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 Brown Law Offices. 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.

Photo of Cynthia J. Brown Cynthia J. Brown

“Some lawyers play a lot of games. That’s not my approach. There is a lot of gray area in the law, but I try to keep things relatively straightforward for my clients. That way, we can all focus on what’s really important: getting…

“Some lawyers play a lot of games. That’s not my approach. There is a lot of gray area in the law, but I try to keep things relatively straightforward for my clients. That way, we can all focus on what’s really important: getting matters settled fairly and cost-effectively. We’re certainly ready to litigate, but favor empowering clients to control the outcome of their case.”

Cynthia is a founding partner with the Brown Law Offices, P.A. She is a graduate of the University of South Dakota and William Mitchell College of Law. She publishes extensively on divorce and family law issues.

Cynthia Brown was admitted to practice in 1998. After graduating from law school, Cynthia served as the law clerk to the Honorable Timothy R. Bloomquist, retired Chief Judge of Minnesota’s Tenth Judicial District. Upon completing her clerkship, Cynthia practiced family law with a well-known firm in Cambridge, Minnesota. She founded the Brown Law Offices, P.A., in 2003.

Early in her career, Cynthia served as a prosecutor and public defender. In the last decade, however, Cynthia’s practice has focused primarily on family law. She has handled a wide variety of matters throughout the Twin Cities, and greater Minnesota, including divorce, custody, child support, alimony, paternity, step-parent adoption, harassment and grandparent rights.

Cynthia publishes extensively on divorce and family law issues. She is a contributing author to the Family Law Forum, the quarterly publication of the Family Law Section of the Minnesota State Bar Association. Cynthia also writes a bi-monthly family law column for the Minnesota Lawyer newspaper, and monthly articles for Divorce Magazine.

Cynthia obtained her Bachelor’s Degree, magna cum laude, from the University of South Dakota, Vermillion, and her Juris Doctorate from the William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul.

Cynthia founded the Amigos de Guatemala Foundation in 2007. She is a former Board Member and President of the Foundation, which provided educational, health and financial resources to underprivileged Guatemalan citizens. Her interest in serving the impoverished began with a medical mission trip to Honduras in 1994.

When she is not practicing law, Cynthia enjoys scrap-booking, soap-making, beading and spending time with family. She and her husband, Jason, also an attorney, have two children.