Marriage is one of the most important institutions in modern society. Not only does a spouse provide you with emotional support, but he or she may also make acquiring wealth easier. When spouses divorce, though, finances often become highly contentious. If you are thinking about leaving your spouse, you must work diligently to protect yourself from financial pitfalls.
Not every married couple is wealthy. Whether you have significant assets or substantial debt, you must understand how your financial situation affects your divorce. Here are three financial mistakes that may make your divorce more complicated:
1. Staying in the dark
In successful marriages, each spouse shares household responsibilities. While there is nothing wrong with allowing your husband or wife to take care of the finances, doing so before and during a divorce may be a big mistake. Even worse, your spouse may hide assets from you. Either way, you must educate yourself about marital finances, separate assets and other money matters.
2. Forgetting about the future
Even though your divorce may consume much of your mental and emotional energy, it will eventually come to an end. If you let your stress goad you into making bad financial decisions, you may not be ready for the future. Additionally, you must be realistic about your future financial needs. With a bit of planning and some discipline, you can likely better position yourself for future success.
3. Failing to prepare yourself
While thinking about divorcing your spouse, you must prepare yourself financially. Unfortunately, not every soon-to-be-ex-spouse does a good job gathering financial information. Without bank statements, tax returns, vehicle titles and other important documents, strategizing for a divorce can be difficult. Therefore, obtain as much information about your assets and liabilities as you can. Having comprehensive financial records helps you to advocate for your best interests.
Finances are often the third rail of marital relationships. Still, you do not want to let yourself fall victim to financial pitfalls. By understanding the common money mistakes that may complicate your divorce, you can develop a strategy for avoiding them altogether.