It’s no secret — divorce can be costly. The last thing you need to worry about when you’re dealing with the stress and emotional toll of a marriage that’s ending is supporting yourself financially. When you take the following proactive steps, you can prepare yourself and your bank account for divorce and even maintain financial stability throughout the process.

1. Start saving as soon as possible

With the price of an attorney, courtroom costs, alimony and child support, divorce-related expenses can add up. And since you won’t have a second income to rely on after your divorce, it doesn’t hurt to open a separate savings account and start putting away money. You may even want to begin diverting some or all of your paycheck earnings into your own separate account.

2. Anticipate future expenses

Mapping out your spending habits is a sure way to help you prepare yourself for a financial change. If you have kids, you should take a look at any major expenses that might be in their future, such as college tuition. Also be aware of personal expenses you may have to make, like medical bills or home and car payments.

When you track these significant expenses, it makes it easier for you to determine how much money you should start saving and how much you can keep spending. Compare your monthly expenses with those larger, future expenses to see where you might be able to cut back.

3. Begin gathering documents

There are a multitude of financial documents you will need to provide during your divorce, and it can take a while to get your hands on them. So, you’ll need to start gathering them as soon as you can. Having them at the ready can help you determine the value of your assets and assess the status of your marriage’s financial health. Records you will need to collect include:

  • Credit card statements
  • Retirement account statements
  • Pay stubs
  • Income tax returns
  • List of debts accrued
  • Loans

Move towards a stable financial future

When you take the necessary steps to ready your finances for divorce, it can give you the security you need during this difficult time. And don’t hesitate to ask for help — it can be an overwhelming process. With the right guidance, you can figure out a plan that will enable you to continue to support yourself independently, even after a costly divorce.