Regardless of how much money you have when you start the divorce process, no one wants to come out the other side broke or worrying about how they will support themselves and any children. No matter what your financial state is before you enter the divorce process, it's critical to understand it fully so you can make the best decisions during it.
Before you start making these decisions, give yourself a crash course in your own financial situation. Gather as much information as you can on your own and work with your divorce lawyer to gather information that your spouse might not be forthcoming about. Here are some things that you need to know to make successful decisions about money during your divorce.
First, understand what assets you have, what assets your spouse has and what assets you own together. It's important to remember that you don't necessarily own everything together and you might have entered the marriage with non-community property. You will want to protect your own property and you might be entitled to a portion of your spouse's, depending on the situation.
Next, understand your true expenses. How much does it cost to maintain your lifestyle -- especially if you have to maintain it on your own going forward. This can help you make the right decisions about seeking support and alimony payments.
Finally, hold your emotions back from the financial processes whenever possible. While it's easy to get caught up in the emotional aspects of a divorce, taking clear, logical approaches to financial decisions is usually the best way to ensure a positive outcome.
Source: Financial Post, "Divorce is never easy and your heart may be broken, but that doesn’t mean your wallet needs to be too," Melissa Leong, Nov. 24, 2016