You and your spouse likely saved up for all kinds of things during your marriage – a new car, your first home, your kids’ education and more. However, most people don’t think about saving up for your divorce.
Whether you’re considering telling your spouse you want a divorce, you’ve decided together that it’s time to end the marriage or your spouse made a sudden announcement, you need to start preparing financially as soon as possible for your split. In addition to the legal fees and other costs of the divorce itself, you need to prepare for the higher cost of living as a single person after years of splitting expenses.
Get accounts in your own name
Even if you’re certain that your spouse won’t drain your bank accounts and run up your credit cards, it’s wise to open at least one account and credit card solely in your name if you don’t already have them. This will give you access to funds when you need them and help you build up your own credit again.
One financial professional advises, “Start putting away a little bit of money here and there, cut back on extras. Everyone should have a little nest egg saved for a rainy day.”
Determine what your new budget will look like
Another key step is to determine what your cost of living is going to be. You’ll need to know that as a starting point for determining what to negotiate for when dividing your money and other assets and debts.
If you’re already the one who pays the bills, that shouldn’t be difficult. If your spouse has been the one who handled the family finances, you’ll need to do some homework – and maybe some digging through accounts, statements and other financial information. You have the right to access anything your name is on.
You can never be too prepared for divorce. The more information you have about your and your spouse’s financial situation, the more prepared you’ll be to work with your attorney to seek a fair settlement.