Are you headed toward divorce? If so, you’re probably worried about what marriage dissolution is going to mean for your finances. This is understandable given that divorce is often a major financial transaction that sets the stage for your financial standing for years to come.
But as you’re tied up in the emotions of your marriage dissolution, it can be hard to get a handle on what you need to do to protect your financial interests. But failing to act early on in your case can leave you at a significant financial disadvantage. That’s why we hope that the tips listed below will be helpful as you try to position yourself for post-divorce financial success.
How to protect your financial interests during the divorce process
Although you’re probably feeling stressed right now, there are steps that you can take to try to protect your financial interests. Here are some of them:
- Know the breadth of the marital estate: Before you can start negotiating for your fair share of the marital estate, you have to know what all the marital estate entails. Therefore, it might be helpful for you to start making an inventory of everything that you and your spouse own. Be as detailed as possible here. Even if you think that certain assets are individually owned, go ahead and mark them down with an asterisk so that you can discuss them with your attorney. You’ll also want to be prepared to look for assets that your spouse may have tried to hide from you.
- Determine the value of the marital estate: To ensure that you’re getting a fair shake out of your divorce settlement, you need to know what the marital estate is worth. Calculating retirement and pension accounts are easy enough, but determining how much a business is worth can be more difficult. That’s why you may want to work with an expert who can help ensure that you have a clear understanding of what’s at stake. Just be prepared for your spouse to have their own expert valuate key pieces of marital property.
- Consider a postnuptial agreement: If you’re still in the early stages of considering divorce, then you might want to think about discussing a postnuptial agreement with your spouse. One of these arrangements will specify how marital assets will be divided in the event of divorce. If you and your spouse are still on good terms because divorce hasn’t been discussed yet, then this might be a viable option that allows you to come to fair agreement with your spouse.
- Create a budget: Once you have a good idea of which assets you’ll be likely to retain post-divorce, you should create a budget, making sure that you generate an emergency fund. Be realistic and thorough here so that you minimize the risk of being surprised later on. Creating this budget will also give you peace of mind knowing how you’re going to make ends meet.
Aggressively advocate for your interests
An improperly handled divorce can spell financial disaster. That’s why you need to be prepared to aggressively advocate for your interests. This means gathering pertinent evidence and figuring out how to present it in a persuasive fashion. That might sound challenging, but you can have a legal ally on your side as you navigate the process. Hopefully then you can advocate for the outcome that is best for you and achieve the results that lead to the post-divorce financial stability that you deserve.M