Financial planning during a difficult divorce

Regardless of who one's spouse may be, there still are certain precautions to be taken in the event of a pending divorce. Too often one particular spouse is intimidated into making the wrong choices and loses out when a property settlement is eventually made.

Many individuals are married to a bullying spouse that looks upon what happens in a divorce as more of a contest of wills than a means of both spouses getting on with their lives as best they can. According to one divorce lawyer, the divorce process for more abusive spouses is often nothing more than a game to them. And when the abuse becomes physical, it's best for the other spouse to take the children away from the home as soon as possible before worrying about questions of property division.

After family members have been able to remove themselves from an abusive situation, they then will want to consider what sort of preparations need to be made to keep their heads above water. For example, the spouse will wish to:

  1. Set away whatever cash they can. Unfortunately, divorces can often become long drawn out affairs where money can often become tight.
  2. Copy any available financial records. There is often a great deal of hiding of assets that goes along with a divorce so it's good to have paperwork documenting what kind of financial assets each spouse accumulated during the marriage.
  3. Open separate accounts and close all joint bank accounts.
  4. Speak to an attorney and let them know all of your concerns at the earliest possible moment so that you can be prepared to quickly go to trial and have the marriage dissolved. The divorce laws are different for every state. If you are divorcing in Utah, you will wish to speak to a licensed Utah attorney that understands the family law practice.

If done correctly, divorce can be a new beginning rather than a continual ordeal.

Source: CNBC, "Divorcing a Bully, Protecting Your Finances," by Elizabeth MacBride, June 18, 2013

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