Divorce is rarely a spur-of-the-moment decision, but it’s not always easy to make that decision. Often, you need more information and more time to decide
If you are considering a divorce, however, the time to start thinking about your options is right now. If you wait until you’ve made the announcement, you could be at a big disadvantage.
Do not wait until you file for divorce to start planning
Even if you choose not to divorce, understanding your financial situation is helpful. Here are five things you can do ahead of time:
- Add up your assets: If you do not know how much your house is worth, get it valued. If that might raise suspicions with your spouse, look at what similar properties are selling for. If you do not understand your assets take photos of the paperwork and take them to someone who does. Consider things such as retirement plans and stocks and shares, as well as money in the bank.
- Total up your debts: Remember that debt reduces the total value of your assets. Take the family home. It may be worth half a million, yet if you have 15 years of outstanding mortgage on it, then you own a lot less.
- Check your healthcare insurance: Is your insurance is reliant on your spouse? If so, get a quote for individual insurance.
- Set up an individual bank account and credit card: When you file for divorce, it is best to separate your accounts. If you already have a personal one set up, it makes things easier.
- Think about your budget: If you do not already run a household budget sheet, now is an excellent time to start. Writing down all the items you spend on can help you work out how much you need to live after a divorce.
It pays to consult an attorney well ahead of time. They can help you understand how the divorce process will work. They can help ensure you are well prepared. Once you announce your intention to divorce your spouse, things may move fast. You can ease the stress by doing the groundwork early.