Going through a divorce in New York can put a strain on you financially. However, you can lessen the impact by careful planning during the process and after it is completed.
Understand your finances
First, you need to know what you are working with. It may be a good idea to collect as much financial documentation as possible before you file or even discuss divorce, particularly if you think your spouse may try to conceal assets. You should consider how likely it is that you will be able to negotiate an agreement for property division with your spouse versus having a judge decide, how you will pay for the divorce, if you are likely to pay or receive alimony or child support and what your shared and individual debts are. Think as well about where you might live during and after the divorce. Make a budget, keeping in mind that it can cost more to live alone.
Steps to take
While you need to take steps to protect yourself financially, you should not try to shut down or clean out joint accounts. However, you can open your own individual accounts and set up your own lines of credit. Be aware that even if the divorce agreement specifies that your spouse will pay off debts, creditors could pursue you for them, so you may want to try to refinance as much debt as possible. Find out whether you need to make changes to your health insurance. You may want to consult a financial professional with a background in divorce financial planning.
It is important to know your rights and avoid rushing through the divorce even if it is emotionally difficult. You should take your time and make sure the settlement is acceptable to you. This can help ensure that you are on firmer financial footing afterwards.