Some people enter a marriage expecting to divorce within a few years. In some unfortunate cases, however, your marriage might end up in divorce. During a divorce, most couples will focus on the best options for their kids and how they can move forward and adjust to life changes.
This is commendable, but considering your financial well-being after a divorce is also essential. Your spouse might leave you penniless. Most couples find a pre-nuptial agreement unromantic and will not sign one.
Thankfully, experienced divorce attorneys in Albuquerque can recommend a few steps during your divorce to safeguard your assets. For most people, this means hiding their assets. This is illegal and might work against you in court. The following are some legally-sound steps you can take during a divorce to protect your finances:
Open a Personal Bank Account
Most married couples have joint bank accounts. When your divorce process starts, consider opening a personal savings and checking account. Once you do so, inform your spouse of the account and how much money you are putting into it. This way, your spouse will not accuse you of hiding assets. The best choice is to have enough cash in your accounts to cover your attorney costs and living expenses for not less than three months.
Close Joint Credit Accounts
Divorce does not negate the debts you have as a couple. When the process starts, start closing your joint credit accounts. This will mean either paying them off entirely or changing the accounts into one spouse’s name. If both of you cannot settle the credit accounts and no one is willing to have them in their name, talk to your creditors.
You can then negotiate payment terms before the finalization of your separation. Your debts will be split in a divorce. It thus is essential for you to start your post-divorce life with as minimal a financial burden as possible.
Request a Copy of Your Spouse’s and Your Credit Reports
You should know not only how you and your spouse’s credit is. At times, spouses secretly open accounts and take loans during a marriage. These loans might be split during your divorce, even if you had no idea they existed. With the credit report, you know your spouse’s financial standing and can be sure of what to expect.
Eliminate Financial Power Imbalance
With the high costs of child care, most couples nowadays opt to have one working spouse while the other one takes care of kids. If this is the case for you, you probably have financial power imbalances. If you are the stay-at-home spouse, know how much money you have been using and on what. This way, you have an idea of how much you should ask for in spousal and child support.
Financially moving on after a separation is among the most challenging things you will encounter. But the above steps can help ease the process. Even so, the ideal options will depend on your situation and state laws. Learn about your alternatives before settling on one.