Oklahoma is an equitable distribution state, which means divorce courts try to distribute marital assets fairly. Therefore, do not engage in any behaviors before a divorce that significantly deplete financial accounts for your sole benefit. This activity may adversely affect your standing in divorce court and result in criminal charges against you. Here are some valuable and legal ways to organize your finances as you prepare to divorce.
Document household spending
Understanding how much you are spending now on household expenses and projecting how much you’ll need in the future to maintain your standard of living is an excellent first step in your financial preparations. Include things like utility bills, groceries, gasoline and childcare.
Gather financial records
Collect all the financial documents you can that cover the past 12 months and include the following:
- Bank account statements
- Pay stubs
- Retirement account and pension statements
- Social Security payments
- Credit card statements
- Mortgage and personal loan statements
- Car payments or leases
- Income tax returns
Change your passwords
Change the passwords on your individual credit card and bank account logins. Do not attempt to change anything on your joint accounts. However, it is a good idea to periodically check your credit report and bank statements until the court finalizes your divorce. Question any unusual or extreme charges.
Start saving for emergencies
Open an individual bank account and start depositing money for emergencies. Once you divorce, you will likely have less of a financial cushion. Try saving three to six months of living expenses to see you through a crisis.
A divorce may adversely affect your financial situation, but by following these suggestions, you can lessen the damage and start planning for the future. Doing so can help you to recover from your divorce more quickly.