It’s the perfect time of year to raise your financial awareness. You can take control right now.

Pick Up The Pieces of the Puzzle: Grasp the Bigger Picture

Back in 2012, the Time Magazine cover story described how women would soon replace men as the primary bread winners, and all the ramifications of this growing trend. Even more interesting was the survey of 10,000 women performed by Daily Worth due to a phenomenon called “The Female Financial Paradox.” As the survey suggests, there is a vast disconnect between how women think about money versus how they take control of their financial futures. Many women think that good money management is clipping coupons or finding sales, instead of asking the questions necessary to grasp their bigger financial picture.

In my work with women considering divorce or already engaged in the divorce process, I see this tendency often. If this sounds like you — focused on the immediate, but not too clear of the larger picture — this is the best time of the year to boost your financial IQ. Whenever I speak publicly to women’s groups, I always ask women if they understand, or even review, their joint tax return. Too many say, ”No, my husband takes care of that. I just sign.” Then this is the perfect opportunity to open a dialogue about your own finances as an individual and as a couple.

Steps To Take Now

Do you know what’s exactly on your return? Do you understand what you are signing?

During the next several months, most of the forms and documents pertaining to your own financial situation will be in close proximity. Several of them will be necessary to prepare your tax return. If you’re considering divorce, this is the perfect time to:

  1. Make copies of documents for your own files;
  2. Run the credit report for both you and your spouse to discover hidden debt;
  3. If you don’t participate in the annual tax appointment, change that trend;
  4. Ask questions about the tax return you may be asked to sign.

Click here for a list of documents that will prepare you for divorce.

Some single women handle their own finances because they have no other choice, while some married women ignore these issues until they are forced to pay attention.

Knowing your Financial Standing is Your Right

If you have to sign a joint return, it’s your obligation to know what the return entails. When you sign a return, you are legally accepting full responsibility for the information contained in your tax return as well as for any errors and omissions.

Did you personally sign your return last year? Do you understand exactly what is on your return? Do you know where to locate your recent years’ returns? Contact me today to start planning your life after divorce at 310-514-0240.

Vickie Adams Divorce Financial PlannerVickie Adams, CFP®, CDFA