Unfortunately for some couples, no amount of counseling and work can save the marriage, and parting ways and starting anew is the best option. When this decision is made, there’s plenty to process and prepare yourself for, as divorces can be emotionally and financially draining.
Untangling your and your spouse’s money may be a messy process. So, to stay prepared and to protect yourself, one of the best things you can do is get your finances in order.
From the divorce law experts at The Law Office of Blake W. Rush, here are seven ways to ready your finances ahead of your NJ divorce:
Gather All Your Documents
When planning for a divorce, one of the first things on your checklist should be to find and gather all the required documentation and files your divorce lawyer will need, especially for your finances. Some documents to consider include:
- Checking and savings account statements
- Retirement account statements
- Investment account statements
- Credit card statements
- Recent pay stubs
- Income tax returns
- Ledgers for any loans
- Lists of assets and debts brought into the marriage and accumulated throughout
Gathering everything can take some time, so don’t hesitate to get started.
Be Prepared For Resistance From Your Spouse
In amicable divorces, there is usually a free exchange of information, including financial records and data. However, there are many cases, especially among feuding couples, where one spouse refuses to reveal financial details and release the needed documents until they are legally forced to do so. Even if your relationship with your future ex-spouse seems cordial, be prepared for difficulties when discussing finances during separation. To stay prepared, collect your documents as soon as possible and speak with your attorney about court-ordered options.
Take Inventory of Your Assets
As mentioned above, it’s important to note all the assets you have individually and accumulated with your spouse. Your assets should include anything you owned prior to the marriage, such as property, inheritances, and gifts. Make another list of all the assets you and your spouse have together.
Open Your Own Accounts
As soon as you believe a separation or divorce is impending, open your own financial accounts– this may include checking and savings accounts and a debit or credit card in your name only. To ensure your information stays private, think about opening an account at a different bank you’ve used with your spouse. Doing so gives you security over your own money and provides you the opportunity to start building your finances and strengthen your credit score, which will help you post-divorce.
Track Your Expenses
As most people know, divorces can be costly, so when preparing for your divorce, consider carefully tracking your spending and utilizing a budget. Examine your income and regular expenses, and determine how much you need to spend and save. This will help you ensure you are prepared for the potential financial strain of a divorce and ready for your new, single life.
Avoid Major Financial Decisions
Though getting a jump start on adjusting to being single may be tempting, it’s best to wait before making major financial changes or decisions until your divorce is complete. Major spending during the divorce proceedings could raise a red flag and cause the judge to award more to your spouse.
Get Advice From The Right Source
Divorce laws in the U.S. vary from state to state, so avoid getting one-size-fits-all advice regarding finances and your divorce. The best way to be prepared and get the correct information is to work with an expert divorce attorney in your state– they can give you all the advice and legal aid you need through every step of your divorce.
Contact Our Office Today For a Consultation With Our Expert NJ Divorce Attorneys!
When going through a divorce, you need an experienced and knowledgeable attorney on your side to guide you through the process. The attorneys at the Law Office of Blake W. Rush have more than 16 years of experience representing spouses in both amicable and contested divorces throughout New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania.
Give us a call at (903) 713-9800 or visit our website to contact us and learn more about how we can help you.