Divorce is a difficult process to deal with, even for the most amicable couples. There are many emotions surrounding the process and one of the last things people think about is the financial impact that the divorce could have.
Whether you are currently separated or going through the divorce process, here are some tips that can help you prepare for possible issues that arise.
Hire A Professional
Believe it or not there are professionals that can help you with the financial aspect. Finances in a divorce can become incredibly messy when you have shared accounts, retirement accounts, and uneven incomes brought into the home.
A professional is there to help you to think about all the things you aren’t thinking about. Having a second mind, one that has a lot of experience with financial planning for divorce, is going to do their best to have the best possible outcome for you.
Consider The Credit Impact
Although credit reports don’t reflect a divorce and cause a score to go down,
One way to avoid any problems with your credit is to remove yourself from the accounts that you can. Cellphone
The motto “it doesn’t hurt to ask” is great advice and should be considered for any accounts and you could be surprised by what you can remove yourself from. Bear in mind that a judge can still order you to pay your partner for those accounts even if you have removed yourself.
This is one thing you should discuss with your lawyer and financial planner before attempting to follow through with since each state has varying divorce laws.
Open A New Bank Account
One move that people really don’t consider is to open their own bank accounts when they separate or even during the divorce process. No matter where you are with your divorce, open your own checking and savings as soon as possible and start putting money in there to have for when you are on your own.
You can also remove yourself from the joint accounts but most banks require both people to agree to the removal before they will do so. If you are amicable to one another, this will be fairly easy. If your partner is balking at the idea, this can be a red flag. Joint bank accounts can be a way to control or “punish” the other because of the decision to divorce.
If you have your own account already set up, it will be harder for them to be vindictive financially. If everything is going smoothly, do be sure to place money for shared bills into the joint account until all your financial responsibilities are divided fairly between the two of you.
Get Copies Of Financial Records
Another important thing to have on hand is to get a hold of copies of everything related to your finances. Bank statements, tax returns, marriage license, tax returns, retirement statements, paystubs, and credit or installment loan statements are a must have.
It is quite possible that someone could come to you looking for a settlement of debt and you need to know exactly what has been paid or not. If you have a fiscally irresponsible partner, it can also help show their irresponsibility and could relieve you of a steep financial debt.
Slow Down On Your Spending
Many people make a mess of their finances by simply spending too much trying to straighten out their life through a divorce. First things first, make a budget for yourself!
Knowing where all your money is going will help you decide if you can afford to buy a new couch for your new home. If you are unsure of how to create a budget, visit a local non-profit credit agency that can help you determine a sustainable life.
This is just the tip of the iceberg and all states differ in divorce laws. Always discuss with your lawyer and a professional any move you plan to make to ensure you are being lawful in securing yourself. Hopefully, you are amicable with your partner and things will go as smoothly as possible.