Divorce can be tricky, and it can be tempting to start making decisions quickly. However, before making any decisions or plans, consider getting advice from a company specialising in family law to get a clear understanding of your rights and obligations, what lies ahead and how you can achieve the best outcome.
Managing the family finances during a divorce can be a challenging process, but with careful planning and help from family law solicitors, you will be able to navigate a way through. Here, we look at some of the steps you will need to take on the path to divorce.
Assess Your Financial Situation
The first step is to clearly and precisely understand your financial situation. This can be done by gathering all your records – bank statements, tax returns, all financial documents, including mortgage and loan documents, and any other records you think need to be considered. This is to thoroughly and accurately assess your assets, liabilities, income and expenses.
Create a Budget
Create a realistic budget, listing your income and expenses to help you understand and manage your finances effectively. List all your sources of income accurately, then itemise your expenses. This should include all your housing costs, transport costs, daily living requirements and any regular payments. This helps you identify areas where you can further budget and make informed decisions as you go along.
Separate Your Finances
One of the first things your Family Law Solicitors may advise you to do is separate your finances from your spouse/partner’s. If you currently have a joint bank account, consider opening individual accounts to manage your finances independently and protect your interests and income. Close joint credit accounts and establish individual credit accounts if necessary. Monitor your credit score during the divorce procedure.
Review and Update Your Will
If you have previously made a will, review and update it to make sure it is reflective of your new wishes concerning the distribution of assets and beneficiaries.
Obtain a Financial Consent Order
Your family law solicitor will likely advise you that your financial settlement must be set out within a court order to be legally binding to avoid the possibility of your ex-partner claiming you at any point if they don’t remarry.
Pensions, Investments and the Family Home
It is essential to understand how pensions and investments will be affected by the divorce, so seeking professional help from a qualified solicitor is vital to ensure these issues are treated fairly.
The family home can often be a major flashpoint in a divorce, particularly where there are children in the family or if there is uncertainty about the division of equity. The home may be sold to divide the proceeds, or one party may agree to buy the other out. Consider carefully your long-term financial future and that of any children.
Negotiate Wisely and Seek Support
In most cases, divorce can be emotionally draining and stressful for all concerned. It is vital to seek as much support as you need from family, friends or professional counselling services. By taking care of your mental well-being, you will be much better positioned to negotiate your way to an amicable settlement. Negotiate openly and honestly with your spouse/partner when navigating through the divorce, and consider mediation to resolve any disputes.
Each divorce case is unique and can take an emotional toll, but with the right professional help from a family law solicitor, it is possible to come out the other side financially and emotionally resilient and fit for the future.
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