When it becomes apparent that you and your spouse are no longer on the same page in your marriage and unable to bridge the gaps, it may be time for you to separate. In those circumstances, even if you are not entirely sure if divorce is the answer, you should make sure your finances are in order to protect your future.
There are a number of ways you can prepare your finances for divorce.
Separate your accounts
With the dissolution of marriage should come the separation of joint accounts. You should remove yourself from all shared accounts you and your partner have together. Open your own bank accounts. Check your credit card accounts. If they have balances, pay them off and close them. If you are an authorized user on any other joint accounts, remove yourself. By establishing your own financial accounts, you can avoid assuming responsibility for any debts and financial obligations your soon-to-be-former spouse did not honor.
Plan your way to financial health
Take time to thoroughly assess your financial situation. Determine the amount of money you currently have for yourself and the amount you will need to support yourself and children. Create a budget that is realistic enough for you to stick with. Be sure to include every single source of income you have or may have after your divorce is finalized, such as alimony and child support.
Get a job or go to school
If you were previously the parent who stayed at home to raise the kids, you should consider looking for a job to support your post-divorce lifestyle. You might also think about going back to school to improve your skillset, credentials and marketability for higher paying opportunities.
Do not let your emotions keep you from thinking logically about the steps you should take to prepare yourself financially before you separate from your spouse. With the right amount of planning, you can improve your post-divorce financial situation before you begin proceedings.