In addition to needing legal guidance, many of our Las Vegas divorce clients come to us looking for advice on how to save money during their divorce. Dissolving a marriage can be an expensive process, and being financially sound once the process is over often takes careful planning and smart money management. To that end, we’ve put together a list of tips for how to prepare financially for a divorce.
Gather All Paperwork and Financial Information Ahead of Time
Most married couples split household duties, meaning that one spouse is usually responsible for the bulk of tracking and managing household finances. While this arrangement usually works well when things are going well, it can be incredibly inconvenient (and costly) for the spouse who doesn’t balance the checkbooks and file the tax returns when it comes to a divorce. If you are seeking a divorce from your spouse, you should make copies of all important documents (tax returns, mortgages, bank statements, etc.) before the proceedings begin. That way, you will have the information you need to begin the proceedings without having to go through the legal steps of compelling the other party to turn over documents, and then waiting for them to comply. Remember: the longer proceedings take, the more expensive it is to get a divorce.
Cut Back on Expenses
As much as you might feel like splurging on luxuries or taking a trip to get away from the stress, a divorce is not the time to rack up lots of expenses. No matter how equitable the final settlement is, people going through a divorce should expect for a dramatic lifestyle change in the wake of their separation, especially if both spouses contributed to the household income.
Open Your Own Accounts
When you are getting a divorce from your spouse, you don’t want to be financially dependent on them during the proceedings or having to fight with them for money to pay the bills. Once you are sure that you are going to be going through a divorce, you should open your own credit cards and bank accounts, and then begin depositing paychecks and other sources of income into accounts that are only in your own name. Anything deposited into a joint account is likely to be split 50/50 during the proceedings, and it can also be accessed by your soon-to-be-ex.
Work Out Rent and Mortgage Payments
Most divorcing couples want to spend as little time dealing with each other as possible, but it is essential that you and your spouse work out a workable arrangement for paying your mortgage, rent, and other joint expenses. Creditors expect payment regardless of your personal situation, and failing to make payments because you don’t want to deal with your spouse will damage the finances of both of you. Even if you move out of the home as soon as the proceedings begin, you are still responsible for 50% of the payments toward that house, and you will then be less likely to be awarded the house. If you and your spouse can’t come up with an arrangement or decide who gets to keep the house, it may be better to sell it; the judge may also order the house to be sold, in order to make the splitting of assets easier.
For more information on how to prepare for a divorce, contact McFarling Law Group today at 702-565-4335.