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Steps to Protect Your Financial Rights in a Divorce

 Posted on February 09, 2024 in Divorce

Madison divorce lawyerThere is no doubt that divorce can be an emotional life event, even if you are the spouse who wants the divorce. However, the financial impact of divorce can also be significant. This is why it is crucial to take proactive steps needed to protect your assets and financial future. While the following is a brief overview of some of these steps, a Wisconsin divorce lawyer can provide more specific information and legal guidance that addresses your situation.

Gather Financial Documents

The first step in preparing for divorce is to gather all relevant financial documents. This includes bank statements, tax returns, investment accounts, retirement accounts, mortgage documents, credit card statements, and other financial records.

You also want to gather all legal documents for any property you own, including deeds, insurance policies, and vehicle titles. 

Assess Your Assets and Debts

Once you have gathered all of your financial documents, take the time to assess your assets and debts. List all marital assets, including real estate, vehicles, investments, and valuable personal property. It is also essential to make a list of all marital debts, such as mortgages, car loans, credit card debt, and student loans. Understanding your assets and debts will help you negotiate a fair property division during the divorce.

This is also an excellent time to change all your email passwords, phone access, financial accounts, and social media accounts. If you and your spouse still live in the same home, you may also want to consider getting a post office box to send your mail – such as any correspondence from your attorney – there.

Establish Financial Independence

During a divorce, it is crucial to establish financial independence from your spouse. This may involve opening individual bank accounts and credit cards if you do not already have them. You should also consider saving money for your living expenses and legal fees. If you are financially dependent on your spouse, now is the time to start thinking about how you will support yourself financially after the divorce. This may involve updating your resume, pursuing further education or training, or finding a job if you are not currently employed.

Living and Childcare Arrangements 

When a couple divorces, depending on what happens with the marital home, either one or both will need to find new housing. If the couple has children, different arrangements may need to be made when it comes to childcare, depending on what parenting time schedule is eventually agreed upon. Planning ahead for these changes before they occur enables you to find living and childcare arrangements that are more affordable and work within your budget.  

Contact a Madison, WI Divorce Lawyer for Legal Assistance

If you have decided to end your marriage, the sooner you begin working with a Dane County, WI divorce attorney, the better your chances are for a more positive financial outcome. Call John T. Fields & Associates, LLC at 608-729-3590 to schedule a confidential consultation and find out what your legal options are.

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