How Do I Protect Myself Financially in A Divorce?

Henriksen LawDivorce Attorney

Although Utah has one of the highest percentages of marriages in the US, it also has a high rate of divorce. According to Quote Wizard, divorces in Utah have increased as much as 8% since 2011. If you are also thinking of ending your marriage, you have to be ready for its emotional and financial consequences.

While we cannot help with your emotional recovery, as leading divorce attorneys in Utah, we can certainly help you protect your finances. We believe in educating our clients. We recommend knowing how the divorce process in Utah works because it helps protect your assets. If you fail to protect your finances during a divorce, your life may take a turn for the worse. 

Let’s walk you through the financial planning for divorce. 

How Asset Division Works in Utah Divorce Process

Unlike its neighbors Idaho and Nevada, Utah is not a 50-50 divorce state. Instead, the beehive state follows the principle of equitable distribution. That means, all your marital property gets divided fairly but not necessarily equally. In other words, you could risk not getting a fair share of these assets if you file for divorce without financial planning. 

Utah courts might consider one or more of the following factors when splitting your assets: 

  • Duration of your marriage
  • Contributions of each spouse to the marriage
  • Earning capacities of each spouse
  • Financial and non-financial contributions to your marital estate
  • Standard of living you have achieved during the marriage
  • Child custody arrangements (if applicable) 

The divorce process in Utah also involves determining alimony and child support. These factors can significantly change your financial future. You need to have a solid plan from the start. That’s why consulting a competent divorce attorney in Utah as soon as possible can help. 

How to Protect Yourself Financially in A Divorce 

Divorce is a highly emotional process. And planning your future can take a back seat when your life is falling apart. Regardless, you will need to pull yourself together and protect yourself financially from the get-go. As a divorce attorney in Utah, we recommend taking the following steps.

1. Check Your Finances

First things first, grab all your financial documents. Bank statements, tax returns, mortgage documents, investments, credit card debts – lay it all out. Go through your everything with a fine-toothed comb. It’s the first step in creating a financial plan for your future.

2. Create a Budget for Your Divorce

You will have to pay attorney fees, court costs, and other expenses. Think about your living expenses until the divorce gets finalized. You may request the court to set up a temporary alimony to cover your living expenses until the divorce. That’s why you need a detailed budget that defines your living and other expenses during the divorce process in Utah.

3. Open Your Own Bank Account

In Utah, most married couples have a joint account. But when ending your marriage, you should set up your own bank account. It will protect you if your spouse goes on a reckless spending spree, draining your joint account of everything. Also, if you are employed, be sure your paycheck goes into your new account.

4. Monitor Your Credit Score

Divorce can affect your credit score. Your credit card or mortgage company does not care if you are married or single, but they care about getting paid. If you have any joint debts, like a credit card, consider removing your spouse’s name from it. This will protect your assets and credit score.

Secondly, don’t stop your payments just to spite your ex. It will only worsen your credit score, making your financial future all the more difficult. Instead, make the payments your spouse is supposed to but never does. You can also report these non-payments to the court. However, do not grow your debt during the divorce.

5. Separate Your Debt

Separate your individual liabilities from your marital debt. Remember, you are liable for any debt your spouse racks up in your joint credit cards or loan accounts. List all your debts, including mortgages, loans, credit card balances, and other outstanding obligations. If you have money to pay off these debts, do so and close those accounts as soon as possible.

As mentioned, remove your spouse’s name from your joint credit cards. You don’t need an official reason to do this. Most companies will do it over a phone call. This will protect you from racking up debt you don’t rightfully owe.

6. Think about Alimony and Child Support

Alimony and child support are two critical factors in a divorce proceeding in Utah. Whether you receive or make these payments, alimony, and child support will affect your financial planning.

If you are paying alimony and child support, consider how this will impact your finances post-divorce. Do you have enough money to make these payments? Will you make these payments in a lump sum or installments? The court will have the final say in deciding how much alimony and child support your ex needs and when. So, think about all these factors when planning your future. 

If you are receiving alimony and child support, evaluate your financial needs. You would want your ex to pay a fair amount to cover all your living and other expenses. At the same time, do not rely on these payments alone. In Utah, alimony and child custody payments are subject to change. So, think about getting a job or some other source of income to support yourself and your kids.

7. Hire a Competent Divorce Attorney in Utah

Our final advice is to hire a competent divorce attorney in Utah. Maybe you are wondering – it’s a mutual divorce, so I don’t need an attorney. But that’s a mistake. Contested or not, you will need a lawyer. 

A skilled lawyer can help you understand the pitfalls in financial planning for divorce. They will help you get a fair share of the marital assets. Talk to a divorce attorney in Utah as soon as possible to get your financial ducks in a row.


The divorce process in Utah is challenging, especially when it comes to protecting your finances. Without a proper plan, you will likely end up getting a less-than-fair share of your marital assets. Worse still, your ex might rack up credit card debt that will haunt you for the rest of your life. Remember, with the right financial planning and support, your life can change for the better. So, talk to a skilled divorce attorney in Utah immediately.

Need help protecting your finances during a divorce? Look no further than Henriksen & Henriksen. We are here to support you every step of the way. Please use our confidential form or call (801) 521-4145 to see how we can help.