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What's the best way to prepare your finances for divorce?

The way you prepare your finances for divorce will affect you during the process, as well as in the future. This is why it's so important to take all the right steps at the right time.

While you don't have to prepare in the exact same way as the next person, there are some basic tips you can follow. Here are five things to keep you on track:

  • Gather everything you need: The divorce process is full of paperwork and documentation. Collect all your financial records up front so that you have what you need in the future. You don't want to find yourself without something of importance, as it can slow things down and cause unnecessary stress.
  • Make note of your assets and debts: A checklist of your assets and debts will help you prepare for property division. It will also help you secure the assets that you're entitled to.
  • Review your credit report: It's good to know what you're up against in regard to your finances, as things won't be the same once you're on your own. If you find that your credit is not up to par, now's the time to take action.
  • Create a budget: Don't wait until the last minute to do this. The sooner you have a budget to guide you, the sooner you can make decisions that will improve your finances now and in the future. A financial planner can help with this if you have questions.
  • Open separate accounts: While you may have to keep joint accounts open until the end of the divorce process, it makes sense to set up an individual checking account and get a credit card in your name only. In this way, you can begin building your credit history.

Even though you'll face some questions and confusion, proper preparation can ease many of your concerns.

During the divorce process, keep a close watch on your finances and the way things are changing. For example, the property division process will give you a better idea of the assets you'll take away from your marriage.

When you know how to prepare your finances and protect your legal rights, it's easier to quickly and efficiently move through the divorce process. An attorney can provide guidance regarding financial issues related to divorce.

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