The financial fallout from divorce doesn't have to be disastrous
One of the few things The Boy Scouts and divorce have in common is the phrase "Be Prepared." For the Scouts, their motto is a call for enlightenment in their young members. For soon to be ex-spouses, it's a call to take a realistic look of what to expect in their soon-to-be emotional detachment. One of the most obvious places to take this kind of inventory is the financial situation your marriage is in. Here are a few tips to help you do that.
What do you want? Take a look at what assets you'll be dividing and how it will affect your life. Of course, I always suggest trying to talk things out in relation to this before getting to the negotiating table, and sometimes the answer to "Who gets the house" can be only answered by a mediator. But if you decide they can have the car, it's one less thing to haggle over. That will make the experience go a lot smoother and less contentious.
Don't forget the details. Did you forget that you had a random 401K floating around from a job you left eight years ago and didn't roll over? Or did you try to hide that. These are the things that you need to assess when you're bringing the assets to the table. In terms of debts, it's a good idea to run a credit check for both parties to see what debts are outstanding, especially if you hadn't in a while. There's no need to blow up at during negotiations when you find out that Best Buy card you thought your spouse was paying off wasn't.
Be realistic about life. You are about to embark on a new life journey, so be prepared for that. Make sure you are able to sustain your lifestyle with your newly single life… and single income. Track your expenditures and find out if you need to cut expenditures, or get additional income. Don't let your past become your enemy for the foreseeable future.