Divorce will change your life in many ways, including your financial circumstances. It’s critical to understand how your finances will change, as this knowledge will allow you to create a plan to protect yourself and future.

Here are five tips for preparing your finances for the divorce process, as well as life after your divorce:

  • Collect the necessary documentation: You’ll need a variety of documents during the divorce process, such as pay stubs, bank account statements, retirement account statements and credit card statements. If it has anything to do with your finances, it’s best to collect the information up front.
  • Don’t hide anything: You may be tempted to hide assets during divorce, to avoid potential division, but it will backfire in the end. Just the same, make note of any assets that your soon-to-be ex-spouse may be attempting to hide.
  • Create a new budget: Your life is changing, and along with that your budget is doing the same. Your post-divorce budget won’t look anything like the budget you managed while you were married. The sooner you create this, the sooner you can prepare for the future.
  • Review your employment status: If you’re employed, you know what your income is and how it stacks up against your expenses. But if you’re unemployed, perhaps because you were a homemaker during your marriage, you must carefully consider how you’ll earn money in the future. This is also a good time to consider your eligibility for spousal support.
  • Create a property and debt division checklist: You’ll divide a variety of property and debts in divorce. This can include your family home, bank accounts, retirement accounts and personal belongings. As for debt, credit card balances are common, along with personal loans and home equity loans.

When you follow these tips, you’ll find it easier to prepare your finances for divorce and your life in the future. With each step you take, you’ll feel more confident in your ability to establish financial stability.

There’s a lot that will come your way during the divorce process, so make sure you prepare accordingly and do whatever it takes to protect your legal rights.