Practical Steps for Preparing Financially for Divorce
The big bright light is shining, the train is coming down the tracks. It’s only a matter of time before it stops at the big D. If you have any heads up on an impending divorce, there are a few things you can take care of financially before the paperwork is filed. It’s an overwhelming position to be in for anyone, but preparing financially for divorce can make you feel more secure in going forward.
It’s pretty amazing how important forms can go missing! Start tracking down everything you can, from bank statements to tax returns to loan applications to mortgage statements. Get your paperwork together and make copies that you can keep in a safe place for your attorney.
Open Your Own Bank Account
All states are different, but it’s very possible that you will have to open a new bank account at a different bank as soon as possible. Your lawyer will direct you on the best procedure while still following the rules dictated by the court.
Find Funds For Legal Fees
When couples have shared accounts, one or the other has the power to drain the funding at any point. While this is a super shitty move, but unfortunately it happens. A lot. Start saving for your legal funds and putting it away where it can only be accessed by you.
Open a PO Box
It’s likely that you will be living together at this early stage in the divorce process. You may be receiving things in the mail regarding bank accounts, credit cards, financial information and correspondence from your attorney. It’s a good idea to keep it private and safe some where your future Ex doesn’t have access to it.
It’s becoming increasingly difficult for women to get approved for credit cards and big purchases after divorce, especially women that have a significantly lower income than their spouse. Get your credit card before the divorce to be safe.
It’s also important to get your credit report to know your exact credit history, which is affected by joint accounts. This will also help you keep an eye on what your future Ex has been up to while your relationship has been on the rocks. Correct any errors as soon as possible. This can be difficult and time-consuming, but you want your credit as strong as possible when you’re on your own.
Change Your Beneficiary
Any insurances you are enrolled in or living wills you have written up should be changed now, while you’re thinking of it. Your HR department at work will be able to remove a spouse from your life insurance, etc.
Prepare For The Future
This would be the best time to start searching for a source of income. If you have been working but don’t make enough or if you haven’t been working – put your feelers out for any option that could allow more income.