Tips for Getting Your Finances Ready for Divorce

As you are planning for divorce, it is important to think carefully about your financial situation and the best ways for getting your finances in order. For many Michigan residents, the financial aspects of divorce are among the most anxiety-inducing, from property division to support issues. When it comes to property division in Michigan, you can help to ensure that the court has all of the information it needs-and to protect yourself throughout the process-if you take a few steps early on. We have collated some tips for getting your finances ready for divorce from NerdWallet and U.S. News & World Report.

Make a Detailed List of All Property

Whether you are concerned that your spouse will attempt to hide assets or you are worried that certain separate property will be classified as marital property and divided, it is always a good idea to make a detailed list of everything you own. You should include a description of the item or asset, the date it was purchased, the price of the purchase, and any recent valuation information. You should do the same with debts, providing detailed information about the type of debt, the date it was incurred, and the specific amount.

Gather Copies of Pay Stubs, Earning Statements, and Other Financial Documents From the Last Several Years

You should obtain, and make copies if necessary, of earning statements, pay stubs, and income tax information over the last few years at the very least. By gathering this information, you will have proof of income, and you will also be able to show what your spouse's likely income will be in the future for purposes of spousal support and child support.

In addition to information related to income, you should also make copies of checking and savings account statements, retirement account statements, investments, and credit card bills.

3. Begin Tracking Your Expenses

Having an idea of what your monthly expenses will be can be essential for living on a budget after your divorce. Not only should you track your current expenses, but you should also anticipate any future expenses you will have as a result of your divorce. You should include everything that is in your budget, including but not limited to:

  • Household bills;

  • Food;

  • Clothing;

  • Home maintenance;

  • Entertainment;

  • Transportation;

  • Child care expenses;

  • School costs;

  • Vacations; and

  • "One-time expenses," such as replacing a household appliance or having major repair work done on your vehicle.

Do Your Best to Avoid Major Purchases and to Begin Saving

If you are able to do so, avoid major purchases shortly before your divorce, and do your best to begin saving.

Anticipate That Your Spouse Might Not Cooperate

When it comes to making copies of a wide variety of documents related to the finances from your marriage, you should anticipate that your spouse might not be cooperative. If you are able to do so, you should make copies of all relevant materials before you file for divorce. If you are unable to gather financial information before your divorce, you should speak with your lawyer about strategies for obtaining this information.

Contact a Divorce Attorney in Michigan

Do you have questions about getting ready for divorce financially? A dedicated divorce attorney in Michigan can speak with you today. Contact the Law Offices of Michael A. Robbins to get started on your case.