Smart moves to protect your finances in divorce: Part I
Getting divorced is a difficult experience emotionally; but too many people are unprepared for the financial consequences that divorce can bring. In some cases, failing to appropriately address the former leads to greater problems with the latter.
That being said, there are things you can do to protect yourself financially during and after divorce. We’ll discuss some of these steps in our next two posts. First, there are several low-cost or no-cost steps you can take before hiring any professionals (but you shouldn’t wait to find a good family law attorney).
When you get divorced, your finances and your credit score could be harmed in a number of ways. Therefore, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on both. You’ll also want to take some relatively easy actions to start building your credit score as a single person. Suggestions include:
- Obtain a copy of your credit report regularly and monitor it for any suspicious activity
- Apply for a bank account and credit card in your name only (if you currently only have joint accounts with your spouse)
- Make small purchases on your new credit card and pay them off each month to establish a solid payment history
- Search out, collect and organize all of your important financial documents, including tax returns, credit/card bank statements, retirement account balances and anything else that may be important to the divorce settlement
- Make a resolution to avoid emotional spending and to put off major financial decisions that don’t need to be made right now
The tips above don’t require help from professionals. But in our next post, we’ll discuss smart and necessary financial moves that do require outside help. Please check back later this week as we continue our conversation.
Source: U.S. News & World Report, “7 Financial Steps to Take When Getting a Divorce,” Maryalene LaPonsie, Aug. 7, 2015