Going through a divorce is a difficult time emotionally. However, it is also a financially difficult time and going alone into a world with insecure finances is terrifying. All divorces, no matter how amicable have a financial impact, as you are splitting a joint income and home environment in two.
If you think that a divorce may be on the cards it is imperative that you look after yourself financially. This will make everything else that you have to go through easier, as financial worries are incredibly stressful.
Here are a few ways that you can protect yourself and your personal finances during a divorce:
Choose a top divorce solicitor
When you are looking for a divorce solicitor, choose very carefully. Ask a lot of questions about previous cases and how they turned out and how they will approach your particular case. You should be able to get a free initial assessment and an opportunity to find out more about the divorce firm that you will be using.
Good divorce solicitors will have your interests at heart and should be pushing to resolve your case in the best way possible. For many people, this involves going through mediation instead of the divorce courts, and cases should be resolved in a timely manner. If your divorce solicitor has a history of long, dramatic court battles then alarm bells should be ringing.
Don’t be put off by a higher per hour rate, if you are going to be spending far less hours finalising your divorce.
Sort the paperwork
No one likes paperwork but you will end up with a much fairer divorce if you can pull together as much paperwork as possible. This will involve bank statements, credit card statements, tax returns, company statements and any other financial documents belonging to you or your partner.
This will give your divorce solicitor a much better understanding of the financial situation of you and your partner and enable the financial team to spot anything that seems amiss. Some people discover that their partner has been planning a divorce for a while and secretly hiding money, in order to protect this. However, this is illegal and a good divorce solicitor will help you to spot it.
Apply for a credit card
Apply for your own credit card before you get a divorce. The chances are that after the divorce has gone through your credit rating will drop. It is not advisable to get into debt, but you may need to have access to cash for essentials such as a deposit on a new home, new furniture, a car etc. A credit card may just help you through the first couple of months.
When you know how much money you will have and how much you will be earning, ensure you take the time to work out your budget and live effectively within it. You may have to downsize your home, but this means you will have less chores and less monthly expenses. Work out how much you will need for all the basics such as rent or mortgage, council tax, utility bills, running a car, commuting expenses and food. Once you have done that add on extra money for any hobbies you have and a bit extra still for other surprises. Then see how much you can save each month.
You may have to be a lot more frugal than you have previously, but saving money will give you confidence and a financial cushion for you to fall back on after your divorce.