Divorce can be complicated both financially and emotionally as you separate your lives and possessions. If you’re contemplating a divorce, it’s a good idea to take a look at your finances now to ensure you’re on solid ground as you proceed.

Identifying what you have and recognizing the need for change will help you better prepare for what’s ahead. Knowing where you stand can help you to be more practical in spite of the emotions you may be feeling.

Steps you can take now

Fortunately, there are some things you can do now to secure and understand your finances:

  • Take stock of your financial situation. Itemize your expenses (including future ones), find your bank and investment statements, tax returns, pay stubs, credit card statements and any other financial information. It will be important to gather anything that might be part of a settlement agreement and will also help to give you a full financial picture.
  • Save your money. Putting money aside now will help with future legal fees and other expenses that are likely to come with divorce. Do your best to be conservative and reduce your spending.
  • Seek professional advice. Divorce can be overwhelming so whether it be legal, financial or emotional, find the professional help you need.
  • Think long term. If you ultimately can’t afford to keep the house, you may want to consider letting it go, putting your effort into securing other property instead.
  • Collaborate. It may be difficult, but it will be in your best interest to work with your soon-to-be-ex-spouse on your settlement agreement before you get to court. Agreements in place ahead of time will save you time and money and reduce the emotional toll.

While the process of divorce can be overwhelming, being prepared financially will help you to solidly navigate the proceedings, resulting in a better outcome.