Since divorce is more like a marathon than a sprint, it’s essential to prepare for it. Depending on your situation, you may wish to consult a divorce attorney in Paterson and a financial advisor before informing your spouse that you want a divorce. Pre-divorce guidance from divorce lawyers can help you protect your financial interests, especially if there is a chance that your spouse may drain the joint accounts. Some individuals who are getting ready for a legal separation or divorce open post office boxes for correspondence from divorce lawyers or from new financial institutions.
Organize Your Financial Documents
Your first step toward getting your finances ready for divorce is to gather together all relevant documents. These may include your paystubs, bank statements, investment account statements, and an inventory of non-liquid assets. You will also need to write a list of your average monthly expenses, including debts such as vehicle loans and credit card debt. Make copies of these documents and keep them in a safe place. You’ll need to bring the copies to your consultations with your divorce attorney and your financial advisor.
Consult a Financial Advisor
Not consulting a financial advisor is a common mistake that people make during divorce proceedings. It’s especially important to talk to a financial expert if you did not handle your finances during the marriage. Your financial advisor can help you establish a reasonable budget for a single stream of income. He or she can also help you explore the potential effects of the divorce on your retirement savings and taxes.
Open New Accounts
Your divorce lawyer may recommend that you open up checking and savings accounts in your name only. Consult your lawyer before transferring any funds from joint accounts to your individual accounts. It’s best not to open up any accounts, such as CDs, that place limitations on access to your money. During your divorce, you’ll need quick access to funds for living expenses, court fees, and legal representation fees.
Update Your Beneficiaries
Remember to change your beneficiaries on all applicable documents. It’s not likely that you would want to keep your spouse listed as a beneficiary in your will or life insurance policy. You might also want to designate a new healthcare proxy and power of attorney.