This is a portion of an article by Ameriprise. Their emphasis is on retirement plans, so I am posting only the part that I feel is pertinent to this topic on my blog. Go to their website for a full report, please.
Dealing with Divorce and the Impact on your Personal Financial Situation
Divorce can be a lengthy process that puts a strain on your finances as well as your emotions. With the right preparation, however, you can protect your interests and take charge of your future financial well-being.
Getting your immediate finances in order:Â If you and your spouse can agree on most issues, you can file an uncontested divorce and avoid costly legal fees. If you’ve decided to hire an attorney, preparing your information in advance can also save money and time. Either way, you’ll want to make sure your immediate finances are in order.
Here are some steps to take:
1. Prepare a budget and a financial plan to sustain you until your divorce is final.
2. Review monthly bank and financial statements and make copies for your attorney.
3. Review all tax returns that have been filed jointly or separately by your spouse.
4. Make sure all taxes have been paid to date.
5. Review the contents of any safe-deposit boxes.
6. Avoid large purchases that may cause financial hardship.
7. Don’t move out of the house before consulting your attorney.
8. Don’t transfer or give away jointly owned assets.
9. Never sign a blank financial statement or any other document without reviewing it with your attorney.
Starting a new life:
The best way to start fresh is to identify your long-term goals. Doing so can help you choose a strategy that lets you plan for the future while you manage your daily needs. Here are some questions to ask yourself:
1. Do you earn enough money to support yourself and your family? Should you consider alimony?
2. Which assets do you really want? Which are you willing to let your spouse keep?
3. Will you have enough money to pay outstanding debt on the assets you keep?
4. What are yourÂ goals for retirement?
5. Whose health insurance plan should cover your children (if any)?
6. Work with a financial advisor or someone you know who is financially savvy.