Summer is officially over and for those wanting to wait until the kids are back in school to file for divorce, it may be a good time to start thinking about your strategy. No need to fret, as you are not alone. An estimated 40% of all marriages in the United States end in divorce and in 2011, there were approximately 877,000 divorces, according to the National Center for Health Statistics.
Divorce is a significant move to make and one that should not be taken lightly. The following are just a few tips to keep in mind before deciding to end your marriage so as you can create a strategy that will lessen its emotional and financial impact.
Evaluate Your Assets and Make Copies
The more financial information you can gather, the better off you will be. Make a list of assets, sources of income and debts. Gather tax returns, employee and retirement-benefit information and insurance documents. Any valuables like jewelry, collectibles and art should also be accounted for. Do this early to avoid any difficulties during your divorce progresses. Make copies of each for your records.
Formulate a Financial Plan and Save
Budgeting for a divorce is vital and should not be overlooked. Create a budget that includes liquid funds to cover divorce expenses, separate living arrangements and additional money for daily costs. A detailed plan will help avoid having to tap into the wrong accounts to cover expenses. Saving at least three months’ worth of expenses in a separate checking account is ideal.
Monitor and Start Building Your Credit
Your credit score tends to take a huge hit during a divorce. Consider requesting a credit report, freezing joint credit accounts and applying for your own credit card, if you don’t already have one. Your report details any outstanding balances along with open and closed lines of credit. Doing so will help you stay aware in case your future ex-spouse decides to max out credit cards or open new accounts without your permission.
Think About Selling Your House
No one wants to think about selling their family home. However, trying to keep it could end up costing you in the long run as maintenance, taxes and insurance will eventually start to add up. Think about whether or not you will be able to afford the home after your divorce. A house is a high-priced asset and it isn’t realistic to hold onto something unaffordable on your own.
Quality Legal Advice for Your Divorce
The decision to pursue a divorce is difficult and it’s important for anyone considering this change to consult with a qualified divorce attorney in McAllen about resolution options including mediation, arbitration and collaborative divorce. Depending on your circumstance, your attorney can advise you on protecting financial assets before and after your divorce.