Do You Know How Much Your Marital Estate is Really Worth?
One of the more difficult aspects of divorce is balancing the emotional with the need to stay rational and focused for the “business” side of the divorce. It is especially difficult if you are hoping to reconcile with your spouse before the divorce actually happens. Even if you are the one who wants the divorce, it can still be emotionally painful at times. No matter the situation or how you feel about the breakup of your marriage, there are steps you should take to financially protect yourself, especially when determining how the marital estate will be divided.
Once the decision to divorce has been made, even if you are still living together, all joint bank accounts, credit cards, and other lines of credits should be closed. Otherwise, you could be equally liable for any further credit card debt your spouse incurs. Therefore, open a bank account and/or credit card account in your name only. This will ensure you the control of your own credit.
Also, it is a good idea to keep an eye on your credit score to make sure your spouse is not opening up any accounts in your name. There are online companies that provide monthly updates of credit scores. If you do notice any changes in your score, you can pull a free credit report from AnnualCreditReport.com.
Regardless of who handled the finances in the marriage, now is the time to find out exactly where your financial situation stands. If you handled the money, or shared that duty with your spouse equally, then it should not be too difficult. However, if your spouse handled the finances and is not willing to provide the details that you are entitled to, then it is time to start digging through bank statements, tax returns, retirement accounts, and insurance policies. Knowing your current situation is imperative to planning what your future will be once you are divorced.
It may be difficult to find all relevant information regarding the true worth of a marital estate, particularly if a spouse is not being forthcoming with details. However, that is information you have every right to know. Therefore, it is important to contact an experienced Geneva family law attorney to represent you and guide you through the divorce process.