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3 financial steps to help you prepare for divorce

If you are considering divorce, it is vital that you take certain steps to prepare yourself and your finances for your future life. While you probably expect to receive a fair amount of the property you and your husband own in Honolulu, you should still get your finances in order so that while your divorce is pending, you can still pay your bills and other living expenses.

In addition, it is important that you begin to establish a financial identity that is completely separate from your soon-to-be ex-husband's. This will be important when it comes time for you to buy a new house or car or make another purchase that requires credit.

You are probably wondering where you should start in order to get your finances in order. The following steps can help you prepare for your divorce.

Collect and inventory financial records

Gather all of your financial documents and records into one secure place. In other words, collect copies of past tax returns, credit card bills, bank statements, wills and any other financial document that is relevant to the marital property and any separate property. Make copies of these documents and place them in a safe place, such as safe deposit box, that your husband cannot access.

Start a divorce fund

In general, divorce can be expensive and if your husband has control of the bank accounts, you could have problems obtaining the funds you need to pay attorney fees and court filing fees. This is a common tactic that a spouse might use to force the other to sign a divorce settlement that is less than fair. You can avoid this by setting aside money before you even contact a divorce lawyer.

Open your own accounts

Open your own bank account at a financial institution separate from the one where your joint accounts are. You should open a checking and savings account in your name as well as a separate credit card account. This provides a place to put your divorce fund and helps you begin to build your own credit history.

The above steps are only a few actions you should take to protect your finances if you are planning to divorce. By taking proactive measures to secure your finances, you will feel more confident when it comes time to start the divorce process. In addition, it will help you stay on level footing with your ex during the settlement negotiations. You will be able to make more reasoned decisions in terms of property division and custody if you feel financially secure.

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