Child custody and visitation aside, divorce is primarily a financial affair. How you proceed in the first few weeks after filing could determine whether you emerge from the process in one piece — or with a whole lot of stress and not so much money. As you move forward with your divorce, set aside a little time for these key financial projects:
Gather Financial Records
The more financial information you can obtain, the better. Your attorney needs to understand the complicated reality of your financial situation — and such understanding is not possible if you lack documentation. Set aside plenty of time to unearth bills, IRS records, pay stubs, and any other information that could be deemed pertinent.
Develop a New Budget
Whether you were previously responsible for finances or left budgetary concerns to your spouse, it’s time to take control of your own affairs. Begin by drawing up a budget that takes your new lifestyle into account. Determine how much you’ll spend on housing, food, transportation, and other concerns going forward. Not only will this set you up for a more comfortable way of life in the immediate future, it could prove helpful down the road as you negotiate property division and spousal maintenance.
Update Key Documents
From car titles to credit cards and bank statements, a variety of documents will require your prompt attention as soon as you decide to divorce. Begin by opening a brand new bank account exclusively in your name. Next, take a closer look at:
- Beneficiaries for life insurance and retirement accounts
- Authorized users on credit cards
- House and car titles
- Wills and powers of attorney
If you’re struggling with the financial implications of your divorce, don’t hesitate to seek support from the law firm of Barna, Guzy & Steffen, Ltd. Our trusted team of family attorneys can assist you with every aspect of spousal maintenance, child support, and property division. Reach out to learn more about our divorce services.