What to Do to Prepare Financially When You’re Getting a Divorce

Divorce is always difficult and painful, even if it is a mutual decision. Once you have joined together, it is hard enough to separate from your spouse emotionally, much less legally and financially. And if there are children involved, the process is that much harder.

You will have many important questions to think about in the coming days.

What Do You Need to Plan for When You’re Getting a Divorce in North Carolina?

  • Your Budget

    How will you make ends meet on your own? Will you receive financial support for yourself and/or your children from your former spouse, or will you need to provide financial support for them?

    The financial impact of separating will be profound. Prepare for what’s coming by creating a workable budget for your new life that takes into account all of the expenses that used to be shared, because you will now have to handle them by yourself.

  • Your Living Situation

    After the divorce, where will you live? If children are involved, will they live with you, your spouse, or will you share custody or have visitation? Your options on where to live may be limited if you need to consider the needs of others when making a decision.

    Will you have everything you need to set up a separate household? If you will need your own vehicle, furniture, appliances, dishes or cookware, you need to have a plan to cover the cost of getting what you will need.

  • Your Credit

    If you don’t have credit yet in your own name separate from your spouse, you won’t be able to qualify for a mortgage, car or loan unless you either build a credit history or have a cosigner.

    You also need to know about every joint account you have with your spouse, so the two of you can settle up each obligation and separate financially.

  • Your Accounts and Your Estate

    What changes do you need to make to your financial accounts, insurance policies, estate plan and will?

    You will need to set up new accounts in your own name, and you will also want to update all beneficiary designations on your life insurance, retirement accounts and any other financial accounts with beneficiaries.

  • Your Assets

    How will any community property accrued during your marriage be divided? Was there a prenuptial agreement? Do you have a full accounting of all assets, including account numbers, balances and all account information?

    If you don’t, you will want to gather all essential information and copies of account statements as soon as possible to ensure a fair and equitable division of assets when you divorce.

  • Your Children

    How will the divorce affect the daily lives of your children and how can you minimize the impact on them? How you handle separating can make a big difference in how they weather the transition.

    Learn what to expect and how to handle the difficulties, get professional guidance if you need it, and keep their best interests in mind at every step of the process.

These questions are only the beginning– there are many other issues to consider and things to take care of. If you’re getting a divorce in North Carolina, our state law will govern, so you’ll need advice from someone familiar with how things work here.

Request Our Free Guide: Dealing With Divorce

Dealing With Divorce guide cover

To help you as you separate from your spouse financially, we offer a free guide, Dealing With Divorce, which contains helpful checklists of recommended steps and the documents you will need as you navigate through getting a divorce in North Carolina.

The guide offers guidance on what to do at every stage of the process to prepare for legal and financial separation, and the checklists will remind you of things you might otherwise forget:

  • Before initiating a divorce
  • Initiating a divorce
  • When the divorce is final
  • Document checklist
  • Name/address change checklist

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The information in our guide is helpful, but every situation is different. We encourage you to meet with an advisor to discuss your particular situation, so you can receive personalized advice on the things you should do to minimize the difficulty of divorcing your spouse.

If you would like our help, please contact us to schedule a confidential consultation. We are here to help and support you any way we can through this difficult transition.

Tools and Resources

The Basics of North Carolina Divorce Law

21 Things to Do Before Asking for a Divorce

What is Divorce Mediation and how does it work?

Over 50? Don’t Let Divorce Derail Your Retirement

40 Secrets Only Divorce Attorneys Know

Getting Divorced Without Breaking the Bank

6 Key Money Matters to Look at After Divorce

6 Ways Divorce Impacts Your Teen’s College Financial Aid

Divorce & Your Taxes

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