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Dealing with finances as you go through a divorce

The divorce process involves many different things, and, while decisions about your kids may be the most important ones you make, it's also wise to look into your finances to make sure you protect your assets. The following tips can help.

1. Check out your budget and your cash flow. Knowing what type of money you need just to pay the bills can help you set minimum targets.

2. Examine your tax returns. The tax returns from the latest year can often tell you the most about your assets, your financial situation, and what it is going to look like after you split.

3. Look at all assets, including investments. This is why turning to the tax returns can be wise. You may not think about investments on a daily basis, but you do need to remember them during the divorce.

4. Try to remain civil. For one thing, you don't want to drag your children through an emotional roller-coaster. On top of that, being civil often allows you and your ex to come to a rational agreement that helps both sides.

5. Remember that many financial documents are never printed out. Thirty years ago, you may have kept hard copies of everything—or your spouse may have done so—making it easier to find all of the documents that you need. Keep in mind that many important modern documents may be digital, stored only online. It's also important to get access to them or to get printed copies.

Make sure you fully understand all of the legal options that you have in Texas regarding the financial division process.

Source: U.S. News & World Report, "How to Handle Investments When You Divorce," Lou Carlozo, accessed Jan. 08, 2016

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