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Four ways to protect your post-divorce finances

On Behalf of | Jan 2, 2024 | Family Law

Although coping with the emotional realities of your divorce can be difficult, you can quickly find yourself consumed with financial worries. Your fear of the property division process and reduced household income is palpable, leaving you uncertain about the future. As scary as that can be, there are steps that you can take to protect your financial interests and your stability.

We’ll look at those steps in a moment, but first we want to stress the importance of adequate preparation. Before heading into your divorce, you need to have a firm understanding of your marital estate and which property you hold individually. You can’t step into the marriage dissolution arena without a plan and without a command of the facts and expect to obtain a favorable outcome. So, make sure you’re paying close attention to the details of your case so that you know how to act.

Steps you can take to protect your financial future

Although it’s nerve-wracking to go through divorce, especially if you’re worried about finances, there are steps you can take to protect yourself and prepare for the future. Here are some of them:

  • Create a realistic budget: Before advocating for certain marital assets during your divorce, you should know what your financial situation is going to look like post-divorce. You can see a snapshot of your post-divorce life by creating a realistic and honest budget that captures all your expenses and your individual income. This will give you an idea of what you need once your divorce is finalized, whether through marital assets, alimony, or child support.
  • Create an emergency fund: Given that you’ll have less household income once your divorce is finalized, you’ll want to make sure you have emergency funds tucked away that you can turn to in your time of need. Even if that fund starts small, you can grow it over time, which will give you a greater sense of security and stability.
  • Know what comes with larger assets: When you’re in the heat of divorce, it can be tempting to fight for the biggest, most valuable marital assets, such as the family home. While these assets are usually valuable, they can also be a large liability. With the family home, for example, you’ll be solely responsible for the mortgage as well as any maintenance and upkeep, which could strain or completely devastate your post-divorce budget. So, make sure you understand the long-term implications of the assets for which you’re fighting.
  • Consider retirement: Retirement accounts can take a long time to build. If you’re getting divorced later in life, then you might not have the opportunity to restock those accounts if they’re left depleted by the marriage dissolution process. That’s why it might be a good idea for you to focus on securing as much in retirement savings as possible rather than on obtaining those assets that have an immediate impact on your household budget.

Develop the divorce strategy that’s right for you

If you’re not careful, your divorce can leave you in a bad position that you never envisioned for yourself. That’s why you need to be diligent in creating a divorce legal strategy that focuses on your financial well-being.

There are several ways to approach your case, and there’s no one size fits all strategy when it comes to divorce and property division. With that in mind, now is the best time to get to work educating yourself on the law and the options for approaching your divorce. With thorough preparation, you’ll hopefully be able to approach your case with the confidence and competence you need to secure a bright future.