One of the reasons so many people fear getting divorced is because of the degree of financial uncertainty that comes with having to go back to trying to covering expenses all on one's own. If you know that a divorce is looming, however, it doesn't have to be a such a scary, unpredictable time in your life. You can make certain financial decisions early on to help make your transition back into being single a much less painful one.
If you're thinking about divorce, while your online research and friends can be helpful in gaining some initial perspective as to how to handle finances, it may not be applicable in your case or state. By speaking with a local attorney in your area, you can rest assured that the advice you receive is most relevant to your unique situation.
As you sense that your divorce is looming, you can also benefit from starting to document your everyday expenses. Bills you'll want to keep track of include ones for food, utilities, home repairs, car care, entertainment, child care, transportation and clothing.
You should begin making copies of any financial documents that reveal your expenses. Some of the more important documents to gather at this time include both the current and the previous year's banking statements, any retirement or investment account statements, and any loan documentation whether it is for a home or car or both.
You should also compile any and all credit card statements, pay stubs for both you and your spouse, and copies of tax returns from the past three years. It's also at this point that you should start listing the different debts that you both brought into and acquired since the marriage.
While compiling this information early on may seem relatively unimportant, it's not. There are countless cases of a husband or wife restricting the other spouse's access to this information once a divorce filing is made. By being proactive early on, you have a higher chance of building a stronger case for spousal and child support.
If you are considering filing for divorce, it's important to seek out the counsel of a Fort Myers divorce attorney from the get go to ensure that you're as financially prepared as possible to face the many challenges that lie ahead.
Source: USA Today, "7 ways to ready your finances for divorce," Erin Renter, May 31, 2017