A divorce is not easy. It’s not good for the emotions of anyone involved. It takes a lot of time, which can make it even harder on the people involved. One of the many ways it can do a lot of damage is the impact it has emotionally. There’s a lot of things to worry about when it comes to divorces and money.

Let’s accept that not all marriages can be repaired through counselling. Sometimes, divorce happens and you need to prepare for that financially. So here are some basic guidelines for divorce financial advice.

First, check all the laws. No advice is going to be one-size-fits-all, because things like local laws and prenuptial agreements can complicate matters.

Be sure to track what your expenses are, along with a plan for what might happen in the future.

As soon as the papers hit, track the money coming in and going out. This will help you in two ways. It starts you on the habit of budgeting for after the divorce. It also becomes important for the proceedings, since it allows for a clearer picture of splitting assets and debts.

If you’ve been tracking this the whole time, that’s even better. You have a clear record of things for a longer period. If you don’t, you want to include household bills, clothing, maintenance, transport, childcare, entertainment, and everything else. Bank and credit card statements must be checked.

Look beyond the normal expenses. Include things like holidays and one-time expenses. Use previous years as a guideline on what future things might happen. However, also factor in your circumstances.

Gather documentation. Get every last financial record you can.

Accept the fact that you’re getting resistance. Most divorces are not amicable, and a few that are end up otherwise because of money. Be prepared for this and don’t be afraid to ask for court-ordered options if the spouse is reluctant to hand records over.

Don’t make any large financial decisions. Don’t jump to adjust things like life insurance beneficiaries right away. It’s best to let the legal proceedings sort them out because they might be seen as an attempt to take something away from the spouse.

Be sure to wait until you have the legal blessing to make changes.

Be conservative, whether you spend or save. The separation of joint finances is a challenge, and the process can vary at times. It’s best to be careful and avoid the appearance of adding too much or too little. You could end up hamstringing yourself by being the first to the bank books.

Finally, get help. You really need financial experts on this