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Preparing your finances for divorce

Sadly, not all marriages work out. Even if you try counseling, sometimes the only answer is getting a divorce. Not only is splitting up hard on your emotions, but it is messy to untangle your assets and wealth. 

Fortunately, you can minimize the impact divorce has on your wallet by getting prepared. Here are some guidelines for getting your finances ready for ending your marriage

Gather your documents

Your financial records are crucial to determining how property is divided and whether there will be any support payments. Organize these documents as soon as possible:

  • Banking account statements from the past year
  • Investment account statements from the past year
  • Credit card statements from the past year
  • Investment account statements from the past year
  • Current retirement account statements
  • Recent pay stubs
  • Ledgers for your loans, including car loans, mortgages or personal loans from the past year
  • Income tax returns from the past three years
  • A list of all assets and debts you have accumulated throughout your marriage

You will also want to shut down any shared accounts.

Be suspicious of advice

You will receive a lot of advice from various sources–friends, family members and co-workers. Take what people say with a grain of salt. Every divorce and financial situation is unique. The best thing you can do is guidance of your family law attorney. 

Track and anticipate expenses

Pay attention to your expenses so you can start building a budget. Start tracking what you spend on household bills, clothing, food, entertainment, transportation, child care, home maintenance and any other costs. This is a great starting point for predicting future expenses so you can effectively budget after your divorce. 

You may find it difficult to be in a practical state of mind when you are dealing with the turmoil of divorce, but readying your finances will save you a lot of stress. 

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