Divorce can be devastating, both emotionally and financially. It's a delicate time that can easily result in making poor decisions. These decisions can have an impact on your finances for a long period of time.
Fortunately, many of the things that need to be done after divorce don't require a lot of thought. Some choices are quite easy to make. But, making wise decisions now can shorten the time it takes to recover financially after a divorce. To help you out, here are some divorce survival tips.
1Open Your Own Bank Account
Open a new bank account and close any joint accounts. If you're getting divorced, you don't want to be stuck with any financial liabilities your soon-to-be ex creates. This doesn't just include bank accounts. Any of your credit cards can also be potential nightmares. Contact your bank and credit card companies and explain the situation.
Also, open new accounts in just your name. This might be easier to do before closing the joint accounts. Ensure that you'll have access to the money throughout the divorce process.
2Consider Your Housing Situation
Your housing situation can be greatly complicated by the presence of children. Otherwise, it's often easier to sell the home and move on. When children are part of the picture, it's often best to consult with an attorney to examine your options.
3Be Aware Of All Your Assets
Do you know the full extent of your financial holdings during your marriage? In many cases, one spouse handles the financial matters, and the other is happy to stay out of it. Now is the time to dig in and develop an accurate picture of what you have. You might be surprised by what you discover.
Now, you have to decide how to handle the assets collectively. Do you split them? Or do you sell them and split the proceeds? Or should you hire a lawyer and battle it out?
4Take A Look At Your Insurance Needs
You might need to get your own medical insurance plan. What items do you still own that need to be insured? Your insurance costs might be much less now. There's no reason to carry more insurance than you need. Your situation has changed, so your insurance needs have likely changed as well.
5Create A New Budget
Your income and expenses have changed, so it only makes sense that your budget will change, too. If you've gone from a two-income household to a single-income one, there's likely less margin for error. Create a budget that makes sense for your new circumstances.
6Change Your Beneficiaries
Change beneficiaries on your life insurance and retirement accounts. There's a good chance that your beneficiary was your spouse. You'll probably want to list new beneficiaries after your divorce.
For most accounts, this is easily accomplished by filling out a simple form. This step is often overlooked. Ensure that, in the event of your death, your assets go to those whom you want to have them.
7Get A Copy Of Your Credit Report
It's important to know where you stand financially. It's just as important to be aware of all of your accounts. Your spouse may have opened a joint account or credit card without your knowledge. The better your credit, the easier it is to move through the world.
Divorce is a difficult time for all. But, divorce can be especially difficult if financial matters are not handled intelligently. Focusing your attention on housing, debt, income, and assets will make the transition easier.
The above tips just highlight the basics of handling your finances after a divorce. In many instances, an attorney will be required. But understanding the basic issues will make it easier for you to make wise decisions. Apply these strategies to your current circumstances and get the professional guidance you require.
Jackie Wing is an Alaska native, who enjoys snowboarding more than is probably socially acceptable. She lives in Anchorage with her two dogs Reese and Peanut, or as she likes to call them "Thing 1" and "Thing 2."