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Preparing for divorce and your financial futureYour Financial Future:

When contemplating leaving the marriage, there are many concerns and among them is that of your financial future. Money issues are usually a concern during marriage and often becomes a greater concern when one is facing divorce as each spouse realizes that the family income will now be reduced to only one income. As your contemplation leads you to question your finances, this should be a time to create a budget. This will help you become informed of what you have and know how to best plan for your future. In many marriages, one spouse assumes the responsibility of the financial matters more that than other spouse but when contemplating divorce, knowing every aspect concerning finances is a must. Creating a budget will allow for insight concerning your current liabilities and how to anticipate and plan for additional expenses and financial changes which may occur after divorce such as child care, rent or mortgage, etc. These expenses should be projected into living expense which will occur after the divorce for a more accurate budget. Having an itemized list of all of your expenses to reflect a realistic view of your current and projection of your financial situation is a must and will need to be explored in depth when contemplating divorce. Monthly bills will continue but income for paying bills will be reduced to only one income.

All financial records must be explored in order to have adequate knowledge of your assets and liabilities. As you begin to assess the financial records, be sure to make copies and store them in a safe location away from the marital home. Create a list of the financial institutions with whom you have outstandingbalances for future reference.

If divorce becomes inevitable, having accurate asset and liability information is necessary for the division of the marital property. As the unhappiness of marriage becomes more prevalent, it has been noted that one spouse may become greedy with the marital money. This spouse may begin to transfer marital funds, participate in spending sprees, and may even hide marital assets from the other spouse. When investigating your financial records having an expert who can assist to unravel the financial puzzle of the known and unknown factors may be helpful.

Responsibilities that have been assumed during the marriage are often changed by divorce. If you are contemplating divorce, your role will become the financial provider for your home and seeking employment may be necessary if you were a stay at home spouse. Obtaining employment before divorce may be helpful in order to reduce the number of transitions which will occur unless adequate amount of alimony is ordered. If alimony will be a factor, this topic will need to be discussed with your legal and financial advisor.

Establishing credit in your name may be helpful before divorcing. When divorcing and required to seek employment, establishing a credit line may be limited due to the amount of time at your job, no previous credit in your name alone, etc. Speaking with your financial advisor of small steps to create a credit history before the divorce occurs may be helpful should you need to apply for a loan for a new home, pay divorce related expenses, etc. An additional question to ask your financial advisor is what steps are needed to create a personal financial history that would be helpful for post - divorce financial assistance, if needed.

The last topic is creating an emergency fund if your assets are frozen for a length of time when divorce has been filed. You may need additional cash thus having accessible money to be able to live for three to six months may be necessary. Contemplating how to navigate a cash flow for your emergency “back up” account may be discussed with your financial advisor but should be considered since the future is unknown and with divorce, there are many unexpected events and changes can occur within a short time span.

Contemplating divorce is an emotional task that many face and should not be taken lightly. When all efforts have been taken to maintain the marital contract and restoration of the marriage has been exhausted a thorough financial investigation for your immediate and future concerns should be completed.

Being proactive even if you are in the contemplation stage allows you to know what options are available to you and what steps should be taken if you move from the contemplation toward the action of legal separation or divorce. Knowledge is something that can’t be taken away and when contemplating a decision that will affect you and your family’s future forever, it should be investigated and proactive steps should be taken.

Divorce Tool Box desires that every marriage could be saved but unfortunately that is not always accomplished. If divorce is inevitable, then it is our goal to assist in helping you become prepared for what lies ahead. Visit our website @www.divorcetoolbox.comtoday.

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