Tips for protecting finances in a divorce

When Charlotte couples are getting a divorce, they might need to take steps to protect their finances. If a person is leaving an abusive relationship, there may be extra steps such as securing any valuables. Even in non-abusive relationships, people should document valuables by getting copies of information on accounts and photographing any valuable objects.

People who do not have an income at the time of the divorce will also need to take certain steps. For example, they may need to get job training. They should familiarize themselves with household finances and understand what pension and retirement accounts are worth.

People might want to close any joint accounts, including credit card accounts, and open individual ones. Another consideration for some people might be saving up several months’ worth of expenses before filing. People should avoid using credit cards at this point and might look into credit reports for both spouses. One spouse may have accounts open the other does not know about, and these may appear on the credit report. Getting a post office box might be a good idea in some cases so people can have financial or other sensitive information sent to them without the spouse finding out.

In a high-asset divorce, there may be additional issues. The couple may own complex investments, and one or both might own a business. Certain assets, such as collections that must be appraised, could introduce complications if each person’s team offers significantly different appraisals. Businesses may need to be valuated as well and might need to be sold, or one person may need to buy out the other. There could be attempts to conceal assets using offshore accounts and shell companies or simply under-reporting income like bonuses.