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If you and your spouse are splitting up, there are a few financial steps that you should take before the divorce to make things go more smoothly. Don’t put these off, but take care of them as soon as you can.

1. Become familiar with what the budget is going to look like on your own. Some of your costs may go down, such as the cost of food, but things like rent may stay the same. Be sure you know what type of costs you’re going to have, especially if your spouse is in charge of the budget.

2. Put aside some extra money. This way, when there are unexpected costs, you’re not left scrambling for ways to pay. Things you used to take for granted that your spouse did–like watching the children–could bring on additional expenses.

3. Get separate accounts. You don’t want to share bank accounts or credit card accounts with your spouse during the divorce. Close them down and get your own so that no one is in control of your money but you.

4. Have paychecks sent to those new accounts. This is important no matter what, but it’s crucial if you get payments with a direct deposit system. Be sure you talk to your payroll department so that your money isn’t sent to your spouse.

5. Consider your debt. Many people just think of assets, and it’s important to divide them fairly, but understanding what debts you’ll face and what you need to pay can be just as important.

These financial steps can make a huge difference in your divorce in Arizona, so make sure you do not overlook any of them.

Source: Family Education, “21 Things to Do Before Asking for a Divorce,” accessed April 20, 2016

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