Michigan couples who are getting a divorce might be concerned about how their finances will be affected. There are steps people can take in preparation that may help protect them financially. Sometimes, other people will have well-meaning advice, but divorce laws differ from state to state, and every situation is different as well. It is better to talk directly to professionals, such as an attorney and a certified divorce financial analyst, rather than making assumptions based on others' experiences.
Some people may be largely responsible for managing household finances while others may have very little experience in this area. With a divorce looming, understanding these finances is important. People should make a budget and gather documentation including bank statements, tax forms and investment information.
People should not make any significant financial decisions or spend a lot of money, particularly from joint accounts, during this time. This includes not making changes to wills or beneficiary designations until the divorce is final or the change has been reviewed with an attorney or in court. It is best to aim for transparency about finances, but people should also prepare for the possibility of resistance from the other spouse. A court order that forces the spouse to release financial documents could be necessary.
In a high-asset divorce, property division might be particularly difficult. For example, there may be real estate, complex investments and even a business to divide. Even if the couple has a prenuptial agreement, it might be possible to challenge it. In a more amicable divorce, people might be able to negotiate an agreement with the assistance of their respective attorneys. In this way, a couple can bypass the more adversarial approach of litigation which might result in a judge's decision that is less satisfactory.