Five Essentials of Preparing Financially for Divorce

Five Essentials of Preparing Financially for Divorce

Divorce can be a time of upheaval in the lives of those experiencing it. In addition to the emotional impact, the parties face questions concerning their financial security. But there are positive actions that can be taken to make the monetary issues in divorce more manageable.

Here are some essential steps in preparing financially for divorce:

  • Gather all financial documentation — You need an overall view of your current financial health. Get hold of all financial records, including bank statements, investment account records, retirement and pension account records, credit card statements, tax returns, pay stubs, mortgage records and any other documentation of assets owned by you or your spouse. You should also obtain a copy of your credit report to check on your existing debts.
  • Gather all personal documentation — Personal records include social security cards, birth certificates, marriage licenses and driver’s licenses. These documents are necessary for identification and will be helpful in the event that a change of name is required.
  • Create an inventory of all real and personal property — One consequence of divorce is the division of community property between the spouses. It is wise to create an inventory of every item of value. The list should include the item's approximate value and when it was acquired. Include a photograph of the item and a receipt. Having this list provides an easy to compare the relative value of items and allows you to prioritize the things that mean the most to you.
  • Gather all outstanding bills — You need to have a firm grasp of your recurring bills. Missed payments will negatively impact your credit score, potentially leading to more significant debt. To reduce your debt, cancel any services that you won’t be needing once the divorce takes effect.
  • Create a budget — For most people, divorce means establishing a separate household and a new financial regimen. Track your current household income and expenses so that you can get an idea of what you’ll need going forward. This can help you create a realistic budget that allows you to begin planning for the future.

An experienced Arizona divorce attorney can provide valuable guidance in your preparation for divorce. You may also wish to consult with a qualified financial adviser, especially if you and your spouse own sizable and complex assets.

Clark & Schloss Family Law, P.C. in Scottsdale, Arizona dedicates its practice to family law. We have a wide range of experience in the field and are here to answer your questions. Please call 602-789-3497 or contact us online for a consultation.