There are so many things to think about during your divorce, including your children, your own emotional wellbeing and your future. But in order to best protect all of these things, you need to leave your marriage in the best financial shape possible.
So that means that while your finances might be the last thing you want to think about right now, the issue is too important to ignore. As a recent article from Main Street points out, there are three common mistakes that tend to leave people in financial ruin after divorce and they are:
- Not understanding your finances;
- Not having an effective financial planner or lawyer on your side; and
- Not getting everything you need in writing.
Now we are going to address how to avoid making each of these mistakes.
First off, in order to know what you want and deserve out of your divorce you have to understand the marital assets. This typically includes all assets that were accumulated by your or your spouse over the duration of the marriage.
You don’t need to become a financial expert by any means, but you do need to understand what is at stake so that you can get your fair share.
Next, too many people think that they can go through a divorce without financial and legal advice from a professional, but it often backfires. Sure, not paying a lawyer to represent you will save you money upfront, but it can cost you significantly in the long run.
You need an effective lawyer — and potentially a financial expert — on your side to make sure you leave the marriage with the best settlement possible.
Finally, while we would all like to trust people to follow-through on their word, this usually doesn’t happen. If you want or need something from your ex, you will need to get it in writing as part of your divorce decree.
For example, if your soon-to-be-ex says he will leave you as the beneficiary on his life insurance policy to secure child support and/or alimony, make sure your divorce decree backs up the promise.
It’s that easy to avoid the divorce mistakes that could derail your finances.