If your spouse files for divorce out of the blue, it could leave you struggling to think clearly. They may have thought about their decision for a long time and investigated the financial aspects thoroughly. If divorce is unavoidable, you need to put your feelings aside for a moment and focus on your finances. Otherwise, you could come out of the marriage with less than you should.
What financial aspects do I need to think about in divorce?
Here are some actions to get you started thinking about your finances:
- Find your assets: It can be hard to keep track of all you own if you distribute your wealth in different places. If your partner took charge of the finances, it could be harder still. Try to list bank accounts, investments, pensions, life insurance and retirement funds. Gather statements and account details. If you do not have access, request it from your spouse. Make sure you list items such as property, furniture and artworks. If you are unsure of values, hire an expert.
- List your debts: In Missouri, courts split marital debts and assets using the rule of equitable distribution. That means fairly but not necessarily equally.
- Make a budget: Whether you will be living alone or living with your children, you must ensure you will have enough money to do so. Check how much a smaller property will cost. Remember that costs per head for food and services will go up when there are fewer of you.
- Calculate divorce costs: You will need legal representation and may need to contribute to legislative expenses. The more conflict is part of your divorce, the more it is likely to cost you. An attorney can suggest ways to make the process more efficient.
The better you prepare for divorce financially, the easier it should be after your marriage ends.