If divorce is something that you are thinking about, it is important that you consider taking the time to safeguard your finances prior to actually filing the papers. This will help ensure that you are on the right track toward a secure financial future. Here are two things that will help you prepare for your divorce and protect your financial assets:
Get Copies of Your Financial Records
You will want to make copies of your financial accounts from the last several years. This includes bank account statements, credit card statements, investment accounts, retirement accounts, mortgage records, stock records as well as any other documents that you can think of. Once you have these copies made, you will want to put them somewhere secure. You may want to consider keeping them at a friend's house or a family member's house. Alternatively, you could use a safety deposit box at a bank that your spouse does not use. It is not recommended to store them anywhere at home where your spouse may find them.
These records are important to your divorce case as it will help protect you in the event that an account is closed by your spouse. It will also show any trends with spending that may be helpful in showing a possible gambling addiction that you suspect your spouse has. Ultimately, the copies help you have an understanding of the household's assets, which is helpful to your attorney when developing a strategy for your divorce.
Open Your Own Financial Accounts
In addition to making copies of your financial statements and records, you will also want to consider opening up your individual checking and savings account. While you likely won't be able to close any joint accounts, you can open up your own. This will allow you to switch over your direct deposits so that you can have somewhere safe for your money to go without having to worry about your spouse taking your money. It also starts the process of your financial independence for when your divorce is finalized.
Now, many individuals want to withdrawal half the money from joint accounts saying that half of it is theirs. However, in some instances, this can spell a whole lot of trouble for those who decide to do this. Before you do something like this, talk to an attorney. Find out if this is even something you can do legally. The last thing you want to do is get yourself in trouble before you even file for divorce. If your attorney gives you the okay, then go for it. However, don't do it until you've been given the green light to transfer the money. Click here to learn more about litigation.