The circumstances for a divorce generally involve feelings of anger, sadness and frustration. These are valid feelings, but it is also important to remember that there are a number of strategies that can enable people to look out for their financial welfare.
Marriage is about love, but there is also a certain amount of business involved in signing that marriage contract. According to Forbes, these five steps can help put individuals on solid financial footing as they start their new life. These include:
- Know what you want: Write out a list of assets and issues, and then group them by the categories “need,” “want” and “let it go.” This allows you to focus in on priorities, determine what is less important or what you can live without. It can also help you understand the ex-spouse’s mindset during negotiation if you also do one of these lists on them.
- Get down to business: Marriage is a legal contract that is terminated in a divorce. While your emotions are valid, it is also important to remember to understand the process and to protect your individual and parental rights. Work toward those priorities you determined in step one.
- Organize your finances: This is particularly important for those that perhaps did not handle the finances. It’s important to be aware of your credit score, get financial statements and tax returns, and organize your financial records so you can speak knowledgeably with an attorney about the finances of the marriage.
- Create a team of trusted advisors: Every divorce is unique and the laws in one state or even county where a friend lives may not be the same as where you live. It’s important to find a knowledgeable attorney and possibly a financial advisor, accountant and others who can provide professional advice.
- Be careful about what you do or sign: Do not sign a bad agreement just to get things done. Have your team look over contracts and agreements before you sign them – they can help make sure these arrangements are in your and your children’s best interests.
An attorney with background in divorce and family law can protect the best interests and rights of an individual. Their background ensures that a fair financial agreement, parenting plan or other arrangements are part of that bucket of priorities you determined in step one.