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Money matters: Keeping your finances under control in a divorce

Going through a divorce is an emotionally traumatic time for most people. While issues regarding money may take a backseat during the personal turmoil it is important to safeguard your finances during the divorce process. There are several steps anyone considering divorce should take before and during the proceedings. The following are several potential financial challenges that those seeking a divorce should keep in mind. 

Staying Focused on the Long Term

During a divorce it is necessary to stay focused on what is important in the long term. Costs for therapists, lawyers, and separate living expenses can easily add up during a divorce. It is necessary to decide what issues are most important to you and what your priorities will be. The more you fight over every single thing, the easier it can be to lose sight of the bigger picture. There will be enough challenges facing you as you go through the process. Do not make things worse by trying to get back at your ex.

Paying Down Debt

Individual debt, and especially joint debt, should be paid down as soon as possible. After the debt is paid, joint accounts should be closed quickly to prevent any future financial problems. Your credit could be tainted, even years after the divorce has been finalized, if a former spouse doesn't make any payments on the debt. Any accounts or debts with two names mean that both individuals are legally responsible for the payment of the account.

Living Within Your Means

This should go without saying, but some people may lose sight of this during the difficulty of a divorce. Wanting to take a trip to get away for awhile or going on a shopping spree may make you feel better at the time, but can lead to financial problems later. It is important to realize that the same lifestyle you lived while married may no longer be possible. It will be necessary to make and stick to a new budget that will keep you from acquiring unnecessary debt.

Preparing for the Future

It is important to make sure you're in the best financial position possible when the divorce is over. Making sure information regarding bank accounts, insurance policies, and any type of retirement plans is gathered and understood is critical. It is important to have an attorney guiding you through the divorce process to make sure you're as financially secure as possible. A divorce lawyer can assist in the often overwhelming process of finding the best solutions to complex financial and legal issues. 

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