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Tips for maintaining your finances during divorce

Ending your marriage does not just come with an emotional upheaval. Divorcing your spouse also comes with financial consequences. Handling your finances can be difficult regardless, but it can be especially stressful during a separation.

Whether you are in the middle of your divorce or are anticipating one, here are some tips for remaining financially secure.

Know your financial situation

One of the first steps you should take is knowing where you stand. Take stock of all your assets, income and liabilities, including:

  • Bank accounts
  • Investment accounts
  • Retirement accounts
  • Brokerage accounts
  • Stock options
  • Credit cards
  • Tax refunds

Having a solid idea of where you are financially will help you make decisions and budget as the divorce continues. 

Prioritize the necessities

Before you start arguing about pieces of furniture or collectible items, focus on the big picture. One of the most important aspects of breaking up is figuring out where you will live. If you own a home with your ex, you will need to figure out who will get the family home in the settlement. Consider the pros and cons of keeping the house. While ending up with the house may be your goal, think about the mortgage payments, property tax and maintenance expenses. 

Separate your finances immediately

Do not get stuck with joint accounts. If you do not separate your accounts, there will be a lot of confusion and frustration. Your spouse may rack up debt and make you responsible for it. Even if your spouse is normally a nice and honest person, divorce can make people do crazy things. Both of you will probably be taking out new credit to afford divorce expenses, so close accounts you have together as soon as possible.

Divorce is often overwhelming when you have to deal with all the details. But if you slow down and take things one step at a time, you and your finances will be able to make it through this significant change.

An experienced divorce attorney can review your situation and provide sound advice concerning financial and other matters affecting your life and family.

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