It’s something you thought would never happen to you. When a couple gets married, they never want to think of the dreaded “D” word. Divorce happens every day and it’s important to have your finances secure before going through the process of a divorce.
High asset divorces are more complicated than average divorce. There are more factors meaning there’s a higher likelihood for mistakes to be made during the settlement. By doing these four things, the chance for mistakes greatly lessens.
Organize your assets
The first major step is organizing and categorizing your assets. Assets will fall into three categories: separate property, marital property and community property. A marital property is any asset that was acquired during the period of your marriage. Separate property are assets that were acquired before the marriage by one spouse. This property will remain the original owners. Community properties are assets that earn income or gains values over time.
Creating a list of all your assets will help you and your lawyer review how your finances will look after the divorce.
Get a copy of your credit report
Getting a copy of your credit report can show what you and your partner owe on any loans or credit accounts. If you are unable to close an account because of an outstanding debt, write your creditor explaining that you will not be accountable for any additional debts placed on the account due to your changed marital status.
Hire a financial advisor for guidance
Having a financial advisor is a crucial step when cleaning up your finances. Your advisor will help you evaluate your assets and finances without causing too much strain on yourself. If you don’t already have someone to offer you financial guidance, ask your divorce lawyer for recommendations.
Close joint accounts
If you and your partner have joint accounts, it’s best that these accounts are closed as soon as possible. By closing joint accounts, neither spouse will have the ability to max out credit cards or make large withdrawals out of the account. Afterwards, open your own personal checking account if you don’t already have one.
Divorce can be messy. If you and your partner have a lot of assets, it can be overwhelming to split those up. Following these steps allows the divorce process to operate smoothly and helps avoid any mistakes that may come up.