6 Personal Finance Facts That Will Keep You Off Judge Judy

Judge Judy is one of those shows everyone likes to watch from the distance, but no one would want to experience IRL. Especially in divorce litigation. Truth be told, most of the people on the show never would have expected to end up in those clips, either. However, when you’re facing divorce, things aren’t always that clean cut. 

You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to realize that divorce gets really ugly, really quick. If you’re worried about dealing with a divorce in your near future, these six personal finance facts can help save your wallet (and sanity). 

You don’t need to be a rockstar to get a prenup.

A prenup is a must if you are concerned about keeping your assets safe in the event of a divorce. Prenups make it easier for courts to divvy up assets per pre-agreed portions, allow you to keep family heirlooms intact, and can even cover what you deem to be grounds for a divorce. 

Basically, what a prenup does is put the courtroom rules into your hands rather than delegate that job to others. By having a prenup, you make it possible to protect yourself. You don’t need a lawyer to create a good prenup, either. There are several DIY services you can use that can become official through a notary. 

That being said, prenups only last a set amount of time. In order to keep the prenup in order, you will need to occasionally refresh it with a new agreement, getting it reviewed by a lawyer, or by adding a post-nup. 

Post-nuptial agreements are made after your married and act as conditional agreements about how your marriage should continue.

Always freeze your joint accounts if you suspect an impending divorce.

You would be shocked at how many wandering spouses or jilted lovers decide to leave a parting gift of enormous credit card debt on joint accounts. By running the cards up and taking their names off the card, they are able to go on a shopping spree while holding the other party accountable. 

If you’re concerned about this happening to you, freeze the accounts immediately. If it’s a bank account, warn the bank and take out half of the account before you freeze them and put it into a separate account. 

Always, always have a career of your own. 

Studies show that women are disproportionately affected by financial problems after a major divorce, and it’s because they choose to abandon their careers in favor of the “stay at home” life. This is not good news, and it should be a warning to all women thinking of a career-free life.

Having a source of income doesn’t just cushion the blow of a breakup. It also helps give you the opportunity to leave a bad relationship by giving you the financial cushion you need. If you have to choose between a man and a job, always choose the job.

Keep receipts of major purchases backed up on a cloud account.

One of the biggest issues that courts have during divorce proceedings and separation is trying to find out who originally owned what. By having recipt proof that’s on a cloud, you make it easier to separate items and prove that you paid for your items. 

Depending on your situation, this can be a total lifesaver. There have been many cases where furnishing digital receipts made it possible for people who were forcibly removed from their apartment to recover all their goods.

Talk about money before you tie the knot.

People tend to make assumptions about other peoples’ spending habits, and many of them aren’t correct. We all tend to assume that people have the same spending habits, or that people all have investments. This isn’t true. 

Couples who don’t talk finances and spending habits prior to marriage are more likely to divorce as a result of unforeseen spending clashes. By actually comparing finances, checking each other’s credit scores, and getting a better overall understanding of where you stand, you prevent nasty surprises. 

Keep an eye on your credit score at all times. 

Though it’s rare, there have been occasions where partners used their partner’s good credit in order to take loans out in their name. This is a form of financial infidelity that crosses the line into fraud territory. 

When someone does this, it can be hard to find out about the loan or line of credit until it’s too late. Keeping an eye on your credit score makes it possible to stop the loan in its tracks. By calling the loan department and explaining the situation, you avoid serious debt and also are made aware of your partner’s true intentions.