How To Prepare Yourself Financially for the “D” Word: Divorce
And you thought your fairy-tale wedding was expensive?? Expect to pay an average of $15,000 to $20,000 in order to get a divorce. Yep, the cost of getting un-married is usually higher than getting married. The major costs typically include mediation, neutral evaluations, custody evaluations if you have kids, court costs, and, of course, attorney costs.
If you have any sort of heads-up that the end might be near (and often there are signs, even if we ignore them) then better to get your ducks in a row as early as possible. A little work up front can save you time and hassle down the road if the you-know-what does hit the fan (and trust me, if that happens, paperwork is going to be the last thing you want to deal with).
Make copies of:
- Most recent tax returns
- Bank statements
- Retirement statements (401(k), IRA, etc.)
- Investment statements
- Mortgage statements
- Life insurance policies
While you have access to both of your statements, make copies; that window will close before long and you’ll only have access to your own, which doesn’t paint a very accurate picture of your life together. Gather these documents and then store them at a trusted friend or family member’s house. Hopefully you won’t need them, but if you do you’ll be glad to have everything organized and in one place.
If you suspect infidelity it’s important not to fly off the handle until you get organized. A level head is your best asset. So take care of your “in case of emergency” fund and have your paperwork ready before you address the credit card charge to Tiffany’s (and, no, your birthday isn’t coming up). Big picture, bitches. Be prepared before you pounce.