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Financial tips women can use in divorce

January typically is a big month for divorce filings. In fact, more divorce proceedings are initiated in the early days of the year than any other time. This may not be a surprise as the start of a new year is viewed by many as a good time to make a fresh start. If you are one of the women considering filing for divorce in 2013, these tips will help you be prepared for what lies ahead.

Before you file for divorce, the first step is to collect all of your financial documents. As you receive year-end statements from your bank, credit card company and other financial institutions, review them for discrepancies. They may provide clues that your husband is hiding assets that should be part of the marital property or that he's been spending money on another woman. Then make copies of all of your records and secure them in a safe place your husband can't access.

The next step is to start securing your own financial future. Obtain a copy of your credit report and make sure everything is in order. Good credit will be important, so if there are any errors on the report, make sure to get them corrected right away. Get at least one credit card in your own name, and open separate bank accounts too.

The final step is to assemble a team of experts who can help you reach an appropriate divorce settlement. Consult with an experienced divorce attorney who can help you understand what to expect and connect you with other professionals, such as financial planners and counselors, who can provide additional assistance as you deal with the issues divorce brings.

Source: Forbes, "Five Best Financial Tips for Women Divorcing in 2013," Jeff Landers, Dec. 18, 2012

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