By: Jody K. Goldman, ASA, CFE, CDFA®, MBA, Principal, JKG ASSOCIATES, [email protected], (339) 666-049

Getting divorced is often times a messy and arduous process. In addition to disentangling yourself emotionally from your spouse, you must also separate yourself financially. In many cases, dismantling a couple’s financial lives can be complicated. Here are some things you can do upfront to help make the process go more smoothly:

1. Make a list of all of your assets. Assets are items that you own, such as bank and investment accounts, pensions, life insurance policies, real estate, motor vehicles, antiques, collections, etc.
2. Create an inventory of your liabilities. Liabilities represent debts you owe, such as mortgages, auto loans, credit card debt, student loans, etc.
3. Identify your sources of income. Your income may come from wages or salary, self-employment, annuities, pension and retirement funds, income from rental properties, etc.
4. Develop a detailed list of what you spend monthly. Knowing your expenses will help you understand your current financial position and assist in developing a budget for the future.
5. Gather copies of relevant financial documents:
• Assets: Bank and investment statements, retirement plan statements, deeds to real property, tax returns;
• Debts: Mortgage and auto loan statements, credit card statements, etc.
• Income: W-2s from recent years, recent pay stubs, etc.
• Expenses: Monthly account statements

Getting organized and getting a clearer understanding of your financial picture will assist you in making informed decisions for your future financial well-being as well as result in a more efficient and less stressful process. If you are interested in learning more about how a CDFA can help you navigate the financial aspects of divorce, please contact me at [email protected] or (339) 666-0495.