Protecting Your Financial Interests During a Divorce

Going through

a divorce can be a very difficult and stressful experience. Whatever the reasons for the divorce, you're likely overwhelmed with emotions and the desire to move on as quickly as possible. Even so, you have some important decisions to make in regards to your finances, so you need to be careful

and plan appropriately.

Hire a Professional
When you are dealing with giving up ownership of property, assets, investments, and debt, it is vital that it is done so that both parties emerge with equitable shares. This is not a situation where you can expect to save a little money to try and go through this on your own. While you don't have to hire the most expensive attorney and accountant in town,

you will certainly want a third party assisting you to ensure you get what is rightfully yours, and give up only what is necessary.

Prepare for the Settlement
You'll want to spend some time and create a list of your assets and their value. Again, it helps if you have retained professional guidance so you can completely understand the risks and potential tax consequences of retaining or giving up certain assets.

Be prepared for a counter offer. While you will come to the settlement with a list of what you want, you aren't likely to get everything. So, by being prepared to negotiate and give up certain things, you'll be less likely to make an irrational decision.

Consider Your Credit
If divorce is inevitable, take action as soon as possible to protect your credit. First, be sure to obtain a credit report to determine everything looks good and that there are no errors or new sources of credit your spouse may have recently opened.

If you have joint credit accounts, consider removing your name or your spouse's name if possible. The last thing you want is to find out that your spouse recently charged a bunch of items on an old joint account and has been missing payments, thus negatively impacting your credit score.

Think About Life After the Divorce
If you have been a two-income family, there are many things to consider before going through with the divorce. You have to take into account how the elimination of an income will impact your standard of living after the divorce. This will impact what you can afford or what action you may need to take once the divorce is final.

In addition to income, you'll want to examine any insurance benefits that may have been provided through your spouse's employer. If you were relying on coverage through their plan, find out if your employer offers benefits, or what it might cost in order for you to purchase an individual policy.

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