Council Post: 13 Crucial Actions To Protect Your Personal Finances During (And Before) A Divorce

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Going through a divorce is an undeniably stressful and emotional time in a person’s life. Regardless of the surrounding circumstances, protecting your personal finances should always be a priority.

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If you are preparing for divorce negotiations, it is important to educate yourself about your financial options to make sure nothing is overlooked and that you are getting the best possible settlement. To help, a panel of Businesshala Finance Council The members shared some essential financial steps that people often overlook during divorce. Here’s what he believes you should do and why each task is so important.

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1. Segregate Your Finances Sooner Than Later

When going through a divorce, set aside your finances as early in the process as possible. Keep transactional records of any money you spend from your personal account. Careful record-keeping will serve as your ally if you end up in divorce court. It will also serve as a starting point when it comes time to budget after divorce. , Jared Weitz, United Capital Source Inc.

2. Collaborate with a Financial Advisor

There’s a lot to consider at once, like accounting for your wealth while trying to save your family from collapse. Not every asset is considered equal, so collaborate with a financial advisor to make sure you’re getting the best possible scenario out of this turbulent situation. A financial advisor will make sure that you are doing what is best for you in every situation when the lines get blurry. , letitia barbaum, Zandbergen Group


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3. Build Your Financial Plan

When going through a divorce, which is a highly emotional time, most people are in reactive mode. What they don’t realize is that the divorce process can be a good time to prepare their personal financial plan. When you shift into that proactive mode, it gives you confidence: You see what resources are available, and you see what you need when you’re negotiating your divorce. , bill kino, keen money advisor

4. Review Your Taxes and Assets

People going through a divorce often overlook taxes and assets, so this is one area where we tend to see mistakes. For example, an “equal” pre-tax division may result in an unequal division of assets when tax liability is applied. A low-income person should also consider income-generating properties, as opposed to development alone. , Sonya Thadhani Mughal, Ballard, Inc.

5. Pay for a Professional Property Appraisal

Not all assets are of equal value, even if they appear to be. A $50,000 bank account and a $50,000 401(k) account are not the same. When dividing property, consider the tax implications. Real estate, real estate and business appraisals should be done by a professional. Let your lawyer do the job for which he was hired. What appears to be valuable on the front end will pay off in the future. , Cynthia Hemingway, Fourlane, Inc.

6. Analyze Account Ownership Policies

Many financial accounts are either sole or jointly owned. Couples should review each financial institution’s account ownership policies. Some institutions require the closure of joint accounts and the opening of new accounts, while others may allow the removal of only one of the owners. Changing beneficiaries is generally easy but requires due diligence on the part of each spouse. , David Harpers, credit one bank

7. Maintain Your Personal Credit

Often, business owners come out of divorce with tarnished personal debt, which leads to higher financing costs and can even prevent your business from securing future loans. Be sure to review your credit report and find out which accounts are in your name. Make sure payments are made on time during and after the divorce. Your family and business will thank you. , Leo Canelo, 7 Figures Funding

8. Don’t Forget About Car and Health Insurance

Make sure you check out the basics of whether you’re going to get new car insurance and health insurance. There are a lot of important big issues that need to be addressed, but sometimes the little things can make a big impact. , JD Morris, Red Hook Capital

9. Understand the Cost of Playing Defense

In divorce, there is an often overlooked financial consideration: the cost of playing defense. Many people want an amicable divorce and don’t want to be petty. But what if you’re divorcing a narcissist? Even lawyers can underestimate this personality. Taking it seriously will save you money. Be honest with yourself, and then do your due diligence to find the right attorney for your divorce to avoid constant litigation. , Aastha Teope, leverage retirement

10. Try to Be Empathetic

Be sympathetic to your ex-spouse. An amicable divorce can seem impossible if trust is destroyed by lies and betrayal. A vindictive couple could run into legal costs far higher than a calm and rational division of property. It can take a lot of emotional strength to get into an empathetic and peaceful mindset when you’re experiencing anger and sadness, but are brash about your wealth and health. , dave sackett, Visibility Corporation

11. Know when to settle down and move on

Often, we want to fight for ourselves. But many times, the settlement wins out — you can save on legal fees and reduce stress. Fight for what you can get, but at some point, you need to understand when it’s better to compromise and move on. Remember, peace of mind costs a million dollars. , Justin Goodbread, legacy investor

12. Create a Certified Valuation of Your Balance Sheet

The average person enters into a marriage union with the hope that it will last forever. When it doesn’t, people often wish they had prepared better to protect themselves. An important step is to work with your financial advisor to prepare a certified valuation of your balance sheet. It remembers pre-marriage assets and can provide financial clarity if things don’t go according to plan. , Michael S. Schwartz, Magnus Financial Group LLC

13. Consider a Premarital Agreement

Do you have a premarital agreement? No one wants to think about divorce when they are planning a wedding. If you plan to spend the rest of your life with this person why would you do it? But at the end of the day, marriage is a business contract that has financial benefits and legal aspects, including rights of inheritance. It’s not the conversation you want to have, but it’s the one that will help the most. , Joseph Orseno, tilt

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