Preparing for Divorce

The Wall Street Journal recently ran an excellent article indicating various steps necessary to prepare for divorce.  Anyone contemplating a divorce should certainly think about taking these preliminary steps.

Financial Records.  Assets can quickly disappear.  To best prepare yourself in advance of divorce, be sure you have copies of every financial account, insurance certificates and other key documents.  Additionally, take photographs of all valuables and make copies of any appraisals.

Begin Saving.  Divorce will be expensive, not just because of the process but because you will go from two people supporting one household to two separate people supporting two households with inefficiencies.  Figuring out how to reduce your essentials to a core budget will help you plan for the transition.

Credit Ratings.  Many couples have joint accounts and as such their credit becomes entangled.  If one spouse becomes reckless and misses payments, the credit rating of both spouses could suffer.  Many websites offer free credit monitoring services and if you detect a sudden drop you can intervene by contacting the credit agency and putting the spending errors on the right spouse.

Timing Issues.  When you divide property, the court uses current valuations.  In a bad market, that could mean receiving less for your home or your retirement funds.

Think About the Marital Home.  Both spouses may want it; neither may be able to afford it alone.  If you see that is the case, begin thinking about how you would handle selling the house, where you would look to relocate, deciding what you could afford and finance.

These are just some preliminary considerations, but taking these steps will make you much more aware of how prepared you are financially in the event of divorce.

If you have questions about preparing yourself for divorce, contact our St. Louis divorce attorneys – we can help.

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