Divorce is a great divider. It divides couples, families, extended families, friends, property and assets. Thoughts of divorce are also bound to put you through a gamete of emotions. For any of us, these emotions could cloud our judgment. Still, clouded judgment, especially for women who’s husband’s control most of the valuable assets accounts can lead to a harsh reality post-divorce.

Divorce is also a step toward new adventures, opportunities and a revamped outlook on life. Your finances will look different after your divorce is finalized, and an adjustment period will be necessary, but to get the most out of your divorce, remember one sustaining key to success: preparation.

Preparations your divorce fund

You may not be the one who proclaims that you want a divorce, but if you have any sense that a divorce might be on the horizon in days, weeks, months, or even a year, begin to set aside funds. Everyone’s financial portfolio is different, but divorce isn’t free. You need financial accounts set in your name. Also, maintain a line of credit in your name as well.

Gather the necessary documents

If you are a master planner and organizer, you may have had your financial documents stored away for years because that’s just how you like to do things. If this is you, are your financial and legal papers up to date?

For the master planners, meticulous organizers, and every other divorcing women, adhere to this divorce document checklist. The more financial information you can prove and cite, the better.

Know what you own

Be aware of any assets that are exclusively yours. This may seem obvious, but would you consider a country club membership, life insurance policy or stock options? Also, which assets are separate and which are marital property. Sometimes, your husband may be hiding assets. If so, take steps to find out.

Also, find out if your state is a community property or equitable distribution state. This matters when dividing property. California is a community property state, which means everything earned during a marriage is split down the middle.

Final point

Look out for your future. While money isn’t everything, it is essential for taking care of yourself and your children. Don’t just settle to settle.