Be Proactive: How To Prepare Your Finances for an Impending Divorce

Even in the most amicable of splits, it’s important to be financially prepared for a divorce before proceedings begin. Since divorce is emotionally-charged, having your ducks in a row, so to speak, will let you focus on the important decisions rather than having to worry about staying afloat during an already difficult time.

Whether divorce has been discussed and is on the horizon, or you have the intention of asking for a divorce, there are some simple steps to get everything in line before moving forward.

Separate Assets

Not all property is considered an equitable distribution state or a community property state. In general, courts recognize that each spouse may own their own property that shouldn’t be divided during divorce. These types of property can include, but is not limited to:

  • Property owned before the marriage began
  • Property that has been inherited or was a gift specifically given to one spouse
  • Property or finances obtained from a personal injury case

These types of properties can quickly become mixed when joint accounts and signing names onto deeds come into the picture. Preparing for these complications before filing for divorce can help simplify proceedings.

Important Documents

Before physically separating, it’s important to make sure you have all your important documents. This will help keep you aware of the value of your assets and liabilities, and ensure you have everything you need for your lawyer. Some assets to ensure you have documents for include:

  • Cash
  • CDs
  • Checking accounts
  • Saving accounts
  • Real estate
  • 401(k) accounts
  • IRAs

Establish Your Own Credit

If your spouse has taken the lead on establishing their credit with most things in their name, it’s time to start considering your own credit. Not having your own credit can affect getting your own home, getting a credit card, or purchasing bigger assets such as a car. Before moving forward with divorce, make sure you have your own life line financially.

Close Joint Accounts

Before filing for divorce, make sure your spouse can’t use your accounts against you passive aggressively. While joint accounts and credit cards can be frozen, it is a good idea to discuss it with a lawyer to ensure you are doing so in a lawful way.

If you are preparing for divorce, it helps to have someone on your side. Talk to one of our Philadelphia divorce lawyers at Erik B. Jensen & Associates and let us put our years of experience to work for you.