Preparing Financially for Divorce: 5 Things You Need to Know

Have you and your present partner discussed separating yet? While marriages end for a variety of reasons, it's always important to be as prepared as possible for the next stage in your life. Find out how you can prepare financially for divorce in this article.

Whether you and your partner have a premarital agreement or not, separating your lives during a divorce can be a complicated process. As your lives have become intertwined, chances are that your finances have, too. You may have purchased property together or even invested using a shared account. This can make separating your assets and finances after a divorce a time-consuming experience. Before you and your partner file for divorce, there are a few things you need to understand about preparing financially.

1. You'll need to divide your assets.

While it sounds simple, the division of assets can be quite challenging for many couples. Because emotions tend to run high during the divorce process, actively separating everything from your photo albums to your kitchenware to your cars can be tricky. In some cases, a mediation specialist may be able to help assist you with dividing your assets in a way you and your partner can both agree on.

2. You'll have to create new bank accounts.

It's important to create separate bank accounts after the divorce, especially if you are separating on poor terms. Even if you and your partner have shared the same accounts for many years, it's important to create your own individual accounts after you end your relationship. This can help protect your finances and keep them secure.

3. Child support may not be required.

If a judge orders you to pay child support, make sure you follow his request; however, child support isn't always required. If you and your partner share custody of your children equally, for example, child support may not be necessary. Child support is designed to ensure that your children suffer no ill effects from the divorce and to make sure that their lifestyles remain the same.

4. You may pay or receive "post-divorce maintenance", a/k/a "alimony".

In some cases, a judge may order you to pay money for a period of time to your partner. These payments are not permanent. Alimony is designed to help one person get back on their feet financially after a separation occurs. Alimony payments may last anywhere from a few months to a few years and are designed to be a supplement to the receiving party's income.

5. You'll need to wait to make financial changes.

While you might be tempted to get a jump-start on changing your finances, it's important to consult with your attorney before you make major changes to your finances. This includes cashing out retirement funds, changing your will, transferring funds, "loan" money to a relative or other third party, removing your partner as a beneficiary on your life insurance plan, and selling large pieces of property. Never make big choices like these until you get your attorney's approval.

You can start preparing your finances for the Joy of Divorce today. You may choose to call a Texas Board-certified Family Law expert attorney in Collin County, Dallas County, Denton County, Tarrant County, Midland County, or Ector County, to talk about your best options for moving forward and to create a financial strategy that works for you.