Between legal fees, dividing your assets and debts, and possibly even moving out of a shared home, divorce costs can quickly add up. Divorce is the start of a new chapter of your life, so don’t start that chapter completely broke. Our El Paso family law attorney shares how planning for your divorce can help you save money in the long run.
Follow these steps to save money during your divorce:
Get a Credit Report
You are allowed three credit reports each year. Your credit report can show your accounts that are yours alone and ones you share. Keep an eye out for accounts opened in your name or actions that could be damaging your credit. If your spouse or soon-to-be-ex spouse doesn’t pay the joint bills, your credit could be damaged.
Close Joint Accounts
Sometimes, one spouse will move the money from a joint account to an individual account, leaving the other unable to access the money. Or, one spouse will rack up a ton of debt on a joint credit card, harming the other’s credit. Work with your spouse to freeze or close joint accounts. By working together, you can avoid foul play.
Open Your Own Accounts
By opening accounts in your name, you won’t be relying on your joint accounts for support. This is a great thing to do, especially if you don’t have any accounts or credit built up in your name. It is never too late to get started! Also, starting your own personal bank account allows you to privately fund your life, including the expenses of the divorce.
Find All the Money
Keeping focused during a divorce is essential. It is possible, especially in high-net-worth divorces, that your spouse might try to hide some of his or her assets. Start recording all accounts, income, property, and retirement plans. Get documents for tax returns, 401(k) statements, mortgages, house appraisals, and more.
Speak with an Attorney
It might seem counter-intuitive, since lawyers come with legal fees, but a good attorney will help you formulate a divorce plan that will best benefit you. Smart legal advice can make all the difference in a divorce and is an investment well worth the money.
If you are facing a divorce or other family law related issue, contact the Law Offices of Ruben Ortiz today. We can provide you with legal advice about your case in a consultation.