A divorce is emotionally and financially stressful. The funds that are usually used in one household are suddenly split between two households. However, there are some things that you can do before you file for divorce to shore up your finances and get ready for the road ahead. These tips can help you when you file for divorce in New Jersey.
1. Keep records
Financial fitness before divorce starts with knowing what assets you have. Be sure that you have access to all of your bank accounts and investment records. While you can request these records in the discovery process, having statements on hand gives you evidence that the accounts exist and provides a baseline for their value. Knowing how to access your financial records can help you advocate for your best interests later in family law court.
2. Don’t hide assets
Both parties have a right to an accurate accounting of their finances in a divorce. Under New Jersey law, if one party takes steps to hide or conceal assets from the other, a court can hold them in contempt and dish out other negative legal consequences. It’s important to fight for a fair distribution of the assets. However, dishonesty by hiding assets right before a divorce may result in severe penalties and loss for the person responsible.
3. Create an emergency reserve
In any period of change, it’s helpful to have emergency savings. At a minimum, a divorce comes with filing fees. You also may have moving fees or expenses for replacement household items. Saving a few extra dollars can help give you a fresh start.
4. Don’t shed assets
It can be tempting to make big purchases leading up to a divorce. If these purchases are unilateral, and they deplete the marital assets, it can mean trouble in court. Eventually, parties need to address things like splitting accounts and changing beneficiaries. However, now is not the time to be making large financial decisions. Gathering financial records and thinking long term can help you handle the financial challenges that accompany divorce.