Divorce is costly – emotionally and financially. While it’s hard to know exactly what to do in terms of the emotional cost, there are some tips you can follow to help with the financial cost.
Keeping Finances Separate in a Divorce
You want to eliminate any chance for financial surprises. So it’s best to close joint accounts, credit cards and other lines of credit as soon as possible.
You can keep in control of your credit by establishing your own accounts and credit cards in just your name. You might also want to consult an attorney during this process. It’s always a good idea to have an expert help guide you through the process.
Using tools such as Credit.com you can monitor your credit score to ensure no accounts are opened in your name by your soon-to-be ex spouse. Major or unexpected changes in your score can be indicative of identity theft, so pull copies of your free annual credit reports as soon as possible, so you can refer back to them over the course of your divorce and after.
Become a Financial Expert on What You Don’t Know
You’re now going to need to take the reins in financial management. So take the time to educate yourself about the different accounts you have. This can be as simple as sitting down for a discussion with your spouse. If it’s not that simple you should look over past tax filings and personal records to help you determine what money there is and where it is kept.
Having the big-picture view of your finances – including debts and assets – will help ensure you are able to make informed decisions about things such as homeownership and division of assets.
If you had your spouse listed as a beneficiary on a life insurance policy or a retirement account, you’ll likely want to change that. Ensure that your financial documents reflect your wishes for your life after divorce.
Pick Your Financial Battles in Divorce
It’s tempting to maybe want to exact revenge or fight over every last penny, but this will only delay the process and make it even more draining on everyone involved.
For advice on divorce and all it’s aspects, you need the expert law firm of Korol and Velen, certified family law specialists. Schedule a consultation today.
Source: The Huffington Post, January: More Divorces Than Any Other Month? January 4, 2011