Concern about financial security following divorce is one of the biggest reasons many women stay in a bad marriage. The financial responsibility of maintaining a lifestyle, affording a nice home, and raising then sending kids to college can be daunting, not only for stay-at-home moms but for working women as well.
Financial concerns should not keep you from getting divorced. Here are some steps you can take to protect your assets and set yourself up for the future:
- Get a clear picture of your finances – First off, gather all your financial records. These include bank and investment account statements, insurance policies, loan documents, credit reports, wills and other estate papers, statements for retirement accounts, and tax records. Then you’ll want to gather estimates for the value of your home, cars, and other tangible assets. Make copies of all documents and secure them in a safe space that only you can access. You want to ensure you always have access to these.
- Open your own accounts – Now would be the time to set up a separate bank account if you don’t already have one. Start with a checking and a savings account. If you are working, route your paycheck to your new accounts. If you don’t already have a credit card that is solely in your name, open one and start using it. Even making small purchases followed by paying the balance monthly can help you establish or better your own credit score.
- Set a monthly budget – You’ll want to look at current monthly expenses as well as anticipate post-divorce monthly costs. A current budget will tell you where all your cash goes and also help you evaluate which expenses to continue after your divorce and which you can do without. When setting your post-divorce budget, don’t be a cheapskate. Make sure to cover expenses for yourself and your children. If you are going to need your own health insurance or a new car, make sure to include those costs as well as expenses for a new place to live.
- Secure money for divorce-related expenses – Evaluate the potential costs of a divorce and set aside the funds. If you are not working and your spouse controls all the assets, you can engage an attorney and request temporary spousal support.
- Update insurance – It’s a good idea to get your own car insurance when you are going through the divorce process. You don’t want to find yourself financially liable for a large deductible or more should your spouse get into a wreck prior to the divorce being finalized. Now is also the time to update beneficiaries on any life insurance policies so that your kids or other loved ones receive the payout. Most women wait until after a divorce to get separate health insurance, as the spouse carrying the policy is usually required to continue providing coverage until the divorce is final.
- Consider hiring a professional – A financial planner can help you not only ascertain your current financial picture but also help set budgets, update insurance policies, and plan for the future. The planner can help assure your divorce settlement fairly takes into retirement, college expenses for children, and other large expenditures. The planner can also help you evaluate settlement agreements throughout the divorce process.
Our Divorce Attorneys Can Help Alleviate Your Fears
Divorce is challenging, but with Alexandra Geczi LLC you are not alone. Our attorneys are here to help you discreetly navigate the process and protect your interests so that you can move forward into a bright, bold future. Contact us today at 214-974-4449.