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Pre-Divorce Planning: Financial Planning

If you are currently considering a divorce before the end of this year, then it’s time to start planning your exit in financial terms.  It may sound jaded, but the fact is that planning is absolutely essential because of the financial risk to you.  The risk is even higher if you are a woman.

It may seem surprising, but the biggest asset that you have going into a divorce is not a divorce lawyer, but your mental mindset.  Think about your financial life after the divorce, and for a while at least, keep your emotions and feelings on the back burner.  That may be difficult to do, but it’s important to understand that any sense of loss or devastation that you feel is only going to be compounded if you have inadequate alimony, or not enough child support.  Make no mistake -divorces can become very ugly, especially when money matters are involved.  Keep aside negative emotions like anger and spite for another day, and think with a calm cool mind of what your finances will look like post-divorce.

While divorce lawyers can offer you representation, if your finances are very complex, you may also wish to get professional financial advice from a planner.

One of the major aspects of your life that is likely to change after divorce is your tax status.  There will be a significant impact on your income status post-divorce that that will definitely impact the taxes that you pay.  If you plan to seek alimony, know that those payments that will be taxable next year.

Make sure that you have individual bank accounts in your name, and credit cards as well.  Open a separate individual personal account in a bank other than the one where you currently have a joint account with your spouse.

While divorce proceedings are underway, you will probably be living on your own.  Make a list of all the expenses that you can expect, especially if you have been sharing all expenses until now.  The list must include groceries, utilities, rent and child support if the children will be with you.  This will give you an idea of the kind of expenses you can expect after you file for divorce.

Make sure that you are updated on all your bill payments, including mortgage payments, or credit card payments.  Leaving these pending can add to your financial burden after the divorce.