Divorce can be a costly endeavor - especially when you are not prepared for the process. Thankfully, it is possible to place yourself ahead of the proceedings. Learn how with the following pre-divorce money management tips, and discover how our seasoned Wheaton divorce lawyers can help you with the process, long before you ever even file.
1. Track Income, Assets, and Expenses
Before filing for divorce, it is crucial that you have a clear understanding of your financial situation. All debts, income, real estate, retirement accounts, pension plans, and other assets (i.e. jewelry, collections, etc.) that were acquired during the marriage should be considered. Once you have all the information you need, such as account statements and appraisals, make copies and store them in a safe place where your spouse cannot find them, such as in a safety deposit box or at a relative’s house. Also, be sure to regularly update documentation on any assets that may fluctuate in value, such as your bank account or retirement account.
2. Check and Monitor Your Credit
Spouses who suspect a divorce may be on the horizon can become retaliatory, sometimes in the worst way possible. They may attempt to take out credit in your name, or they may run up your credit card bills. Avoid such issues by monitoring your credit before and after you file. Remove your spouse as an authorized user on any personal accounts, freeze or dissolve joint accounts (only do the latter under the guidance of your attorney), and report any suspicious activity.
3. Create a Budget (and Stick to It)
Once you have a grip on your finances, you can begin to plan for the costs that are likely to arise once you start the filing process. Consider how much you might need to start out on your own if you plan to leave the family home. Add in costs for attorneys, appraisers, accountants, financial advisors, and any other professionals that may be needed in your divorce. If you expect to pay child support, add this into your calculation as well. Your attorney can advise you on how to manage and track any child support payments that are made, prior to your filing.
4. Carefully Consider Whether You Need a New Credit Line
Divorce can be a tempting excuse for a new line of credit, but parties are encouraged to think twice before establishing a line credit during a divorce. Some parties may legitimately need it to establish creditworthiness before the divorce, but others have a credit score that is high enough for them to stand on their own. In the latter situation, a new line of credit could be a hindrance, rather than a benefit - especially if the party is only just learning to manage their own finances.
Contact Our DuPage County Divorce Lawyers
If you are thinking about filing for a divorce, contact Davi Law Group, LLC for a personalized consultation. Seasoned and experienced, our Wheaton divorce attorneys can help you prepare for the process, months or even years before you file. As matters progress, we work hard to protect your financial well-being and best interests. Call 630-580-6373 today.