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How to prepare your finances ahead of a divorce

Divorce requires more planning than you might initially expect, both emotionally and logistically. You will not simply wake up one morning dissatisfied with your marriage and decide to file for divorce later that day. Instead, you’ll probably go through different stages of being unhappy in your relationship, contemplating whether divorce is a viable option, and considering how it will impact you from a social and financial perspective.

Unfortunately, many people act out of emotion and fail to prepare adequately for a divorce from a financial perspective. This can lead them to make costly mistakes that could have been avoided with a basic understanding of the law and some planning. The following are some ways in which you can prepare your finances for a divorce.

Take advice with a pinch of salt

If you confide in friends about your plans to file for divorce, they are likely to offer well-meaning advice. While this can be comforting and reassuring, you should not rely on this type of advice. Divorce laws vary from state to state, and everyone’s financial situation is different.

Track your spending

If you see divorce on the horizon, it’s time to get organized. Start being aware of how much you spend every month as a household and an individual. Try to build a personal budget from this so that you can estimate how much it will cost you to live as a single person in the future. Make sure that you have enough personal savings to fund some of the initial costs of moving out and getting divorced.

Gather documentation

Knowledge is power in any divorce. By getting as many documents together as you can, from bank account statements and tax returns to lists of assets and debts in the marriage, you’ll be able to maximize your preparedness.

If you are considering getting a divorce, you should exercise patience and put all of your emotional energy into preparing for a successful divorce process.