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How do you financially prepare for divorce?

A divorce will change your life in many ways. In addition to the emotional challenges, you must come to grips with the fact that your financial situation will never be the same.

There are many steps you can take to financially prepare for divorce, with these among the most important:

-- Gather all the necessary financial records. You will need all this by your side as the divorce process moves forward. Collect things such as payroll stubs, tax returns, bank statements, credit card statements and real estate information.

-- Know your credit report inside and out. Now that you're branching out on your own, you need to understand the finer details of your credit report. If something in particular is holding you back, make changes without delay.

-- Focus on your income and expenses. Just as you need to know how you'll earn money, you need to know where each dollar will end up. You may find that you have to cut your expenses in order to make ends meet.

-- Open individual accounts. Now that you are going through a divorce, you no longer want to share accounts with your soon-to-be ex-spouse. You should have individual accounts for everything from your bank account to credit cards.

These are just a few of the many steps you need to take as you financially prepare for divorce. No matter how hard you try, you'll face a few challenges. It's how you deal with these that will determine the steps that you take and the way things shake out in the long run.

Source: Nerd Wallet, "6 Critical Steps to Prepare Your Finances for Divorce," accessed June 13, 2017

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