Divorce is very costly – both emotionally and financially. While it may be difficult to truly prepare yourself for the emotional stress, there are ways to prepare financially for the process. Here are some tips to help you navigate the financial challenges ahead:
1. Gather your financial information now: It may sound obvious but spending time gathering your financial documents is a great first step in the process. Make sure you know balances on all bank accounts (including retirement), stock portfolios, tax returns, loan information, employment and social security statements. This can help you save time and money during the divorce process.
2. Define your marital assets and liabilities: Spend time thinking about what you accumulated together in your marriage. These joint assets (and debts) would be anything acquired during your marriage. This may include your house, car, bank accounts, and also loans and debts that you both are responsible for paying. You may also have entered the marriage with some personal assets and debts, so noting these will be helpful as you sort out the division of property.
3. Consider divorce mediation: Divorce mediation allows you to settle the terms of your divorce without having to go through a lengthy and costly court battle. The average divorce in the US can cost $15,000 or even more. Mediation cuts that cost dramatically and this savings can go a long way in helping your financial outlook. You can talk to a mediation firm about your specific concerns and needs and they can guide you through the process.
4. Consider opening accounts in your name only: Once you have separated from your spouse, it is important to begin to develop your own financial footprint, without him/her. Consider opening a bank account and/or a credit card account in your name only so that you can move forward to reroute your personal income there, rather than to shared accounts. This can also help you develop a positive credit report.
Minnesota Divorce Mediation Services
AMS Mediation understands the stress of a divorce on your finances. Our goal is to work with couples and families to navigate the divorce process in a way that minimizes financial impact and allows you to move forward emotionally and financially. Amber Serwat, founder of AMS Mediation, has been through a divorce herself and combines her professional expertise with that personal experience to help couples in Minnesota navigate this difficult process. Call 952-252-1492 for more information or to schedule a free consultation.