If you were to survey residents in Washington who are divorced regarding causal factors that led to their marital splits, it is likely that no two responses would be exactly the same. That's because no two marriages are the same. Some people may have shared common experiences leading up to divorce, but the overall unfolding of each situation is typically unique. Divorce can be quite challenging, and you may worry about various future issues, such as financial stability, as you navigate the process.
You can be proactive toward the outcome of your financial situation in divorce. In fact, there are several things you can keep in mind that can help steer your divorce proceedings in a positive direction. It's also good to remember that you have rights, and there are support networks available to help you protect them.
Know how to maximize your options
You may have heard stories of others who suffered financial ruin because of divorce, but that doesn't mean you have to assume a similar likelihood of events in your own situation. The following information may help you avoid stress and keep finances on track:
- If you were planning on buying a car or some other big ticket item and are worried that you won't be able to do so following divorce, it may help to make your purchase before you file for divorce. Many states restrict large purchases once a divorce is on file.
- Full disclosure is critical when it comes to property division in divorce. It's always a good idea to pay close attention to your spouse's financial situation and money transactions leading up to property division proceedings. If you suspect your spouse is trying to hide assets to keep them from being subject to division, you can take immediate steps to address the problem in court.
- Documentation and preparation are key factors to avoiding a financial disadvantage in divorce. Photographing jewels, artwork and other valuable items, making hard copies of financial statements and account information, etc., can help you protect your rights and assets.
- If you receive stocks, bonds or real estate in the divorce process, you may be at risk for hidden tax implications. Learning as much as you can about this ahead of time may help you avoid unexpected financial strain in divorce.
It's always a good idea to update your skills, education and employment status before you file for divorce. Not doing so may leave you financially vulnerable if the court expects you to secure paid employment as part of your post-divorce plan, especially if you have spent the last five or more years out of the workforce.
Access support to avoid financial trouble
One way many Washington residents have successfully avoided financial disaster in divorce is by relying on experienced legal representation to advocate on their behalves in court.