If you are in the process of divorcing your California spouse, one of the main concerns you probably have is about finances. You should start to prepare and organize your finances, helping you plan for your future as a single person.
Start with a budget
After a divorce, your financial status might be impacted strongly. Going from sharing a home with your spouse and paying for expenses with two incomes to having your own place and depending on just one income to cover your expenses can be a difficult adjustment. Planning for it, however, can help. Some of the things you will want to focus on when making your budget include:
- Your monthly income and any other sources of income
- Your monthly expenses, including rent or mortgage, utilities and other services
- The costs for childcare, tuition or extracurricular activities for your children
- Your projected retirement savings, insurance payments and other financial plans
Review your credit
If you do not have credit on your own, you will also need to plan for this. During the divorce, you should open a credit card in your own name and try to pay off and close any joint credit lines. You will also need to focus on any loans you might share with your spouse and plan for these.
Gather important financial documents
This will help you both during the divorce settlement negotiations and during many transactions after you are formally divorced. Some of the documents you will want to gather include:
- Copies of tax returns for 5 years
- Bank account statements as well as username and passwords to access them
- Life, auto, home and health insurance policies
- Copies of prenuptial or postnuptial agreements and documents related to your estate
- Property, vehicle and business titles
Being prepared and planning for your future can save you time and stress. Keep organized files that you can access quickly when you need to make financial decisions.