How can I protect my money during a divorce?

Divorce entails many changes. Along with the personal and emotional effects, it will also impact you financially. While there is no way to avoid asset and property division, you can still make it through the process relatively unscathed if you take the right steps.

According to U.S. News & World Report, couples must make an effort to safeguard their finances during divorce. Here are a few things you can do to ensure a sound financial future once the dust settles.

Take a financial inventory

Know exactly how much is in every account you share with your spouse. This includes checking and savings, retirement funds, accounts for college, pensions, and all other financial accounts. Additionally, make sure you know how much debt you share, as well as what you each have individually.

Create a separate emergency fund

If you share financial accounts with your soon-to-be ex, there is a risk that they will withdraw all or most of your money before decisions can be made. To prevent yourself from being left without a means to support yourself financially, open a separate savings account to build an emergency fund.

Make changes to life insurance documents

Life insurance policies allow you to designate beneficiaries, which are people that will receive the proceeds upon your death. If your ex is named on these documents, they will automatically receive the funds, regardless of what other estate planning documents say. Divorce is a good time go over all estate planning documents to ensure they continue to meet your needs.

Be comprehensive when calculating child support

Raising a child is expensive, and there are a lot of costs you may not consider at the outset of a divorce. For example, if your child participates in an extracurricular activity, you will need money for equipment. During the summer, your child may require funds for camps or other events. Make sure these special circumstances are covered in child support agreements, so there is no confusion about who pays what.

Securing legal help is recommended, despite your relationship with your ex-spouse. An attorney can help you complete paperwork and ensure it is filed on time, but they will also make certain that you are receiving the right amount of assets.