Going through a divorce can be very stressful, and while you may have a lot on your plate during and after this time, there are a few things you need to prioritize in order to safeguard your financial future.
Here are a few tips from Forbes about protecting your finances before and after a divorce:
1. Monitor Your Credit Report
You should pull your credit report before and after a divorce so you can monitor the accounts listed there. Once the divorce is over, you do not want to walk away with anything on your credit report that is not your responsibility. If you do find any errors, be sure to work with your attorney to get the mistakes corrected as soon as possible.
2. Close Joint Accounts And Open One In Your Own Name
If you know you are heading towards a divorce or you have already completed the process, you need to separate your accounts. While having a joint account while you are married can make a lot of things easier, it only complicates things before and after a divorce. Even if you cannot close the joint account just yet, go ahead and open up your own personal account so you can start getting your paycheck deposited there.
3. Establish Your Own Credit
If you were relying on your former spouse for great credit, you need to work on establishing your own credit as soon as possible. To do this, you should apply for a credit card that works for you. Just make sure you pay the bill on time every month. If possible, you should also pay the entire bill - not just the minimum amount - every month. This will protect you from significant interest fees.
4. Update Your Beneficiaries
It can be very easy to forget all of the places you need to update contact information, but you don't want to forget about updating your beneficiaries. This includes beneficiaries for your retirement accounts, your life insurance and anything else that may have your spouse or former spouse legally listed as the beneficiary.
5. Match Your Lifestyle To Your Earnings
Before the divorce, you were living on two incomes, but after it is complete, you will have to survive on your own (unless you get alimony payments). Either way, you will need to make adjustments to the way you live your life and how much you spend on a regular basis.
For more advice about protecting yourself, your rights and your assets during divorce, consider scheduling a consultation with an experienced lawyer in your area.