement funding
- More control over financial decisions
To use your divorce to your advantage, you need to know where your assets are and which ones you have rightful ownership of. Write a detailed list of your financial assets including investments, bank accounts, real estate, inheritance money and retirement benefits. Watch account activity and refrain from withdrawing any money from anywhere during proceedings. Immediately suspend joint accounts and open a personal bank account.
Another way to financially prepare for divorce is to carefully organize financial paperwork. Keep important documents accessible to quickly share with your attorney as the need arises. Print paper copies of each financial document in case your spouse attempts to hide marital property or removes your access to shared accounts.
Being proactive about preparing for your divorce may help you better control your finances during an unpredictable time. Likewise, when you know the condition of your finances, you may feel more confident about what to expect going forward.