How to protect finances before and after a divorce

Couples should carefully consider what their expectations are during divorce

Many couples are understandably nervous about the financial costs associated with a divorce, especially with so many media stories and rumors talking about high-profile divorce cases with multimillion dollar settlements. However, divorce need not be a guaranteed road to financial disaster so long as people take the time to seriously consider their financial situation and learn what to expect following a divorce. According to Minnesota Public Radio, couples can take a number of steps to help avoid turning their divorce into a financial mess.

Understanding the current situation

In order to understand the financial effect of a divorce, people should first understand where they stand before they even get divorced. Because so many assets tend to be mingled together during marriage, many people fail to assess what their financial situation is, as individuals, going into a divorce.

According to the Washington Post, people who are likely heading for a divorce should do up a budget outlining their current income and what kind of expenses they can afford on their own. Also, taking a look at one's credit rating is just as important, as some spouses could be in for a shock to find out that, especially if they have joint accounts, their credit rating is not quite as high as they expected.

Proceed with caution

One of the most important things people can do is to listen to professional advice, such as from an attorney or financial advisor. One of the biggest mistakes people tend to make during divorce is thinking that representing themselves will end up being cheaper. Self-representation, however, could end up being a costly mistake, especially since knowledge of the law is so important when trying to work out child and spousal support payments.

Finally, be careful about the big assets. While Minnesota Public Radio notes that people should not move out of the marital house until they've received advice from an attorney, it is also important not to let emotional attachments get in the way of sound financial decisions. Holding on to the house might make sense for some people, but in the long term other assets, such as retirement funds, could be much more valuable.

Divorce help

Anybody who is considering a divorce should not move forward with such a momentous and difficult decision alone. An experienced family law attorney will be able to provide expert advice to divorcing couples about what options are available to them and how best to resolve any outstanding family law matters they may have. With such guidance, clients will be able to move forward with the confidence they need during what is likely to be a challenging time.