A seismic shift in life awaits when divorce becomes a reality. The emotional toll is considerable, but the financial implications often feel utterly overwhelming.
When contemplating divorce, understanding your financial situation becomes a priority. A thorough examination of your finances may save you from future headaches and prevent financial strain down the road.
Assess your financial status
Begin by getting a comprehensive understanding of your current financial status. Gather all the necessary financial documents, including bank statements, mortgage papers, tax returns, credit card statements and investment records. Determine your net worth by subtracting your liabilities from your assets.
Protect your personal assets
Another step you must take is protecting your personal assets. In Georgia, marital property gets divided equitably, not necessarily equally. This means any assets or debts accrued during the marriage get divided between both parties. By identifying and documenting any personal assets brought into the marriage, you can ensure they remain your personal property after the divorce. This may include inheritances, personal gifts or items bought before the marriage.
Create a post-divorce budget
Next, create a budget for your post-divorce life. Factor in your income, monthly expenses and any potential child or spousal support payments. This budget will provide a roadmap for your new financial situation and help you adjust your lifestyle. Keep in mind, the goal is not to maintain your current lifestyle but to ensure financial stability and sustainability.
Plan for retirement
Understand how divorce could impact your retirement plans. If you have been contributing to a retirement plan during your marriage, that asset is likely to divide between you and your spouse.
Preparing financially for divorce may feel daunting, but with the right preparation, you can secure your financial future.