How to Prepare Financially for a Divorce

Divorce1.jpgFew things can disrupt a carefully planned financial future like a divorce. So how do you prepare yourself financially for an impending divorce?

Prepare. Understanding the financial implications of divorce is the first step in becoming properly prepared. In most marriages, one spouse takes on the main responsibility for the couple’s finances. If you are the spouse who is not totally informed about your financial condition, get informed as quickly as possible. Get a full accounting of all your assets and expenses. Collect financial data about your bank accounts, retirement accounts, pension plans, IRAs, 401(k)’s, life insurance policies and other assets as well as your liabilities (credit card debt, mortgages, loans, etc.).

Manage your expectations. When one household becomes two, each spouse must take a realistic approach to financial planning. Chances are very good that you will not enjoy the same lifestyle you had when you were together. Make good financial decisions for you and your children – which may mean that you cannot afford to keep the family home.

Plan. Consider engaging a financial planner to help you figure out how you are going to live now as a single person (or single parent). A financial planner can work with your divorce attorney to figure out how much financial support you will need, or how much you can afford to pay.