No matter the specific circumstances surrounding your divorce, calling it quits will take a toll. Ending a marriage is not as easy as simply saying this is my stuff, this is your stuff and signing the divorce papers. You will have to make decisions regarding how to value your assets to divide them fairly. Also, you will have to split any debt the two of you have accumulated during your marriage. If you have children, custody will be another issue you must address.
Sometimes people make some serious missteps during the divorce process and end up with their finances in shambles. To keep your divorce from ending in bankruptcy, follow these tips.
Inventory your assets but don’t touch them
To ensure you get a fair settlement, you need to know what you and your husband own. Go over past and current bank statements and tax returns to get a handle on the extent of your holdings. Also, visit the safe deposit boxes and take inventory so that you know if anything goes missing before you agree to a divorce settlement. However, do not move any large sums of money or make extravagant purchases as the divorce court might view this as an attempt to hide assets.
Prepare to support yourself
If you have been relying on the money your husband has been bringing in with his career, it is time to start focusing on your own. Even if you expect alimony to be part of your settlement, it may not be enough to fully support your lifestyle. Do not wait for your divorce to be final before you start looking for a job. As soon as possible, get your resume in order and start taking any necessary training or continuing education courses to give your career the boost it needs.
Leave emotions at the door
It is easy to attach sentiment to your house and other items you own. Unfortunately, this causes many people to fight for the family home or low value property when it could cause financial ruin in the long run. Treat your divorce like a business and try to avoid making decisions when your emotions are running high. Your goal should be to come out the other side in a financially secure position and not with a house that is too big for your needs and too expensive to properly maintain.
While the above tips can help you protect your finances in the face of divorce, sometimes things do not go according to plan. If your divorce has seriously damaged your finances and you can no longer keep up with your monthly bills, it might be time to consider filing for bankruptcy.