Make Smart Money Choices During Divorce

Oone in two marriages ends in divorce, but that doesn't make the heartbreak any easier go get over. When you're stressed and your life is turned upside-down, you have to make sure that you make the right financial choices, otherwise you could be paying for your mid-divorce mistakes for years to come.

Here's some of our top financial advice for divorcees:

1. You get more with honey than vinegar.
Even if your spouse ran off with their co-worker and you're as bitter as ever, it's best to be as civil as possible. In the divorce game, you'll always get more with honey than vinegar, remember that.

2. Hire a certified divorce financial analyst.
If yours is a high net worth divorce, you need to assemble an excellent divorce team; this is not the time to do it alone. You can begin by hiring a certified divorce financial analyst, affiliated with the Institute for Divorce Financial Anaylists.

Not only is it important to stay focused and analytical during divorce proceedings, you don't want to rush through it because that can lead to an error in judgement.

3. Know that we're living in a digital world.
Twenty years ago, most financial records were on paper, but now many accounts are "paperless" or "green." Be aware that you can't just go pull all of your important financial documents out of the filing cabinet like you used to.

4. Get a grip on the taxes.
Looking at the taxes can be a pain, but you must familiarize yourself with your joint tax returns since that's where you'll find important information about income, investments and partnerships. Given that the tax season is around the corner, in the coming months a lot of information should be coming in the mail.

5. Come out of the dark if you're the "out spouse."
If up until now you've been the "out spouse," the one who doesn't handle the finances, now's the time to get out of the dark. For example, if you think there may be hidden investments, one place to looks is the tax return, which may show earnings on the mystery investment.

6. Budget as a single person.
Start budgeting for life as a single person now. If you won't have access to as much cash, you'll need to reorganize your spending, which may include eliminating your daily Starbucks runs, giving yourself a weekly spending limit, and finding other ways to cut unnecessary costs. The goal is to live within your means.

For more financial advice during divorce, contact a Claery & Hammond, LLP to schedule a free consultation with one of our Los Angeles divorce attorneys.