Women undergoing a divorce are under tremendous stress dealing with emotional, legal and financial demands not to mention the challenges of a career and children. With all these pressures, many women make bad financial decisions such as not obtaining an excellent lawyer or too quickly accepting the first settlement proposal.
Remember, whatever financial consideration decisions you make will possibly last a lifetime so it’s best to take your time and get the best advice possible from reputable divorce professionals.
First off, gather all your financial records together in one place. Create a detailed list of income, expenses, assets and debts. Make copies of everything including records such as bank and brokerage account statements, pension plans, IRAs and insurance policies.
Next, start developing a short- and a long-term financial plan. It’s also important to research and understand the potential tax consequences for divorcing couples.
Your research into the financial implications of divorce – along with advice from your divorce attorney – will help you strategize when it comes to understanding the financial implications in each settlement proposal.
What about bank accounts?
In consultation with your attorney, carefully begin to separate joint bank accounts and open new individual accounts. This will be important for your future financial independence.
The same goes for credit cards. Ask your lawyer about closing joint credit card accounts and opening new credit card accounts in your name only. To avoid problems with any credit charges, remember to place fraud protection alerts on any joint credit cards accounts.
What if you own a business?
Unfortunately, a divorce can lead to the ruination of your business. Why? If your business increased in value during the marriage, a judge can be obligated to award half the increased value to your spouse. And if your business cannot come up with this owed amount, you may be forced to sell your business quickly and at a rock bottom price.
What if your husband is your business partner? He may be entitled to ownership interest. But be forewarned. If your spouse retains part ownership, his future wife may eventually become your business partner too. To get your husband out of your business completely, ask for a “unilateral right to buy” your husband’s part of the business. To do this, however, you may need to use monies from your share of the marital assets or devise an ongoing payment plan.
The #1 divorce tip: How do you avoid these scenarios altogether? Savvy business women can take years to “divorce proof” their business with the help of a qualified financial planning and divorce attorney team.