With divorce comes huge financial changes for both parties. If you have children, you are now maintaining two households. If you do not, you must adapt to living on one income and buying your own place, paying your own utilities and, if you have been out of the workforce, finding a job. The key to staying financially stable during and after your divorce is to plan and be ready for anything.
1. Keep track of your credit
If you have any debts or accounts together, your ex may influence your credit score. It is important to obtain a copy of your credit report to determine which debts need to be settled and who is responsible for them. If you fail to close out an account that has both names on it and your ex goes on a spending spree and does not pay his or her bills, you could be left with a bad credit score as a result.
2. Know who is responsible for what
Is your name on the mortgage? Do you have the title to your car? Once the marriage ends and assets are split, it is important that your name is removed from anything you no longer own. If you have a car loan together and you fail to switch the names over, you could end up responsible for a vehicle you do not even own.
3. Request life insurance
If your spouse took out a life insurance policy while you were married, you may be eligible to receive that safety net even after divorce. If it makes sense for you to ask for life insurance to cover costs of child support, extra retirement, debt payoff or spousal income, then your attorney can help you decide what you should ask for.
4. Define your deal-breakers
Are there things you both own that you are insistent you keep after the divorce? Are there other things you could do without but are technically yours? If you know what you really want and what you can do without, you have the power to negotiate a little more with your ex when it comes to finances and assets.
5. Seek advice
If your spouse handled the money in your house, you may need advice to survive financially after your divorce. You may also benefit from having someone in your corner who has your best interests in mind. If you are going through a divorce and are concerned about your financial future, we encourage you to meet with an attorney today.