Whether it’s expected or not, ending a marriage is one of life’s most emotional experiences. However, as difficult as divorce is emotionally, it can be even more challenging financially. Long before child or spousal support is awarded or a post-divorce budget is ironed out, those in Michigan who are heading for divorce will need to prepare their finances for the road ahead.
Keep track of expenses
As soon as divorce becomes unavoidable, start tracking household income and expenses. This information will be crucial when it comes time to divide assets and debt, and it will also help in building a budget post-divorce. Be sure to include things like holiday trips and vacations.
Gather financial documents
Financial records basically tell the story of the marriage’s financial health. Gathering financial documents is often time-consuming and tedious, so it is important to start compiling these documents as early as possible. Start with checking and savings account statements, retirement accounts and loan information. For shared accounts, keep in mind that advisors or financial institutions have no obligation to keep requests confidential.
Avoid big financial decisions
It is often tempting to get a head start on certain tasks like amending life insurance beneficiaries. However, it is best to hold off on these things as the divorce proceedings will likely determine the major financial changes. Changes to things like beneficiaries, retirement accounts, wills and trusts are often sorted out later.
A marriage dissolution can have a drastic effect on a person’s financial health. However, a divorce does not need to cause financial destruction. Seeking the appropriate help during this trying time is critical. Those in Michigan who may be headed for divorce can obtain much-needed guidance by speaking with a trusted and experienced family law attorney.