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Getting finances in order for divorce

Virginia residents who are facing the end of their marriage might wonder what financial steps should be taken in preparation. Friends and relatives might make suggestions, but divorce laws differ among states. Seeking advice from legal and financial professionals may better prepare them. People should also look at their household income and expenses. This can help in putting together a budget and anticipating how property might be divided.

Gathering documentation may help. This includes pay stubs, tax returns, investment paperwork, information on loans and bank statements. Getting this in order ahead of time may be helpful if the divorce turns acrimonious. If one spouse withholds financial information, there may be legal ways to get the information released.

This is not the time to make major financial decisions or changes. People should not alter beneficiary designations or wills until it is cleared legally or the divorce is final. Overall, people should proceed financially as they normally do. If there are joint accounts, they should not be emptied. In some cases, couples might be able to work together to reach an agreement about how they will use funds to pay for the divorce.

People can discuss their financial concerns with an attorney. They may be concerned about how they will support themselves after a divorce, how they will afford spousal and child support, or how assets and debts will be divided. A couple may be more satisfied with an agreement they negotiate with the help of their respective attorneys. However, if they cannot reach an accord, the case might have to go to litigation.

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