How to Prepare Yourself Financially for Divorce
- posted: Apr. 21, 2023
There is no doubt that divorce can be an extremely disruptive event in any married person’s life. To help manage these changes and start off the next phase of your life confidently, it is very important to prepare your finances prior to filing for divorce.
The cost of getting a divorce can be significant. A recent study found the average cost for a divorce in the United States to be $12,780. Depending on the complexity of the assets you own and whether or not the divorce is amicable, these costs can be significantly higher. Additionally, after divorce, spouses must anticipate new expenses like rent or childcare and the possibility of paying child or spousal support. Shouldering these costs can be challenging, but here are several practical steps you can take to prepare yourself:
- Collect and organize your documents — Going through a divorce requires collecting and analyzing all of your financial documents in order to gain a full picture of your financial situation and legal obligations. The more time that is spent trying to find these documents or to respond to court requests after the divorce process has begun, the more quickly legal bills and expenses can mount. By being proactive, you can minimize the time and cost spent chasing these documents down and you can ensure that all of your financial assets are accurately represented in your divorce.
- Protect your credit and accounts — In the midst of a divorce, it can be easy to miss important payments or bills, particularly if they were typically paid by your spouse. To avoid such lapses and their possible impact on your credit, consider opening up accounts in your own name and changing passwords on existing accounts where your spouse may have the password as well. These protections can help you start the next step of your life on a sound financial footing.
- Make a plan for separation and childcare: — Divorce typically requires one spouse to find new housing and that there be related adjustments to childcare and visitation with children. The earlier that spouses acknowledge and address these changes, the easier it will be to find affordable options for housing and sharing childcare. Spouses who wait until the last moment or refuse to discuss these details may end up paying a premium for a last minute rental or for childcare.
- Hire an experienced attorney — The divorce process can be complicated, time-consuming and expensive. Hiring an experienced Rhode Island divorce attorney who knows how to navigate the court process and work efficiently with your spouse or spouse’s attorney can make a significant difference in time and cost.
At Kirshenbaum Law Associates, Inc. in Cranston, Rhode Island, we frequently represent spouses who are considering the possibility of divorce and want to get their financial affairs in order in advance. If you have questions or need representation, please call our office at 401-467-5300 or contact us online anytime.