Filing for divorce isn’t just a legal matter. It’s also a financial one.
When you and your spouse got married, you may have merged accounts, purchased property together and filed income taxes jointly. Undoing those processes will take time, but it can be done with a little preparation. Use this financial checklist for divorce to get started:
1. Before you begin the process, take a moment to get organized. Track down and make copies of the following:
- Bank Statements
- Mortgage Statements
- Insurance information
- House Deed
2. Take inventory of your valuables, such as jewelry, art, or anything in a safe deposit box. Make a log and take photos.
3. Close joint bank accounts. If you have not talked to your spouse yet about divorce, then start by opening a separate bank account. Separate your money as soon as possible to protect yourself against his/her financial decisions.
4. Obtain a copy of your credit report. Review it for discrepancies and correct any problems. If you don’t have one already, open a credit line in your name only. Be sure to use it and then pay any balances so you can build a good credit history. Some stay-at-home spouses never establish their own credit history and therefore have trouble after a divorce when trying to buy a home or a car.
5. Gather documents. When you meet with a lawyer or financial adviser, you’ll want to bring:
- Proof of income and expenses
- Tax returns
- Retirement account information
- Inventory from safe deposit boxes
Learn more about the financial, legal, and mental/emotional ramifications of divorce by attending Second Saturday Wake County, a divorce workshop in Raleigh.