For many people in Maryland, getting a divorce can be financially destabilizing. This includes the cost of the divorce itself, the loss of assets, and the expense of maintaining a household as a single person.
Your initial steps
What your risks are and how you should approach the divorce will vary based on your individual and shared financial situation, but everyone should take certain steps before they file for divorce and possibly before even discussing it with their spouse. One of the most important steps is to try to get a full accounting of each person’s financial situation and copies of various financial documents, including bank statements, tax returns and information on investments. This can help you start thinking about a plan to protect yourself financially during the divorce. You may also want to start saving money for the divorce, which can get expensive if it is an acrimonious one.
During the divorce
During the divorce process itself and the division of property, there are a number of other things you should keep in mind. First, while you are negotiating property division, make sure that you understand the tax implications of any decisions that you make. Next, avoid letting your emotions make decisions for you. Getting caught up in wanting revenge on your spouse can lead to a more costly, drawn-out divorce and decisions that hurt you in the long run. Finally, it is important to think ahead to your post-divorce finances, including how you will pay support or whether you will need to change jobs or look for a job after not working outside the home.
Understanding the finances of divorce and preparing ahead is important. While the divorce process can be a difficult one, treating it as a series of business decisions can help ensure that you are on stable financial footing once it is finalized.