During the divorce process
Once the decision to divorce has been made, spouses should eliminate the chance of financial surprises during the process. According to ABC News, spouses should close any joint accounts, credit cards and any other lines of credit as soon as possible. This protects spouses from paying for debts they didn’t personally incur once the decision to separate has been made but before the divorce is finalized.
In some marriages, couples take care of their finances jointly but in others, one spouse handles the finances independently. Regardless of whether one spouse takes care of the finances or if duties are split evenly, spouses should take steps to fully understand their financial situation. For example, if the divorce is amicable, spouses may want to consider having a discussion about their current debts, assets and financial accounts. However, if their partner is uncooperative, those in the middle of the divorce process should review their personal records and past tax filings to discover how much money there is and where it is kept.
After the divorce is finalized
To ensure financial stability once the divorce is finalized, there are several financial tasks new divorcees should take care of. According to The Huffington Post, these include the following:
- Open a new bank and credit card account
- Establish a system to keep track of child support and alimony payments
- Work on building a strong credit history
Those who were recently divorced should also take several steps to readjust their finances. According to Fox News, after emerging from the divorce process, divorcees should re-enter the workforce as soon as possible if they were not previously employed, consider moving to a less expensive house that still meets their needs and develop a comprehensive budget to avoid going into debt and to prepare for unexpected financial situations, like losing spousal support.
Although financial planning for post-divorce life can be challenging, it is an essential aspect of the divorce process. If you and your spouse are considering divorce, speak with an attorney who can provide you with guidance during this trying time and who can also ensure your financial interests are protected.