Once you decide to divorce, it's time to think about a future in which you are no longer married. There's a good chance that your financial situation will change as a result of your split, and you will need to make some adjustments.
There are a few simple ways to financially prepare for divorce:
- Create a budget. List your income and expenses, as this will give you a clear view of your situation moving forward.
- Make changes to your spending habits. If you won't have access to as much money as you did during your marriage, it's safe to say that your spending habits must change.
- Open separate checking accounts. Also, you shouldn't use a joint credit card as you move through the divorce process. The same holds true of joint bank accounts.
- Realize that you won't get everything. Property division is a big part of any divorce. You hope to get a fair share of assets, but you must realize early on that there's no way of getting everything.
- Don't make a big purchase just yet. You may be tempted to buy a new home shortly after your divorce is finalized or get a fancy car to cheer yourself up. There's time for these things in the future, once the dust of your divorce settles.
There's no right or wrong way to prepare your finances for divorce. You need to make decisions based on your financial situation and future goals. As long as you begin to think about this early in the divorce process, you should be able to avoid mistakes that cause long-term trouble.