When you know that a divorce is in your future, it is important to take steps for to prepare yourself financially for life as a single person. Many married people, especially those who have been married for a long time, have forgotten how expensive living on your own can be. If you are planning to get divorced, learn more about how to prepare yourself before your separation.
Examine Your Expenses
Living separately is twice as expensive as living together. Rather than making one rent or mortgage payment, each person will have to cover the cost of their own living expenses. This includes bills for water, electric, television, internet, cell phone bills, and vehicle expenses. In addition, each person will need to provide their own food, and one person may need to purchase a vehicle.
Before your divorce, look through your household bills and figure out how much it costs to maintain your current lifestyle. If you do not earn enough money or have enough in savings to cover these types of expenses, then it is time to either look for a new job or make a budget for your future expenses that is within your means.
Create Your Own Accounts
Many married couples share joint bank accounts, credit cards, and other financial products. If you are planning to get divorced, it is important to have your own source of money that is separate from your family funds. Before you file, it is helpful to open your own checking or savings account which your spouse cannot access, and close any joint accounts that you no longer use. Of course, it is important that you do not steal or hide money or other financial resources which equally belong to your partner. Everything you do should be open and honest or your actions will come back to hurt you.
Meet With a Financial Advisor
While most people know that they will need to speak with an attorney about their divorce, many are not aware that they may also need to consult a financial adviser. This is especially true if you and your partner have a significant amount of assets, investment accounts, or if you own a business. Often, your financial adviser will need to work with your attorney to advise him or her on the best way to keep your assets protected.
Meet With an Attorney
Finally, a family law attorney can also give you a substantial amount of information about what you can expect after a divorce. If you are unsure which assets you will be able to keep or think you may be entitled to spousal support, an attorney can give you advice.
At Pacific Northwest Family Law, our attorneys pride ourselves in helping you create a property settlement that takes care of your financial needs in the future. If you are unsure about your options or want to learn more about your rights, contact our office and schedule an appointment today by calling 509-572-3700.