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The impact of divorce on money matters

Divorce affects nearly every aspect of your life, but not many as much as your finances. It's surprisingly common for people to declare bankruptcy or run into debt issues after divorce, but it doesn't have to be this way. Here are three ways you can protect yourself and your money.

-- Understand your financial position. You can't make informed decisions about your finances if you don't know how much money, assets and debt you have. If your ex has been handling the money, now's the time to get a copy of all of the statements and start getting up to speed. Doing this early on in the divorce can also help you uncover and discrepancies or possible hidden assets.

-- Acknowledge reality. Similar to the first point above, refusing to acknowledge your financial position is only going to cause problems. Divorce often means a major change in lifestyle, including what kind of house and car you can afford or how much disposable income you will have access to. Accepting your current financial position and what it is likely to be for at least a while after the divorce is the only way you'll be able to start thinking and planning ahead.

-- Talk to your attorney. Your legal team is your first point of contact when you have questions or concerns about any financial matters that are part of the divorce. It's also important to be up front and honest with your attorney about everything, even if it's negative. Having the full picture of the divorce and any influencing factors helps your attorney help you.

Source: MS News Now, "7 ways to protect yourself financially in a divorce," Andrew Housser, July 18, 2016

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