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Before filing for divorce, learn about your finances

Intentional financial planning can make the divorce process go much more smoothly

Although a variety of factors can cause couples to consider a split, it is no secret that financial disagreements are one of the most common causes of divorce. Along with arguments over child custody issues, financial matters can also be one of the most hotly contested issues after couples decide to file for divorce. It is important for individuals to take steps to understand their finances before filing in order to ensure that their interests are protected.

First, it may seem obvious and can be tedious at times, but getting organized is an essential step. Some experts recommend creating individual folders with statements and other information for each of your individual and joint accounts. This not only makes it easier to understand what money is where, but also makes it less nerve wracking to exchange information with your spouse when necessary.

Second, it is important for those filing for divorce that their financial situation may change significantly after the process is over. The process of organizing financial documents can provide a great opportunity to get an overall picture of assets and debt and what changes, if any, are necessary to set a budget. It is also a good idea for individuals to request a copy of their credit score information in order to make sure that it accurately reflects debts and assets.

Third, individuals should open their own bank accounts after filing for divorce. This can help make the process of dividing marital assets easier and can help avoid confusion regarding which assets belong to each person.

Finally, even individuals who believe they understand their finances well and have a good picture of how divorce will impact their financial well-being may want to consider speaking to a financial planner. In many cases, those who are recently divorced can have difficulty juggling their financial responsibilities and setting new financial goals, even when they are financially comfortable. It can also be difficult to anticipate costs associated with raising children post-divorce.

Most importantly, it is essential for those who are considering divorce to speak to a divorce attorney. A divorce attorney can not only provide information about what to expect tailored to your individual circumstances, but can also offer indispensable advice on how to proceed. Deciding whether to file for divorce is almost never easy, but an experienced divorce lawyer can help you take the first steps in starting the next chapter of your life.