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Protecting your finances during a divorce

If spouses have decided to call it quits, their long-term financial stability may not be the first thing on one's mind. However, experts advise that avoiding the following mistakes during divorce can help protect one's money and ensure that the post-divorce life starts off on the right foot.

Many Spokane residents do not have their financial records readily available, and when it comes time for a divorce, their spouses may not be so willing to hand over the information. It is very important to collect all financial paperwork before filing for divorce. Collect bank account statements, Social Security statements, records of any major purchases (e.g., the family home) and documentation of any improvements made to the family home.

These records can help a divorce move along smoothly and help one plan for the future and retirement. In addition, consider that assets, particularly homes, change in value over time, which can change the amounts owed in taxes. Divorcing spouses will need to look at these future values, after taxes, before making any decisions regarding property division during the divorce.

As one goes through the divorce process, it is also a good idea to shut down any joint accounts and transfer any debts to the spouse that owes them. Failure to do this may make one liable for the ex's debts if one's name is still on the account when the divorce is finalized.

People also make the mistake of saying too much on social media. By posting about lavish vacations, promotions at work or expensive purchases, one may be giving their spouse the information he or she needs to get more out of divorce settlement negotiations.

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