Getting a divorce can be difficult – on both your heart and your wallet. An irreparable marriage not only creates a strain on relationships and tears apart families, but it can drain you of all your money.
Today, divorces are more about who walks away with what and who gets the most money. So, how do you make sure that you get out with the money you deserve? There are several steps and important tips to keep in mind as you and your soon-to-be ex negotiate with lawyers and sign documents.
Prepare Your Finances
A divorce can have significant financial implications. So, before you even file for papers you should prepare yourself financially. If you have not been in charge of filing taxes, paying bills and keeping track of money made and spent, it’s time you start keeping a close eye on things. If you are unsure of your spouses’ finances, research them and look at statements such as payroll and retirement plan statements, credit card statements, tax returns, online bank accounts and life and homeowner’s insurance policies to get an indication. You and your partner should cancel joint credit cards. You should also set aside emergency cash to pay for attorney fees and other things if need be.
Get Legal Advice
Consulting a solicitor may cost you money upfront, but it will pay off in the end, particularly if your case is extremely complicated. Before hiring a lawyer, make sure the firm is established and reputable, like Irwin Mitchell, and that the lawyer is experienced and has a strong record. He or she will help you understand your legal rights such as whether or not prenuptial agreements stand up in court, how assets will be split, if you’re responsible for joint debts and if you’re entitled to maintenance and other financial assistance. Depending on your situation, it may not be necessary to go to court. Instead, you and your solicitor may be able to negotiate with your partner in four-way meetings so that you can reach an agreement. If both parties are willing to do so, this can save time and money.
Seek Financial Assistance
Hiring an attorney is often necessary, but you should also consult a professional on financial matters, preferably before or during the divorce, not after the divorce is finalised. An advisor can help you better understand your finances, how much your assets are worth and help you develop a budget and plan for your future. You may have to consider finding additional work or other ways in which you can support yourself and pay for bills during and after the divorce.
Dividing the Money
During a divorce, all your assets and finances will be put on the table. You will have to divvy them up according to fairness and need. Some things, such as inheritance and finances acquired prior to the marriage may be inadmissible. Everything else will be taken into account, as well as your responsibilities, your ages and the length of the marriage. Although it may sound difficult, the more transparent and honest you both are about finances, the process will be easier and quicker. After an agreement is reached, make sure that your solicitor contracts a consent order so that no changes can be made later on.
Whether or not you decide to go to court, it is always a good idea to have documents and agreements approved by the court so that they are enforced and you will not encounter future problems.