Spouses who know they want to divorce may not know how to handle their finances for the legal proceedings. What money moves set them up for disaster or success for their post-divorce life?
NerdWallet provides financial tips for divorcing spouses. Proper preparation could help couples untangle their finances with ease.
Second-guess well-meaning financial advice
Divorced friends and relatives may offer well-meaning advice that harms more than it heals. Divorce laws differ across state lines. What works great in Alabama may not work so well in North Carolina.
Collect financial documents
Those going through a divorce should gather documents such as recent pay stubs, savings and checking account statements, loan documents, income tax returns and credit card statements. Because it may take a while to gather everything, it makes sense to start sooner rather than later.
Keep track of expenses
Once a couple knows they want to divorce, both spouses should track their expenses and income. This information comes in handy for spousal support, debt and asset allocation and child support. Tracking expenses also helps divorcing couples design a post-divorce budget.
Even if spouses divorce amicably, emotions could flare and one spouse may become uncooperative about sharing financial documents. If the couple has yet to file for divorce, spouses could gather vital paperwork. Court orders could become necessary for stubborn spouses who do not want to share information.
Taking a proactive approach with the financial aspects of divorce often pays off. Spouses deserve every resource and advantage that helps them secure their financial health for the next chapter of life.