Regardless of the outcome of your divorce settlement in California, your finances will take a hit. Sharing financial incomes and obligations with another person means that lawfully, you will need to split these assets and liabilities as part of the divorce.
Making sure you do not get taken advantage of requires you to know your rights. An attorney can help you learn and apply state laws so you can protect your assets. However, understanding your finances prior to divorce can provide valuable information so you can make confident decisions going forward.
Know your assets
Get familiar with that amount of money you and your spouse share and where you can find it. Assets may include bank accounts, investment portfolios, retirement accounts, real estate, and even patents or copyrights in your name.
If you suspect dishonesty from your spouse and have concerns about hidden assets, you may want to work with a forensic accountant to help you track everything. As your divorce begins, U.S. News suggests that you watch your marital funds carefully. Document where the money comes in and where it goes out. If frivolous spending on your partner’s end threatens your share of the divorce settlement, records of the behavior can provide evidence to support your case.
Know your liabilities
You will also want to know which outstanding debts you and your spouse have. Financial obligations including mortgage loans, credit card bills, auto loans and unpaid medical bills all fall into the liability category. Equally notable, know whether or not you and your spouse currently owe anything to the IRS for taxes.
Other financial records you may want to gather and organize include tax returns and credit reports. These documents may provide critical details about your finances that can help you throughout your case.