Keep it Tight

How to protect your money in divorce

Divorce is a difficult situation. Beyond all the feelings that are involved, there are logistical matters to resolve. If you’re about to go through a divorce, as hard as it might seem, you should try to think about your money. Take some of these steps to protect your finances and you’ll be glad you did when this is all over.

Know What You Have

How can you protect your finances when you don’t know what, exactly, you have? The first thing you should do is gather information about how much money you have in total between you and your loved one (well, maybe former loved one). That means adding up everything, from checking accounts to HSAs to 401(k)s to equity in your home. Once you know the total, you can start thinking about how much is yours.

Make a Split

If you don’t own separate checking and savings accounts, get them now. As US News reports, just be sure to notify your soon-to-be ex so that all money moves are transparent. If you think telling your partner that you’re opening your own accounts will make them drain any joint accounts, go ahead and take 50 percent of the joint into your new account now. And again, tell your partner what you did. Judges like transparency.

Hire a Lawyer

One of the most vital steps to protecting your money in divorce is to get lawyered up. It might seem unnecessary, but better to be safe than sorry. This is especially true if things between you and your partner are tense — you’ll want to hire a lawyer sooner rather than later. A lawyer knows the ins and outs of the law and will go a long way to keeping your finances intact. Having an accountant or financial advisor on the team may be a good move as well.

Chris O'Shea

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