Law Office of Stephen W. Penn and Associates

Take these steps to prepare your finances for divorce

With the divorce process closing in on you, now's the time to prepare your finances accordingly. Neglecting to take the right steps will hold you back during your divorce, while also increasing the risk of a mistake.

Here are five things you can do to prepare your finances for divorce:

  • Create a budget: Review the budget you were following during your marriage, and then make changes that align with your future. For example, if you have no plans on keeping your family home, you won't have to worry about taking on the mortgage payment.
  • Gather documentation: The divorce process will call for all types of financial documentation, such as tax returns, pay stubs, bank account statements, retirement account statements, and a property and debt division checklist. Get this documentation in order as quickly as possible, as it will help keep you organized.
  • Don't make any big purchases: It's okay to spend money during the divorce process, but refrain from big purchases that could cause a rift between you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse. For instance, even though you may need to purchase a home or motor vehicle, it's best to wait for the finalization of your divorce before proceeding.
  • Save, save and save some more: The more money you save during your divorce, the more money you'll have to start your new life in the near future. Make sure you're saving money in an individual bank account, not one that you share with your soon-to-be ex. Close all joint accounts.
  • Get professional help: There are many types of professionals who can help you with all phases of the divorce process, such as financial planners, tax professionals and a family law attorney. Sometimes leaning on a professional is the best way to make informed, confident and accurate decisions.

When you take these steps, you'll feel better about the way you've prepared your finances for divorce. And with everything in order, you'll find it easier to move through the process in an efficient manner.

Proper preparation combined with knowledge of your legal rights in California is just what you need to make the best decisions for the present and future.

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  • SCBA | Santa Clara County Bar Association | EST 1917
  • State Bar Of California | California Board Of Legal Specialization | Stephen W. Penn
  • Henry P. Collada Memorial Award 2012