We’re sad to hear that your marriage didn’t work out, and we understand that going through a divorce can be tough both emotionally and financially. It’s important to remember, however, that you’re not alone – almost half of all marriages in the United States end in divorce.
While it may be tempting to just sign whatever papers your soon-to-be ex-spouse puts in front of you, it’s important to take a step back and make sure that you’re protecting your money both now and in the future.
Here are a few tips that may help you with that.
- 1. Get a Copy of Your Credit Report
- 2. Separate Your Debt
- 3. Open Your Own Bank Accounts
- 4. Keep Track of Your Finances
- 5. Don’t Relinquish Control Of Assets Or Investments
- 6. Protect Your Retirement Accounts
- 7. Defend Your Assets
- 8. Get A Prenuptial Agreement
- 9. Keep Good Records
- 10. Hire A Lawyer
- 11. Go After What Is Most Important To You
- 12. Be Willing To Compromise
- 13. Get A Divorce Settlement
- 14. Be Prepared For The Worst
1. Get a Copy of Your Credit Report
You may not realize it, but during your marriage, your credit score became intertwined with your spouse’s. This can be a good thing if you have a good credit score, but if your spouse has bad credit, it can drag you down as well.
Before you begin the divorce process, it’s a good idea to get a copy of your credit report so that you know where you stand. This way, you can dispute any incorrect information and begin to build your credit back up if necessary.
2. Separate Your Debt
If you and your spouse have any joint debt, it’s recommended to begin working on a plan to pay it off. In many cases, the court will order one spouse to pay off the debt, but if that’s not an option in your case, you’ll need to come up with a plan between the two of you.
If you’re unable to pay off the debt before the divorce is finalized, make sure that your name is removed from the account. This way, you won’t be held responsible for any future missed payments or late fees.
3. Open Your Own Bank Accounts
If you and your spouse have joint bank accounts, you’d better open your own account. This way, you’ll have access to your own money and won’t have to worry about your spouse freezing the account or taking all of the money out.
It’s also a good idea to get a credit card in your own name. This can help you build up your credit score and give you a safety net in case of an emergency.
4. Keep Track of Your Finances
One of the best ways to protect yourself financially during a divorce is to keep track of all of your income and expenses. Then you’ll be able to show the court exactly what you’re spending and how much money you have coming in.
This can be especially important if you’re asking for spousal support or child support. The court will want to see that you’re not exaggerating your expenses and that you really do need the financial help.
5. Don’t Relinquish Control Of Assets Or Investments
If you have any assets or investments, it’s important to keep control of them during the divorce process. This includes everything from your home to your retirement accounts.
As divorce doesn’t happen overnight. And if your ex-partner chooses to take their time, it might take months or even years. So, in the meantime, don’t relinquish any control of your assets or investments.
In many cases, the court will order that these assets be split evenly between the two spouses. However, if you’re able to keep control of them, you’ll be in a much better financial position after the divorce.
6. Protect Your Retirement Accounts
One of the most important assets to protect during a divorce is your retirement account. In many cases, retirement accounts are one of the biggest assets that a couple has. And if you’re not careful, your ex-spouse could end up with a large portion of it.
There are a few different ways to protect your retirement accounts during a divorce. One is to ask the court to order that your spouse waive their right to any of the assets in the account. Another is to transfer some of the assets into your own name before the divorce is finalized.
Whatever you do, make sure that you protect your retirement accounts. This is one asset that you’ll need in order to have a comfortable retirement.
7. Defend Your Assets
When separating assets during a divorce, it’s important to remember that not everything is up for negotiation. There are some assets that you’re entitled to keep no matter what, so make sure you know what they are before you start the divorce process.
For example, in most cases, any property that you owned before the marriage is considered separate property and won’t be subject to division during the divorce. This includes things like your home, your car, and any other assets that you had before you got married.
It’s also important to remember that gifts and inheritances are usually considered separate property. So, if you received a gift from a family member or an inheritance from a relative, it’s likely that you’ll be able to keep it during the divorce.
Anything that you purchase with separate property is also usually considered separate property. So, if you use your inheritance to buy a new car, that car is likely to be considered your separate property.
The bottom line is that you need to know what assets are considered separate property before you start the divorce process. This way, you can be sure that you’re able to keep the assets that you’re entitled to.
8. Get A Prenuptial Agreement
If you’re getting married, one of the best ways to protect yourself financially is to get a prenuptial agreement. This is a contract that you and your spouse will sign before you get married. It will outline what assets each of you will keep in the event of a divorce.
Prenuptial agreements can be very helpful in protecting your assets. However, they’re not always enforceable. So, if you’re considering getting one, it’s important to talk to a lawyer to make sure that it will be valid in your state.
9. Keep Good Records
If you’re going through a divorce, it’s important to keep good records of all of your assets and debts and it will also help you prove your case to the court.. This includes everything from your bank accounts to your credit card statements. Keeping good records will help you prove what assets you have and what debts you owe.
It’s also a good idea to keep records of any income or expenses that you have. This includes things like pay stubs, receipts, and bank statements. Keeping good records will help you show the court how much money you’re bringing in and what expenses you’re paying.
You can also keep a journal during the divorce process. This can be helpful in many different ways. For example, you can use it to record your emotions and thoughts during this difficult time. You can also use it to keep track of important events that happen during the divorce.
10. Hire A Lawyer
If you’re going through a divorce, it’s important to hire a lawyer. A lawyer can help you protect your rights and make sure that you get a fair outcome in the divorce.
11. Go After What Is Most Important To You
In a divorce, it’s important to focus on what is most important to you. For example, if you have children, your priority should be getting custody of them. If you own a business, your priority should be protecting your interests in the business.
No matter what your priorities are, it’s important to keep them in mind during the divorce process. This way, you can make sure that you’re fighting for what is most important to you.
12. Be Willing To Compromise
The divorce process can be very difficult and emotional. It’s important to remember that you won’t always get everything that you want. In many cases, the best outcome is one that is fair to both sides.
This means that you may have to compromise on some things in order to get what you really want. For example, you may have to give up some of your assets in order to get custody of your children. Or, you may have to agree to pay alimony in order to keep your business.
Whatever you do, it’s important to be willing to compromise. This way, you can get the best possible outcome in your divorce.
13. Get A Divorce Settlement
If you’re going through a divorce, you can try to get a divorce settlement if you and your spouse can reach an agreement how to separate assets and debts.
A divorce settlement can be very helpful because it can help you avoid going to court. It can also help you save money on legal fees.
However, not all divorces end in a settlement. In some cases, the divorce will go to trial. If this happens, the judge will make a decision about how to divide your assets and debts.
14. Be Prepared For The Worst
The divorce process can be very unpredictable. This means that you need to be prepared for the worst.
This doesn’t mean that you should expect the worst to happen. But, it does mean that you should be prepared for it.
For example, you should make sure that you have enough money saved up to support yourself and your children if the divorce doesn’t go your way. You should also make sure that you have a place to live if you have to move out of the family home.
Meanwhile, you should make sure that you have a good support system in place. This way, you can lean on your friends and family for help if things get tough.
No one knows what will happen during their divorce. But, by being prepared for the worst, you can protect yourself and your interests if things don’t go your way.