A divorce will gnaw through your finances, no matter how reasonable both of you are, and regardless of how calm, mutual and respectful the decision might’ve been. On average, a divorce costs about $15k-$20k, which is a hefty sum, but many actually cost much, much more. Why? It’s simple, really; imagine buying every house essential at once – imagine every item in your home and think about buying it all over. At once. Add all the other expenses such as taxes, mortgage, alimony, child support, childcare, school activities, camp and health insurance to the equation, and you’ll quickly realize just how expensive a divorce can be. In order to avoid as many inconveniences as possible, you need to protect yourself during the divorce.
Joint credit cards
The obvious problem is disgruntled spouses spending mutual assets. If you and your spouse happen to own a joint credit card account, you should contact your credit card company immediately and ask them to close the mutual account. It is essential that you follow this up with a certified letter.
Unfortunately, they probably won’t be able to close the account immediately, at least not until the balance is fully paid. Yes, this does mean that you are responsible for the charges and the interest up until the point of contacting them, but this step is vital and it does limit the potential damage.
Investment and bank accounts
The vast majority of mutual accounts allow either party to withdraw money, which is completely fine under normal circumstances. If you are worried that your ex-spouse-to-be might withdraw all the money from such an account, you should take action before it’s too late.
No, do not try to beat them to it, because this can land you with a ton of legal problems, which are absolutely unnecessary, given the situation. All of this can turn into a rather tricky situation, and you’ll probably have a ton of unanswered legal questions, so contacting your attorney promptly is definitely the best way to go. They will probably advise you to call all relevant brokerage firms and banks, and freeze your accounts.
Another solution would be to set up the account so that both parties have to confirm the withdrawal of the funds. In any case, professional advice from experts such as a Parramatta solicitor can go a long way in making sure that these problems are avoided.
Focus on yourself first
This may seem counterintuitive if there are children involved, but it is absolutely essential to avoid getting entangled in emotional trials at this point – you need to keep a cool head, act as professionally as possible, and deal with everything else later on. By focusing on your needs, you are actually making yourself the pillar of your family – someone everyone can rely on.
Take care of your children
The fact that you should be focusing on yourself during the divorce doesn’t mean that you should neglect your children. In fact, even without the obviously present moral factor, not taking care of your children properly can become a huge aspect of the other side’s case. Make sure that they are cared for at all times – you will probably be distracted and multitasking at all times, so hiring a nanny, or asking a family member to take care of the kids during this rough period is of the essence. Having a reliable, caring adult by their side is extremely important for children during this period.
Be as understanding as possible
This may sound shabby, but the less drama there is during a divorce, the smoother the whole thing will go. Try to be as understanding as possible – make sure that you realize that your spouse, too, is probably going through the same rough patch as you are. Do not perceive them as an enemy. This will go a long way in helping you protect yourself (and everyone involved) during the divorce.
No matter how rough this period can be, it is vital that you take initiative to do what’s best for everyone. Deal with joint cards and accounts promptly, focus on yourself, take care of your children, but most importantly, try to be as understanding as possible!