You may be one of the few for whom careful planning was a large part of the financial success of your family. Creating a budget, saving without compromise and taking advantage of ways to maximize your wealth may have allowed you to weather many storms throughout your marriage and come out with your finances intact. On the other hand, you may be among the many who never bothered with a financial plan and built your success on sheer luck.
Whichever is your style of managing money, if you are facing a divorce, adopting a new method of financial planning is critical for you. While you may be going through an emotional phase that has you thinking more about your past, you will not want to wake up one day after the divorce is final and wish you had put a strategy in place.
You may want to rush the divorce process and get it over with, but it is essential to take time to assess where you are and where you want to be after the divorce. The first step is to inventory your marital assets and liabilities to improve your chances of obtaining a fair portion of joint property. You may consider hiring a financial advisor who can help you interpret investment information and retirement accounts, which can be quite complex during a divorce. Your next steps could include the following:
- Create a budget based on your single income and your new standard of living.
- Begin to track your expenses and spending so you know exactly where your money goes.
- Close your joint accounts and open individual checking and savings accounts.
- Obtain advice about the best way to deal with joint debt.
- Learn how your divorce will affect your taxes in the future.
- Decide whether it will be financially sound to keep the family home with all its hidden expenses.
- Review and revise your insurance beneficiary designations and your estate plan.
- Learn as much as you can about your rights for property division according to the laws of Georgia.
While it may be tempting to use the process of property division as a way to seek vengeance against your spouse, if you can focus on obtaining what is best for everyone involved, including your children, you may find the results are more positive. With that in mind, you also want to be certain you receive your fair and legal share of your marital assets, and taking advantage of the legal resources available to you can assist you in this area.