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Steps you can take to protect your financial future if your spouse files for divorce

Life’s unexpected curveballs can take a toll on your finances. Divorce is one of those obstacles that may jeopardize your lifestyle. You may find yourself in a particularly vulnerable financial situation if you aren’t the primary income earner and aren’t involved with your household’s finances. There are steps that you can take if your divorce is imminent to reduce the chances that you’ll face financial ruin in the end.

Inventory bank and other accounts

You can benefit from gaining some perspective on your household’s finances by compiling bank, retirement or investment statements showing balances, regular deposits and withdrawals when you sense that a split is imminent. You should also write down account numbers and online logins for them. It’s best if you re-inventory these every six months or more frequently if you sense that a divorce filing will be occurring right away.

Gather homeownership documents

You’ll want to compile any copies of deeds to your home(s) and mortgage or equity line statements that you may be able to get your hands on when your divorce is impending. Your family law attorney will likely want to see whether your deed lists you as one of the home’s owners.

Document expenses

One step that you should take the minute you sense that your marriage may be on the downturn is to document household expenses and debts. This will come in handy when you meet with an attorney, and they ask you what your monthly costs and liabilities are. Anything you write down will impact property division, alimony, and child support negotiations, so it’s crucial that you carefully consider and document all the financial obligations you have.

You may find it helpful to consult with an experienced attorney before your spouse serves you with divorce papers. You can begin building your strategy so that you don’t end up in a vulnerable financial position.