Unless your spouse blindsided you with unexpected divorce papers, you have likely thought long and hard about ending your troubled marriage. Most people spend a lot of time thinking about the personal benefits of divorce, but many fail to consider its financial effects.
If you have not yet filed for your divorce, there are several steps you can take to address your finances before you become single again. They can significantly improve your economic situation in the aftermath of divorce.
Get your money matters organized
Before doing anything else, organize your finances. Make lists of your marital property, separate property, bank accounts, investments and the debts you share with your spouse. Taking this step helps to ensure you obtain a fair settlement.
Get a new credit card
You might not be as prepared as you think to face your future on a single income. Give yourself a head start by opening a credit card account in your name only. If a medical or other emergency arises, you will have a way to cover unexpected expenses.
Get a handle on debt
Try to pay off as much debt as possible before you file for divorce. On a related note, avoid adding to your joint and separate debt by making large purchases (furniture, vehicle, etc.) in the months and weeks before you file your divorce petition. Going into your future reasonably debt-free is a valuable benefit.
As an equitable distribution state, Colorado family law judges strive to divide property equitably (fairly) between the two spouses. Familiarizing yourself with the law helps to ensure you receive a fair share of your marital property.