Some of the nastiest divorces are fodder for the media, so you are probably familiar with horror stories about how someone who was once on top of the world is now living in poverty, or about how a former top athlete couldn’t even afford a sandwich, and all those things.
Divorce can be just as bad for anyone. Other than the emotional trauma it may bring to either or both parties and to the children, divorce may leave you penniless if you are not prepared.
To reduce the possibility of you ending up in one of those scary tales you see on TV or read about in the papers, here are some helpful tips:
Don’t know how much your spouse makes? Clueless about his finances or what he spends money on? It’s time to start snooping. Collect financial documents discreetly. Get a copy of the will, if you can. Using your spouse’s Social Security number, you may get a copy of his credit report online. Know as much as you can about how much money he has.
Talk to Your Personal Lawyer
Couples usually have one lawyer. To make sure you can do things discreetly and to prevent any conflicts of interest on the part of the lawyer, get your own attorney. Talk to divorce lawyers in Suffolk County, NY. When you are comfortable with the lawyer you’ve chosen, ask him or her for help regarding finding out more about your husband’s finances. Your attorney may have contacts, such as a forensic accountant who can help you.
Open a Bank Account
The moment you believe your marriage is going downhill, it’s time to secure your own money. Open a separate bank account in your name only. It’s also a good idea to have a new and separate credit card. You’ll need money for the divorce and to support you during and after the divorce.
If you brought any money to the marriage, you may be able to take it with you if it has stayed in your name only. But if you put it in with the rest of the money you made together, it may end up getting divided between you and your spouse. Talk to your lawyer about other finances you may still get out of the marriage. This is not a time to play martyr; it’s a time to make sure you don’t suffer financially when the marriage is over.