It is no secret that finances are such a big – and important – issue in a divorce. North Carolina law requires couples to value and divide their assets, which is not an easy task.
However, the division and distribution of property is not the only reason you must prioritize your finances in the event of a divorce. After a divorce, you will be the one who must handle your finances moving forward, even if you did not manage them during your marriage.
This is a common – but risky – arrangement
It is common for one person in a couple to take on more financial responsibilities for the family, such as:
- Paying the bills
- Filing taxes each year
- Organizing benefits and insurance
- Managing general budgets
In many cases, one person takes on these responsibilities because they choose to. Or perhaps they take on financial management due to a difference of skills. Regardless, Kiplinger reports that it is a mistake to let one person handle all of the financial decisions, even though it is a very common occurrence.
While this arrangement may work for some couples, it poses an issue in divorce. When a couple goes their separate ways, the individual who was not as involved in financial management during the marriage may face significant challenges.
So, what can you do in this situation?
If you did not manage your finances throughout your marriage, taking on the responsibility during and after the divorce can be difficult. However, it is not impossible. It can help if you:
- Gather your financial documents and take time to understand them
- Gain a general understanding of your marital finances – and debt
- Research budget tips, tax information and saving strategies
- Consider consulting a professional to protect and prepare your finances
It bears repeating that preparation is key when facing a divorce. You should make sure you organize your financial documents to protect your finances during the division of marital assets as well as for your future.