Although a divorce is often intensely emotional and difficult, it can also be overwhelming in a logistical sense. You will find yourself entrenched in a complicated legal system, as well as the long process of separating your home and your finances from your husband or wife. Therefore, it is no wonder that staying organized is one of the most difficult – and yet most important – aspects of successfully navigating a divorce and starting over.
According to Jeff Landers, a family law attorney and Forbes columnist, the first step to remaining organized and in a good financial situation is to gather all of the documents that are relevant to your finances. These should include bank account and credit card statements, tax returns, mortgage documents and the like. If nothing else, find the year-end statements for all of your accounts. Make copies of all of the documents and store them in a safe place.
Next, Landers says, get an assessment of your financial big-picture both during and after your marriage. A financial planner or other third-party professional can help you do this. Then, start to monitor your spending to ensure that you are not going beyond your means.
Third, open new bank accounts and credit cards in your own name. It is best to do this before your divorce becomes final so you are ready when that day comes.
Finally, Landers advises, establish a private means of communication with banks and financial companies and your legal team, to ensure that your spouse is not able to derail your plans for the future. With this, you should hopefully feel more organized and prepared to tackle the next step of your divorce process.