Divorce comes at a financial cost, but you can certainly take steps to increase the chance you emerge in as strong a financial position as possible.
Here are three things to keep in mind:
Know what you have
Maybe your marriage worked just fine with your spouse handling most of the money while you took on other roles. Now that you are divorcing, you need to take responsibility for your own finances and that starts with getting up to date on your joint finances. Failing to do so could allow your spouse to cheat you out of a fair divorce settlement.
Set money aside for the next few months
Things can get nasty during a divorce and your spouse might try to prevent you from accessing funds. While you can ask a court to intervene, the delay might still cause you hardship, so it’s better to put some money aside now.
You need to take care though. You can’t just empty the joint bank account or max out a credit card with cash withdrawals to ensure you have enough. You should also consider closing joint accounts and credit cards to draw a clear line under your pre-divorce spending – but you’ll probably need to do this together
Understand what the law entitles you to
Courts don’t just pluck divorce settlement figures out of thin air. While they do have some flexibility, they need to abide by state guidelines regarding how to divide assets and award payments such as child support or spousal support.
Getting accurate information about these laws is crucial. Only then can you seek to persuade the judge to give you the divorce settlements you need to set you on a sound financial footing for the next stage of your life.