At Rebeck & Allen, we understand that a Michigan divorce changes each spouse’s financial outlook drastically. Before filing, you and your spouse may benefit from taking steps to prepare for post-divorce life.

Here are some planning tips from NerdWallet that you can use to improve your future budget after you are divorced.

Gather financial records

The list of documents you compile varies depending on the assets and debts of you and your spouse. These should include current pay stubs and retirement account statements. The following account information should include a full year’s worth of records:

  • Bank statements for each checking and savings account
  • Investment account statements
  • Credit card statements
  • Loan statements

You and your spouse also need to create a detailed inventory of all assets and debts you had individually before the marriage, and all you have accumulated since.

Track expenses

At the negotiation table or in the courtroom, one of the considerations for a fair and equitable division of property is ensuring that you and your spouse will be able to maintain a reasonable standard of living after the divorce relative to what the two of you had in the marriage. This requires a detailed account of income and expenses. It should include the following:

  • Household expenses such as utilities
  • Basics such as food, clothing and transportation
  • Home maintenance and repairs
  • Health care expenses
  • Auto, home and health insurance policies
  • Child care

Anticipate resistance

Some of this information will likely require you and your spouse to work together for a full and accurate picture of the finances. If your spouse is resisting the divorce, or if it is a high-conflict situation, cooperation may not be forthcoming. Courts will order a resistant spouse to provide the information if necessary.

More information about family legal matters is available on our webpage.