Living Separate: How to Handle Individual Finances during a Divorce

Tuesday, July 19, 2016, PM | Leave Comment

Divorce is rarely easy and is never simple. You may already have broken your emotional ties to your spouse, but financial bonds remain legally binding long after the passion is gone.

It is important you move quickly to break those financial ties and come up with a way to be financially independent after a divorce, here are some steps you can take to make that clean break. 

Living Separate How to Handle Individual Finances During a Divorce

  • Start Learning

    Before you do anything else, it is important that you understand every aspect of your joint finances.

    If you are the one who took care of the money during the marriage, this will be easy.

    If you are not, then you need to become intimately familiar, not only with your personal finances but with handling money and assets in general.

  • Gather your Legal Documents

    Put all your legal documents in one place. Talk to your attorney about changing your will, redrafting powers of attorney, and how to handle trust documents.

    One of the best Summerville divorce lawyers says the process of getting independent financially from your partner is made a lot easier when you have collected and gathered all your forms in once place.

    Your bank can help you get copies of documents.

  • Liquid Assets

    All your financial accounts will need to be separated, but a good place to start is with accounts that contain assets.

    Close your joint accounts and reopen new ones in your name. Talk to your lawyer about the best way to handle the money that is in those accounts.

  • Investments and Personal Property

    Your divorce agreement will determine who gets which assets, but it is up to you to legally change the ownership.

    Accounts should be put in the name of the new sole owner, and all deeds and titles should be legally switched as necessary.

    Do not forget to change the beneficiary on your retirement accounts and life insurance policies.

  • Liabilities

    In the rush to split assets, it can be easy to forget to split liabilities. This can be a costly mistake as you remain liable for any new charges to joint credit accounts.

    Close all joint credit card accounts, and insist that the divorce agreement requires joint loans to be refinanced promptly.

    Unless the court orders you to maintain health insurance on your spouse, have them removed from the policy.

  • Property

    If one spouse is taking permanent possession of the home, insist that the divorce decree includes a refinancing stipulation with a deadline.

    If your spouse gets the house, remove your name from the deed and make sure he or she follows through on the refinancing requirement.

    Otherwise, you remain legally liable for the mortgage. If you get the house, remove your spouse’s name from the deed.

    If you skip this step, you could end up begging them for their signature when you try to sell it.

Divorce can leave you with a broken heart and tangled finances. Only time will heal your heart, but you can begin untangling your finances today.

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