If you are considering divorce – or you feel that your spouse may be – the implications relating to financial decisions are significant. In this article, we will look at several phases in the divorce process, and financial steps to take related to each.
Before filing for divorce:- If you are planning to divorce, there are actions that you should take to prepare yourself. Above all, try to keep your emotions out of the financial decisions you are about to make. You can look for divorce and taxes mediation services to make things work.
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First, it is crucial to gather and copy any and all financial documents. Get copies of everything – statements of every kind of account you have. Get copies of wills, tax returns, premarital agreements, insurance papers, promissory notes, deeds, credit card statements, utility bills, money market accounts, 401K, pension plans, bank accounts – everything.
You will want to have a list of all account numbers, from credit cards to student loans to the cable company, as well as contact information for each account. It is a wise idea to keep a copy of each of these documents in a separate place that your spouse may not have access to.
Make lists of every asset you have. One advisor suggested three lists – first all bank accounts, including account numbers and balances; second, a property list that includes anything you own of value – such as your home, jewelry, cars (with VIN numbers), land, etc.; third, insurance policies, retirement funds, stocks and bonds, and anything that would fit into this category.
Often a spouse who has been considering divorce may have made attempts to conceal assets, especially if they own their own business. Your best protection is to have a complete inventory of the assets of your marriage.