You might have heard a horror story or two about someone who divorced and lost nearly everything. From the contents of the family home to the property itself to the retirement funds, everything went to the other spouse in the divorce.

Further questioning, though, leads to more information about how this might have happened and why. Perhaps the person decided to pursue his or her best interests in court without an attorney. Maybe all he or she wanted at the time was sole custody of the couple’s children. In many cases where one spouse ended up with more in a divorce that contained a lot of complex property matters, there is a good reason why that happened.

There are several tips that can you end up financially secure after a divorce. Consider the following:

Learn as much as you can about your current financial standing

Before divorce paperwork is even filed, you should know how much you and your spouse have in terms of income and assets such as real estate, valuable collections and retirement funds. Even if your spouse is the one who currently handles the household expenses, it’s never too late for you to learn.

Know what necessities you will need after the divorce

Where will you — and if applicable, the children — live once the divorce is final? If your plan is to keep the marital home, determine what is needed to pay the mortgage each month, as well as homeowner’s insurance, maintenance costs and property taxes. Will you need health insurance? If your health insurance is tied to your spouse’s work, then you will need to determine the cost of getting your own insurance.

Know what your retirement future looks like

Do you have your own retirement funds? If the only retirement funds you have as a couple are through your spouse’s employer, don’t worry. Most states, including Ohio, use the method of equitable distribution when it comes to splitting up assets and debts. In other words, the division of property should be equitable, but that doesn’t necessarily mean 50-50.

Complex property division can be overwhelming, but an experienced attorney can help clarify the process. The main thing to consider is how to ensure your financial security after the divorce.

Source: CBS News, “Divorce tips for financial security,” Jillian Harding, accessed Feb. 08, 2018